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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000643.txt from 2004/08

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Period Performance in Wagner?
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 17:46:55 -0400

On 23 Aug, "Larisa Duffy and David Dow" <> wrote:

> Dear Tony:
> As to my limited knowledge on Wagner I do know in various biographies he is
> quoted as describing the more modern flute as "cannons."! So I was
> wondering whether wooden flutes are being used...

Yes, reverse conical ones. Don't know the details of the makers.

> Viennese oboes...

In fact, the second oboe made the pair of oboes used, based on an 1807 German
oboe with a couple of added keys. Sounded very good.

> Rotary Valve Horns from the periods...


> small bore trombones...


> violins with cat-gut strings


> and clarinets with wooden mouthpieces...

In this case, resin copies of such mouthpieces. Wooden mouthpieces are a bit
too much of a liability, IMO.

The first and second clarinet parts we played on Ottensteiner instruments --
in fact, copies of the Muhlfeld instruments. (Perhaps a little late.) The
third clarinet played on an earlier style instrument, and the bass on an
Albert instrument.

> I really find the concept quite fascinating and simply put forth my
> questions based on the study of Wagner that I have done personally....a
> good deal of instrument innovation was done by Wagner as I was
> wondering how this performance of Das Rheingold reflects such values.

As above. But I think the most important things are what I described in my
other post.

What we're trying to do is recapture qualities that might have been 'lost'
by modern developments.

Of course, the very notion of 'lost' requires that its opposite, 'found' be
recognisable. It's no good if 'found' isn't ultimately recognisable by
modern sensibilities as a positive quality.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

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