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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000028.txt from 2004/08

From: "Lelia Loban" <lelialoban@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] ClarinetFest: A reply from Stephen Fox
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 10:47:42 -0400

Stephen Fox e-mailed me privately about my comments about his ClarinetFest
recital, in which I wrote that the piano overbalanced the clarinet. As he
writes below, he isn't a member of the Klarinet list, but he gave me
permission to post his reply to the list, and so I've added it, below.

Lelia Loban
http://members.sibeliusmusic.com/LeliaLoban
Kerry and Edwards in 2004!

> [Original Message]
> From: Stephen H. Fox <104022.3105@-----.com>
> To: Lelia Loban <lelialoban@-----.net>
> Date: 8/1/2004 1:52:32 PM
> Subject: ClarinetFest
>
> Lelia:
>
> Thanks for your thoughtful comments about our performance at ClarinetFest
> last week.
>
> It would be a bit surprising as well as distressing, though, if the
> instrumental balance were as bad as all that throughout the whole piece.
A
> couple of other people voiced similar reactions, but several others said
> they had no trouble hearing all the instruments. So, maybe location in
the
> audience was a factor.
>
> The thing is, there was no problem with balance on stage; we could all
hear
> each other perfectly. So, if there's any blame to be laid, I'll shoulder
> it for not making sure we'd done our homework with checking out the
> acoustics of the hall, optimum postioning on stage, etc. You'll
appreciate
> that this isn't so easy given the large number of performers sharing one
> hall in a short space of time, however.
>
> As you say, the piano was fantastic, and an instrument like that does
> encourage a dramatic dynamic range. I'm not sure I'd agree, though, that
> it makes a (good) pianist pound harder than usual; quite the opposite, in
> fact. However, yes, it was very powerful. Lowering the lid would
> certainly have reduced the volume, but it's very detrimental to the sound
> quality.
>
> Having worked with and listened to Ellen in countless concert and
recording
> settings over the past eight years, I can testify that she's an
> outstandingly sensitive and thoughtful musician, and in particular is
> always concerned about balance.
>
> There's also the question of expectations with respect to balance. As is
> generally the case with Romantic chamber music, the piano in this piece is
> not only an equal partner, but in many places arguably more important than
> the other instruments.
>
> Anyway, thanks to everyone who attended the concert, and we hope all this
> won't deter people from seeking out this wonderful work, once the printed
> music and the recording(s) are available.
>
> (I'm not a member of the Klarinet list, but if you wanted to post this
> message, or parts of it, that would be fine.)
>
> Best wishes,
> Steve Fox

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