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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000011.txt from 2002/02

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: [kl] Bell-tricks
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 06:31:08 -0500

Relearnt something again yesterday. The period orchestra I play in is
doing a double bill of Fidelio and Roedelinda at Theatre du Chatelet in
Paris with Rattle. (This means that half the orchestra is commuting on
Eurostar, not being required for Roedelinda, so opportunities to eat
well are cut down, unfortunately.)

Anyhow, in Fidelio #2, Marcelline's aria, there are two lots of 8
pianissimo repeated clarinet Gs that always fight back. It's not
difficult in principle; it's just that it should be *very* quiet, and
you've just moved onto the C clarinet, and it's easy to misjudge a

We did a seating rehearsal, and did this one immediately after the
Overture, and I didn't have time to check out my C clarinet, having been
too busy upping my garlic level just before. There are a few notes of
harmony to play before the G's, and the B and C refused to speak
properly. However, the G's came out easy as pie!

I quickly found out that what had happened was that my little tube of
cork grease had got stuck inside the bell, effectively blocking the
bottom of the instrument. So when I removed it, I tried putting my
right hand over the bell of the instrument just for those G's. It cuts
down the middle resonances of the sound, just what you need for the
musical effect.

You can of course do the same thing at the other end. Reducing middle
mouth and reed resonances (usually that means, tongue high and
embouchure not so distal) is precisely what helps you to play controlled
high, light and clear staccato, such as the A/Bb/C/Bb/A/G/F# semiquavers
in the last movement of Mozart 39. But this other, special trick helps
as well.

It's strange that I didn't think of it, because I remember posting about
how the same trick helps for the repeated As in the Scherzo of Beethoven
V, but I suppose that listening to yourself is always elusive, one way
or another.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

... Where you stand depends on where you sit.


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