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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000510.txt from 2004/10

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: Re: [kl] the Worst Scenery Ever
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 11:35:39 -0400


I do not understand.

Were the musicians a local so called pickup orchestra (I imagine more
likely) or a traveling orchestra? If the former, it would be hard to blame
Russia for any shortage of bassoons at the performance.

Was the bass clarinet playing the bassoon part? This I would find odd, but
I suppose I can see some reasoning depending on whether the orchestra is
local or traveling.

How big was the pit? Consider they may have lacked space for the proper
instrumentation and, as such, had to make some hard choices. I have a
trombone player friend that used to sit on the trap door exit (I kid you
not) of the pit his opera orchestra played in. And they couldn't even fit
double woodwinds in this pit. Not the highest quality opera company, as you
might imagine!

What parts did the keyboard (I presume you mean electronic keyboards) play?
This is becoming par for the course in touring musicals. The newest touring
West Side Story book removes the Oboe and English Horn parts in favor of a
synthesizer. It also takes The Coolest Bass Clarinet Moment In Show
History<tm> (the bass clarinet trio.. I'm blanking on the tune, I think "A
Boy Like That") and turns it into the Tenor Sax Part From Hell<tm> (two
bass clarinets and a tenor saxophone playing a bass clarinet part at
absolutely the lowest end of the tenor saxophone).

I can hear it now, "But my orchestration book *says* the tenor saxophone
can play those notes!".



At 10:02 AM 10/18/2004 -0500, Thiel, Mark wrote:
>Now what, you may be asking, relevance does this rant have to clarinets?
>Oh, yes, clarinets -- I remember. The orchestra was a few (6+3+3+3+1)
>strings, 2 flutes, 1 oboe, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet!, NO bassoon!, 3
>horns, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 harp (I didn't see it -- must have been
>camouflaged or upstairs), and 2 keyboards! (1 with a triangle hanging
>from it), no other percussion or tympani. Now, I am in principle in
>favor of bass clarinets taking over the world but having no bassoons
>seems rather odd.
>So, questions: Anyone know if there's a bassoon shortage in Russia?
>And: Can anyone top this as far as annoying scenery?

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