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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000162.txt from 2002/02

From: "David B. Niethamer" <>
Subj: [kl] Schubert Arpeggione (was: Brahms 4th, Bulbous Clarinets, etc.)
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 15:53:22 -0500

on 2/10/2002 3:45 PM, Bear Woodson wrote:

>This reminds me of the Arpeggione Instrument,
>which Schubert immortalized with his gorgeous Sonata.
>I've heard it many time on Cello, and a few times on
>Viola. I'm told it has been done on Clarinet, but frankly,
>I've wondered how it would sound on a low, rich Bass
>Clarinet, closer to the range of an Arpeggione.

This piece is a favorite of mine. Bellison transcribed it for clarinet,
but misunderstood the notation of the instrument (it sounds an octave
lower than written) with the result that his transcription shrieks along
one octave too high. Bellison also lowered the key to G minor (concert
pitch) so that the written clarinet part would be playable by students.

Jack Brymer made a transcription for A clarinet and piano which preserves
the original key. Brymer also gives some of the Arpeggione material to
the piano, in the interest of the respiratory health of the poor

The last time I played this piece, I made my own transcription from the
Complete Schubert edition. As I recall, there were only a few notes too
low to be played on an A clarinet. The range extended upward to 3rd
ledger line E (written 4th line G on A clarinet). All this is pretty
close to the range available on the A clarinet (and comparable to the
viola, on which it is often played).

Cellists have enough good repertoire - they should just butt out!! ;-)


David Niethamer
Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony


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