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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000366.txt from 2004/10

From: Ed Wojtowicz <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Ideal clarinet tone
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 12:39:15 -0400

As I read Clark's post, some thoughts came to mind on this subject. I
strongly agree with his comments about Wright's playing. He had a
wonderful range of colors and played in a very "vocal" and lyrical
style. I strongly encourage everyone to get the series of recordings
that are available from Boston Records. These are some wonderful
examples of Wright playing a variety of repertoire in a variety of
settings. His playing never ceases to amaze me. By the way- another
outstanding recording (also out of print) is the Boston Symphony
Chamber Players recording of the Schubert Octet.

Clark's original post mentioned developing a well balanced timbre.
Often it seems that the voice of the clarinet has been subdued in a
quest for "darkness". I had a discussion a number of years ago with
David Hite who expressed his feelings on this subject. He explained
that at one time the clarinet was certainly a dominant voice in the
wind section of an orchestra, but that this quest for "dark" has led to
the clarinet often becoming buried in the section and its lovely timbre
being lost in deference to the flute and oboe.


On Oct 12, 2004, at 12:21 PM, Clark W Fobes wrote:
> 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,....
> and
> The ability to hear your pitch in the ensemble (and to project)
> are a
> function of a nicely balanced timbre. The pursuit of the "dark tone"
> that
> was a hallmark of my generation (and that I hope I am having some
> influence
> on changing!) is misguided. The clarinet has the ability to produce the
> widest palette of color of all the woodwind instruments and we should
> celebrate and explore this wonderful artistic advantage in our
> playing.

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