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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000269.txt from 2004/12

From: "dnleeson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Question on tone...
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 13:30:55 -0500

This is a genuinely fascinating and eye-opening posting. The
assertion that each clarinet system may, in and of itself,
contribute positively to clarinet playing in a very
idiosychractic way is an idea that simply never occurred to me.
(Of course, the converse may be true too; i.e., may contribute
negatively, but that's for another day).

Th number of players who are adept at both German and French
systems is such that the phenomenon can no longer be dismissed. I
remember when, 40 years ago, O. Lee Gibson in Denton, Texas would
give a recital on both instruments, and I foolishly dismissed
that effort as counterproductive. Mind you, I don't know what
positive things all these people have found that derives from
being adept on two different systems, but that they have (to some
measurable degree) is, for the moment, something very noteworthy
and very new in clarinet playing theory.

I'm sorry I'm not playing clarinet very much any longer, because
it would make a fascinating journey to examine the bass clarinet
and basset horn repertoire on two different systems.

I thank Tony for having made such a dramatic statement in a very
clear way, that I was jolted into a turn of direction simply by
the ideas and potential of what he said. (Mind you, it could be
very possible to undergo a serious effort to understand this
phenomenon but find out that, for some players, there is no
discernable advantage to being able to play on two systems, but
it would be a fascinating journey in any case.)

Dan Leeson

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Pay []
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] Re: Question on tone...

On 16 Dec, "Vann Joe Turner" <> wrote:

> Hi Robert,
> I'd agree with you about the etherial tone quality of Leister,
and you
> don't need a German clarinet or a German mouthpiece to achieve

I agree with this. But...

My experience of playing on German clarinets had up to a few days
ago been
limited to not specially well set-up modern instruments, plus the
Ottensteiner (Muehlfeld's instruments) originals and copies --
which I do
think have a different and worthwhile character, even if they're
difficult to play.

However, I just got back from a week in Israel, teaching and
playing at the
Jerusalem Music Centre in the Clarinet Days with the Trio di
Clarone (Sabine
and Wolfgang Meyer, and Reiner Wehle.) It was my first
opportunity to try
the (modern) Wurlitzer clarinets of players who have spent their
playing at the highest level, and who therefore have refined and
their setups.

I have to say that the upshot of this encounter (which was
delightful to me
in lots of ways that aren't relevant to this topic) is that I now
want to own
a 'proper' pair of Wurlitzers, because the sort of sound that
you're talking
about is much easier to achieve on the German system. It's where
instrument itself 'sits'.

I don't say that that sound is optimal for all music, and it may
be that I
still think it's advantageous to choose the Boehm system for most
of our
repertoire, because different instruments do different things
more or less
easily. But, just as I like to play some sorts of music on the
clarinet, I'm looking forward to investigating the results of
inhabiting the
different 'personality' of the German instrument for those pieces
that I
think it suits.

(Michelle Zukovsky obviously thought it was worthwhile
investigating that,

I also found that Wolfgang Meyer plays, as I do, the Mozart
concerto with
modern orchestras on a clarinet modelled on a much earlier
instrument --
there's a particularly interesting recording he made of it with
(who incidentally finds things in the orchestra I'd never thought
of) -- but
in addition, he plays later repertoire sometimes on German and
sometimes on
Boehm system clarinets. I know too that the Chicago players use
for some German repertoire.

Perhaps more players will begin to play on both as time goes on.

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

... A single fact can spoil a good argument.

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