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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000711.txt from 2002/06

Subj: RE: [kl] Stoltzman & Over-tuning a Clarinet--absurdity
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 06:59:02 -0400

Bravo to Michael Norsworthy. He got it exactly right. Kal Opperman does
wonderful work on mouthpieces, barrels and instruments, but every bit of it
is designed to let you play the way *you* want. Richard Stoltzman sounds the
way he does because he wants to sound that way, and not because his setup is
somehow "overtuned." Harold Wright also played on an Opperman setup, because
it made it easier for him to sound like himself.

Listen to Stoltzman's Opera CD, particularly the clarinet choir arrangement
of themes from Carmen. He plays most of it "straight" (and dazzlingly well)
because that's what the music requires. Listen to the other players on the
CD, too. They're all Kal's students. What makes him a great teacher is that
all his students play beautifully, but no two sound the same.

Players at Stoltzman's level sound just as good playing on a Bundy, a
Goldentone mouthpiece and a brown-box Rico reed. A top-grade setup just
makes it easier.

Finally, you can hate Stoltzman's tone and vibrato, but you can't hate his
phrasing -- every note and every phrase is alive and going somewhere. His
technique is perfect, his tonguing is phenomenal and his control is beyond
belief. Ignore the 1% you don't like and listen to the 99% that's wonderful.

Ken Shaw


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