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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000698.txt from 2002/06

Subj: [kl] OK which one do you hate more? Kenny G or Stoltzman???
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 17:36:49 -0400

Edward "efarmer" wrote,
>Since Kenny G was brought up...... And seems to be another
>lighting rod on this list.

I don't hate either of them. I don't own (and won't own) any of Kenny G's
K-Mart music, but I can't possibly hate him, when I remember him very well as
a first-rate, completely legit tenor sax jazz player named Ken Gorelick, who
could play the socks off a lot of the people who sneer at him today. That
was before he got married and had children who need food, clothes, medical
care and schooling, all paid for with his elevator music.

As for Stoltzman, I have mixed feelings about his musical choices sometimes,
and I would rather listen to Tony Pay play Mozart, but hate Stoltzman? I
know people use that word loosely (so do I--I'll say that I hate this reed or
I hate the placement of a page turn, without thinking much about what *hate*
means), but when we're talking about human beings, I try to save hatred for
the likes of Osama bin Laden. It seems shameful to me, to waste hatred on a
musician who doesn't literally bring down anybody's house, after all. If I
don't like a recording, I stop listening to it. That seems sufficient.

Lately, I've been finding Stoltzman's recording of the Brahms clarinet
quintet with the Tokyo Quartet useful, for a reason that may strike some
people as peurile, but here it is: Like nearly all of Stoltzman's recent
recordings, this one places his sound far forward, so that every note he
plays can be heard clearly, even when he's playing background accompaniment.
For someone working on the difficult interwoven rhythms and tricky entrances
of that quintet, listening to this recording is instructive.

I've disobeyed my piano teacher so many times in the three and a half decades
since I last saw him that I hope he's given up by now and no longer bothers
to spin in his grave, since he forbade me to listen to any recording of a
piece he assigned to me until after I had learned it. He had a good reason:
He wanted to teach me to interpret things for myself, and to learn to read
the music correctly by myself, not just copy somebody. So I don't copy, no.
If I play this quintet with my husband's string quartet, I'll want to blend
instead of putting myself forward as The Soloist (while frantically hoping I
don't play like such a pig that I stand out for *that* reason!). But I do
try to listen and learn something.



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