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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000626.txt from 2003/06

From: "LARISA DUFFY & DAVID DOW" <DUFFYL@-----.CA>
Subj: Re: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 14:53:33 -0400

What is sound but vibration?

I am not quite sure why vibrato is such a problem....the players who are
unable to perform with vibrato who work in any orchestra must find it
strange that the flutes vibrate, the oboes too, the bassoons, and the
trumpet, plus the strings.

I am not sure if the word tradition can be used to donate a current school
of thought. Its kind of like the apples and oranges thing. however,
generally speaking a dull, routine straight sound can become very
monotonous. Isn't it up to the player to use whatever means at his/her
disposal to create musical interest...or if the conductor doesn't care to do
dynamics and expression

' then why the heck would one consider trying to go a NOTCH above the
monotones of straight sound? ' Some of the finest players in the world
don't use vibrato and some of the finest players use it. Case over.

Leister and a few other Oehler system players can be very boring. The last
3 versions leister has done of the Brahms Quintet are total replicas of
each other. At the same time I think players like James Campbell and Thea
King never get a fair shake so to speak....

I also think that Drucker is a god.

My old teacher Harold Wright said something very interesting...."The worst
thing a clarinet player can do is to play with a bit of feeling."---Of
course this was a joke....mainly because there is such a huge variance among
clarinetists about what defines a good playing style. Wright also said
there is always alot of advice out there, and most of bad. A player
generally has to come up with there own ideas about the sound and way they
play.

There are a lot of bad conductors too....I have never heard a word about a
conductor telling me to use a straight sound. I have heard more ask for
vibrato instead!

- Original Message ----
From: "Brash, Alexander" <BrashA@-----.org>
Subject: RE: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet

We handle the problem like this: playing in an AMERICAN "tradition." As
Stravinsky said in his Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard:

'A real tradition is not the relic of a past irretrievably gone; it is a
living force that animates and informs the present. (...) Far from implying
the repetition of what has been, tradition presupposes the reality of what
endures. (...) Tradition ensures the continuity of creation. (...) A renewal
is fruitful only when it goes hand in hand with tradition.'

I think this quote outlines very well (among other things) the spirit of the
American clarinet. We take established schools and traditions and let them
inform us as we continuously evolve. This is why the principal players in
our orchestras are not deadly boring musicians, ie Leister. And speaking of
"relics of the past irretrievably gone"...ummm where are the women in your
orchestras? I know they're trickling in, but I wonder how female German
clarinetists feel about the male dominated German school. Oh wait! I know
what they do! They become soloists instead and then come over here and play!

You wrote:
Seriously, I think we are missing something, historically speaking. Over
here it would be totally unthinkable to use vibrato (at least in
Austro/German chamber music) and I must say that it DOES sound FAR better
than the less restrictive performance practice...

Please prove to me it sounds far better. See Mr. Cohler's article for some
discussion of his own experiments with non musicians, and asking them which
tone quality they prefer. Let me see something similar from you.

By the way, I can think of several great places to shove my freedom horn.

Alexander Michael Brash
Education Dept, New York Philharmonic
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 5th Floor

phone (212) 875 - 5735
cell (646) 284 - 0439
email brasha@-----.org

-----Original Message-----
From: ferengizâde daniêl shawqy [mailto:rab@-----.de]
Subject: Re: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet

No!
Clarinet and vibrato! How could a civilized Conductor tolerate such a gross
abuse of the noblest of all wind instruments? I think in Germany you'd get
lynched if you'd dare to try even the most subtle vibrato.
Yet,
the great Muehlfeld (for whom Brahms wrote his late parts) was reported to
have played with more vibrato than the cellist of the Joachim quartet....

Seriously, I think we are missing something, historically speaking. Over
here it would be totally unthinkable to use vibrato (at least in
Austro/German chamber music) and I must say that it DOES sound FAR better
than the less restrictive performance practice... maybe one day we'll have
to acknowledge that the modern Austrogerman Clarinet and it's playing
tradition is in fact a different instrument and should be given a different
name or rather the French/Italian instrument should be called "claroe",
"clarott", "claroon" "clareek" or something like that...
BTW, may I ask how US players handle the problem of playing an instrument
that is either French or German in tradition (i.e. evil in any case) -- Did
you have to rename it "freedom horn" or did someone come up with a new
"redneck"-system?
Regards,
danyel

----- Original Message -----
From: Deidre Calarco
Subject: Re: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet

On 6/18/03 1:48 PM, "Jimmy Lee" <jrlaudio@-----.net> wrote:

> a conductor that does not want clarinets to use vibrator is a
> loser

ROFL

I agree. It's none of the conductor's business if the clarinetists like to
use vibrators. That's personal!

(back to lurking)

-Deidre

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