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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000137.txt from 2003/06

From: Dan Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Famous Alto or Basset Solos?
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2003 12:50:26 -0400

I must tell you a terrific story about the part being written for alto
clarinet in F. A well-known and very excellent player was doing the
work in that edition under Leinsdorf. The clarinetist was using a
basset horn.

In the middle of the rehearsal, Leinsdorf stopped the orchestra and
asked the clarinet player the following question: "On what instrument
are you playing?"

The unnamed player quickly looked at the part and said, "I am playing on
an alto clarinet in F."

Leinsdorf looked very pleased and said, "Good. In Europe, sometimes
they play the part on a part on a basset horn."

As noted below, when I played the work with the SDSO, I used a basset
horn, but one could, in theory, say that they were playing on an alto
clarinet in F if the party was using a LeBlanc or a modern Buffet basset


myke cuthbert wrote:
> [going way back to an old message]
> Finally had a chance to look at this. Apparently (at least in the
> Kalmus score) it's marked Clarinette Alto en Fa, hence my
> misremembering. But it reminds me, wasn't there a movement in the 70s
> (much later than the Stravinsky piece) to replace the Eb alto with an
> F alto (I'd guess a large bore non-extended range basset horn; with
> the larger alto mouthpiece?). I remember an exchange about this in
> the Instrumentalist.
> Also trying to come up off the top of my head with pieces
> for/including alto clarinet where you'd be doing great damage to the
> score by playing on b.h. and transposing. Trying to figure out if
> there'd be any good justification (besides price) if purchasing only
> one to choose the alto instead.
> [ Apr 27 ]:
>>Regarding the original of Stravinsky's Symphonies of Winds, it was for
>>basset horn, not alto clarinet. I played it with the San Diego Symphony
>>a while back and the instrumentation intrigued me enough to research it.
>> It was definitely the original and Stravinsky changed it for the 1947
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Klarinet is supported by Woodwind.Org,

**Dan Leeson **
** **

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