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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000518.txt from 2003/06

Subj: Re: [kl] vibrato
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 18:30:13 -0400

>From David Dow

Regarding Vibrato

Once again a heated discussion on the use of vibrato and whether it is
disastrous to the music. WeLL, that means one would have to trash all the
work of Heifitz and solists of that calibre on all instruments. The
aguement should really be what kind of vibrato is deemed musical and what
kind is deemed unmusical. This is where one begins to beg the answer rather
than the quide onself to the question ....I work professionally in a Solo
Clarinet chair and can say I certainly don't use alot of vibrato if
any....however, there are musical passages where a slight vibrato can
certainly add colour to the tone and also give securtity to the pitch.
there are many out there who can't even play a vibrato so head straight to
the camp- No Vibrato zone...these people certainly have to be respected and
in North America are probably in the majority.

When I studied in france with Guy Dangain and Walter Boeykins the tendency
was in the teaching to discuss types of vibrato and whether it was effective
for the music. For example a Brahms symphony is much harder to pull vibrato
off in then say a Debussy Orchestra work. some of the arguements for this
are partly aligned with the performance tradition of a piece of music...and
I can honestly say alot of my students have no clue when you discuss the
perfromance tradition of a piece. So a good teacher really has to introduce
listening to records and such in order to give the student an informed scope
of the music!

I also know that in the mid 80s in France the fast traditional vibrato of
the 50s and 60s was long gone. Instead french players at that period were
adopting different piece. And Yes the B40 and the M13 were soon all over
France. This led to a more straight tone and I think in someways with this
change a loss in the individuality of the tradition French sound. Also when
working personally beside Paul Meyer I noticed he used a 5RVLyre for
everything and sounded magnificent...he alone may be the last hold out.
Players like Boeykins and Freidl are superb and play a B40 for everything.
I also know that these things are cyclic. However, the B40 sound is more
focused definitely and may have slowed down the outright use of a fast
Original Message -----
Fr: "Dan Leeson" <>
Subject: [kl] vibrato

> Alexander Brash wrote:
> "Anyone who's still against all vibrato in "legit" playing...pick any of
> Charlie Neidich's or Jonathan Cohler's recordings. Listen to them, and
> tell me with a straight face that they sound heinous and that the vibrato
> horrible and is destroying the performance. Dismissing something out of
> hand, without experimenting yourself, is silly. If you have a teacher that
> says not to do it, challenge them on it, make them explain why it isn't
> good, then (and they'll inevitably fail) experiment yourself anyway and
> decide if YOU like it."
> While I am not only sympathetic to what is said here, but have been a
> proponent of vibrato for years, I make the suggestion that offering
> something that one likes as evidence for its universal use, is not an
> effective argument. Those who dislike vibrato will hate it in the
> recordings that Brash offers to endear them to it.
> Trying to prove that something is good or bad by asking someone to
> listen to what you think is good or bad, has a small chance of working.
> Its too subjective an appoach and too easily dismissed. Typical: "Well I
> listened to those recording and I think they stink." It's an argument
> that is easy to make and impossible to counter. "You think it stinks?
> Well I think you stink. And your mother wears army boots!!"
> And so it goes. Arguments need to be far more objective to get anywhere.
> --
> ***************************
> **Dan Leeson **
> ** **
> ***************************
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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