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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000352.txt from 2004/10

From: "Clark W Fobes" <>
Subj: [kl] Ideal clarinet tone
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 12:22:59 -0400

Karl Krelove wrote:

"With no wish to get into the "dark/bright" argument that crops up
periodically (stay calm, Dan), I wonder, because I don't know how old you
are or whom you studied with, what generation you're referring to. I don't
want to see a reprise of the whole argument, but your comment made me wonder
(without wanting to criticize your having used the term) which players
exemplified "dark" in the way you meant it."

I am 50 and my principal teacher was Rosario Mazzeo.

Karl poses a good question which puts me in a delicate position. I would
rather answer the question by describing a great clarinet tone in two
words. Harold Wright. My generation was nuts about Marcellus and I have many
of the old wonderful recordings with the Cleveland orchestra. I admire his
musicianship and his sound, but for really beautiful, colorful and singing
playing I much prefer Harold Wright. There are several nice recordings of
his now out on CD, but one that has never been re-released to my knowledge
is the recording of "The Miraculous Mandarin" with Ozawa and the Boston
Symphony. Find it if you can!. Another wonderful recording is from the Music
from Marlboro series with Wright playing the Mozart Clarinet Quintet. The
2nd movement is particularly sublime. And IMHO his recording of the Mozart
Concerto is without peer.

Now, regarding the subject of tone. I think it is very important for
clarinet players to get out of our holes and listen to other wonderful
instrumentalists and vocalists to capture a broader concept of tone. Yo-Yo
Ma on cello plays with a depth and commitment to sound that is rarely heard
among any instrumentalists. I would also guide any woodwind player to the
recordings of both Elly Ameling and Anna Moffo as exemplars of gorgeous tone
(and pitch!) and immaculate phrasing.

Clark (no e!)

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