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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001006.txt from 2003/06

Subj: Re: [kl] Utilizing vibrato; was, Cohler's vibrato article
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 18:58:09 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Pay" <>

Dear Tony:

To further the discussion with this a few further thoughts may I add before
I do some house-work. I think its entirely a matter of taste whether or not
someone plays with vibrato...however, the bad part is if the vibrato
detracts from the sound or even the phrase...

There is always an inherent danger in producing a sound that entirely is
unmatched to the piece or the sentence structure of the music. For example:
some music requires a real muscular type of sound. Brahms in places of
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings really needs a hefty, beefed up sound.
Within this piece also the opening of the slow movement requires a very
delicate almost feather like sound. I am afraid words are really a limit in
this discussion, yet words are the same things we use as a tool to teach

In orchestra I would have to say I don't use a vibrato...and if any at times
certainly very light and then only to match flutes and oboes. In fact, I am
beginning to think some things are immensely difficult to get across to
students, unless of course they are playing alongside me in an orchestra.
So, as a factor that sometimes goes into the music, vibrato is definitely
not a plus for certain stlyes.

In the Resphigi Pines of Rome I can't imagine vibrato whatsoever in the
Nightingale section. When I perform this piece I feel that the sound has to
be utterly crystaline. The tone here has to emerge as if from another
world....try teaching those things to a 13 year old....not easy in any
matter!!! I call this the still sound!

I realize I may be off topic, but did you work under Rudolf Kempe? He has
long been one of my favorite conductors of any music. I heard a recording
recently of the Dresden Orchestra and him doing the Bruckner 5th and was
overwhelmed. The tonal intensity and warmth staggered me. It is a shame
there are no longer such greats like him about these days....I did have the
good fortune of seeing Herbert K. do his thing in Sibelius 5 and what a
blast that was. I also know that Kempe was with the Royal Phil at one
point. Also, was the flutist James Galaway there at that particular time?

Best Wishes

David Dow

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