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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000299.txt from 2005/04

From: "Shaw, Kenneth R." <krshaw@-----.com>
Subj: [kl] Clarinet Symposium
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 16:27:48 -0400

CLARINET SYMPOSIUM

On April 9, the Eastern Conservatory of Music And Arts together with
Buffet sponsored a full-day Clarinet Symposium in Oldwick, NJ. There
was a tremendous amount of material -- probably too much to read or
absorb at one time. I've given an outline below, which will let you get
to the parts you're interested in. I have added a few comments of my
own in [brackets].

Larry Guy and Daniel Bonade
Breathing
Inhale
Exhale
Articulation
Embouchure and Instrument Position
Projection
Finger movement
Contact Point
Slow Passages
Fast Passages
Collapsing Joint
David Hattner
Rossini, Introduction, Theme and Variations
Stravinsky, Three Pieces
Throat F#
Brahms, Sonata #2, 1st movement
Ben Redwine
Guy Chadash
Backun Bell
Blowing
Instrument Design
Buffet Tuning
Moennig vs. Chadash Barrels
Bore Oil
Hydration
Wood
Blow-out
Plastic
Concert
Mark Nuccio
Capriccio Espagnol
Scheherazade
Brahms 4th, second movement
Dances of Galanta
Shostakovich 5th, Eb Solo
General Wisdom
Vandoren and Buffet Presentations

*****
*****LARRY GUY and DANIEL BONADE
*****

Larry Guy, a top player and teacher, gave an excellent presentation on
Daniel Bonade. He began by handing out music excerpts and playing
examples of Bonade's playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the
Cleveland Orchestra. All of these were from a CD Larry put together
containing probably every solo passage that Bonade recorded. Everyone
should have this CD, which contains some of the best playing ever.
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006JJ52/qid%3D1113423636/sr%3
D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-2604533-1975323>

Bonade published The Clarinetist's Compendium, available through
Leblanc, an inexpensive pamphlet full of wisdom. Everyone should have a
copy. Unfortunately, it's not listed on the Leblanc site, but there are
copies at every instrument exhibition, and Larry can certainly supply
it. <http://music.vassar.edu/new_faculty.html=3Fbio=3DLarry_Guy>

Bonade also published an excerpt book, which has his valuable
interpretive markings [and also quite a few typos], and 16 Phrasing
Studies. I don't think these are presently in print, but they're
available used, though at pretty high prices.
<http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_fastresults.html=3Fcart=3D332239860
03933043>

Larry has also recently published The Daniel Bonade Workbook, which I
bought a copy of. It's full of material on Bonade's teaching.

*BREATHING

INHALE

Deep inhalation is the basis of everything. [Maria Callas said you
inhale "from hair to hair."] Let your abdomen expand and let the air
=66low in as if you're filling up an air tank between your sternum and
your beltline. Bonade would demonstrate by standing at an open door
with his belly against the knob. He would inhale, and his abdomen would
push the door closed with a slam.

Your shoulders must stay down. Watch in a mirror or have a friend put
his/her hands lightly on both your shoulders.

EXHALE

To blow, push **down** on the air tank (never up). Again, don't raise
your shoulders.

Bonade would put a lit candle on a table 1 to 2 feet away and have the
student practice keeping the flame bent away as long and smoothly as
possible.

The Breath Builder, available from Woodwind and Brasswind
<http://www.wwbw.com/Breath-Builder-Isometric-Exerciser-i80001.music>,
is an excellent tool for learning to control the wind, particularly for
warming up. Look in a mirror to make sure your body stays quiet.

*ARTICULATION

Bonade said all articulation is based on proper staccato.
- Never hit the reed with the tongue.
- Start with the tongue on the reed with full air pressure [and
"release" it (pull it back) to start the tone].
- Keep the air pressure constant at all times.
- A short staccato ("stop staccato") must be ended or at least tapered
with the breath, even at top speed. It must be a **ringing** short
note.

The most common problem with staccato is not keeping the air pressure
constant. There must not be any decrease at all between notes, and no
puff of air at the beginning of a note. Improper control of the air
becomes so internalized that the player doesn't notice it, but it's the
single biggest problem with articulation. The Breath Builder will
highlight any problems. The floating ball will drop with any decrease
in air pressure. Some players will even unconsciously suck air back,
causing the ball to slam down.

Many players lead phrases with the left shoulder, moving it up and
=66orward. This has several bad effects. First, it diverts your mental
and physical energy into something that isn't part of the music.
Second, the audience can't hear anything. Third, it constricts your
throat and your hands. Fourth, it causes irregularities in air
pressure. Think, "Your shoulder stayed at home this morning. It's
still in bed."

*EMBOUCHURE and INSTRUMENT POSITION

-- The chin must be pulled down and forward toward the tip, as if you
had a jewel fastened just above the point of your chin (where a dimple
appears).

-- The jaw moves down slightly, but not forward or back. The movement
comes from below your ears.

-- The lower lip hugs the front of the jaw and teeth[, with only half
the red part above the line of the lower teeth].

-- Hold the instrument almost vertical.

-- Slide the reed in over your lower lip, without pressing the reed into
your lip. Don't let your lower lip flop over your teeth. The reed goes
**against** your lower lip, **not** on top of it.

-- Make an OOO shape with your lips, using a small aperture. Move the
corners inward slightly, as if they were riding on your teeth as tracks.
[In the afternoon session, Guy Chadash had a student blow through a
plastic coffee stirrer.]

-- Also make an OOO vowel in the front of your mouth, and an EEE vowel
with your tongue.

-- The point where the reed separates from the mouthpiece should be even
with the top of your lower teeth. This will be more reed that most
people are used to taking, and the upper lip and teeth will nearer the
tip of the mouthpiece than usual. The position depends on the shape of
your jaw. Bonade had a slightly receding jaw, as did Robert Marcellus,
and both of them held the instrument nearly vertical. Adjust the angle
of the instrument while looking in a mirror.

-- This instrument position, combined with lots of reed over the lower
lip, means that you must use a fairly soft reed.

-- Bonade (and Marcellus) said that the embouchure must be **very** firm
-- so much so that if someone pushed the mouthpiece from the side while
were playing, it wouldn't move.

-- Now, blow hard, straight through the embouchure and mouthpiece.
Remember that the clarinet requires high air pressure.

[Bonade's "vertical" embouchure is certainly not the only way to play.
Many excellent players angle the instrument out. However, it's worth
trying, particularly if you need to project over an orchestra. Also,
many orchestral players, e.g., Drucker, Gigliotti, Morales, use very
hard reeds.]

*PROJECTION

Bonade said that projecting over an ensemble is largely mental. You do
it by becoming aware of the ensemble size and the resonance of the hall.
The Philadelphia Orchestra under Stokowski was famous for its lush
string sound[, in the cavernous and dead sounding Academy of Music].
Thus, Bonade needed to play very loud to be heard. He did this not by
using a hard reed, but by putting more reed in his mouth and playing
with a free, vibrant, French-style sound, with lots of high partials and
a feeling of a singer's resonance in the sinuses. (Robert Marcellus,
who studied with Bonade, said he did the same in the Cleveland
Orchestra.)

*FINGER MOVEMENT

Bonade's teaching on finger movement has been discussed several times,
but Larry Guy gave additional material and detail.

CONTACT POINT

=46ingertips increase slightly in diameter from the joint to the end.
Visualize this as a light bulb. The fingers touch the keys near the
equator of the light bulb, not the top. Concentrate on relaxation and
light touch, which make the light bulbs more sensitive.

SLOW PASSAGES

-- In slow passages, your fingers should be relaxed and curved, as if
cradling a tennis ball. Avoid making a claw. Always relax.

-- Finger movement should be almost 100% from the knuckle joint (where
the finger meets the hand), The other two joints should make little or
no movement.

-- In slow passages, the finger motion is high and slow -- just fast
enough to avoid a "blip" or smear when changing from one note to the
next.

-- Visualize a smooth curve between notes[ -- a sine wave, not a square
or sawtooth wave].

-- Legato playing is like opera singing. You don't think about the
notes, but only the movement between them. The notes pour into one
another.

FAST PASSAGES

-- In fast passages, the fingers are low and move quickly, but the goal
is relaxed fluidity. It's OK to put a slight "snap" in your finger
movement while practicing, but there should never be a "pop," and at
performance, the snap should be gone, too. The motion is light, relaxed
and sensitive. [Alexander Williams told me that when he was playing his
best, his fingers felt almost weightless.]

-- As in slow passages, finger movement should be entirely from the
knuckle.

-- FAST PLAYING IS NOT BASED ON FAST PRACTICE. It's based on FLAWLESS
EXECUTION AT SLOW SPEED. For example, in Scheherazade, the clarinet
depicts two waves washing over Sinbad's ship, by playing fast ascending
and descending scales. Since you're in the key of F, it's easy to sweep
over them quickly. However, unless you work them out so that every note
is even at slow speed, you'll never have them under control if (as often
happens) the conductor wants you to pause on the high note, or
accelerate up or down.

-- In a lesson with Mitchell Lurie, Larry Guy could play these solos
very fast, and **almost** smooth -- like a 12 cylinder engine running on
11 cylinders. When Lurie had him slow down, he was like a 4 cylinder
engine running on 3 cylinders. Only when he worked it out at low speed
could he play it properly at high speed.

-- Practice and performance are completely different. **All** practice
must be slow until the passage is perfect. The formula is 9 + 1 x 10.
That is, you perfect a passage so that you can play it 9 times perfectly
at 1/10 the final speed. Then play it 1 time perfectly at performance
speed. (If all 10 repetitions are not perfect, start again.) Repeat
the 9 + 1 pattern 10 times perfectly before you put the passage away as
well mastered.

*COLLAPSING JOINT

Larry coached a student in the first movement of the Bernstein Sonata.
He noticed that in a slurred three-note descending figure, clarion
A-F#-D, the A-F# interval wasn't clean. He had the student play it
again and noticed that the fingertip joint of her right middle finger
"collapsed" -- that is, it hyperextended so it curved up. He asked the
student to play the passage, trying to keep this from happening, but she
said it always happened. The movement was clearly audible. When the
joint moved from normal to backward curvature, there was a "bump" in the
tone.

Larry gave 3 exercises for strengthening the muscles that move the
=66ingertip joint.
-- 1. Put your hand flat on a table and pull it back from the elbow,
pressing the lightbulb areas of your fingertips into the table to
resist.
-- 2. Put the heel of your hand on a table, fingers slightly curved,
with the tips bent back, and do "fingertip pushups."
-- 3. Close your hand around a tennis ball, squeezing with your
=66ingertips.
-- During these exercises, never make your hand into a claw. That is,
never use opposing muscles to make your fingers stiff. Only the muscles
that contract your fingers should be working.

*****
*****DAVID HATTNER
*****

David Hattner is a Marcellus student and well known freelance player in
New York. He gave a brief presentation, noting that mastery of
=66undamentals is the only basis for professional playing. They must
become invisible and second nature, so your brain is free to play the
music and project the emotion in it. He then coached several students.

*ROSSINI, Introduction, Theme and Variations.

David said that "this is the most difficult piece we have that's in C
Major." The essence is that this is opera -- bel canto (beautiful
singing). The accompaniment is zilch. **You** have to **sell** it,
=66rom note one. You do this by playing not the notes but the intervals
between them -- the line. [David was not there when Larry Guy said the
same thing. Great minds run in the same channels.]

As Arnold Jacobs said, we breath to expand. We don't expand to breathe.
That is, don't think about the mechanics. Take the air in and let
yourself expand.

The student had trouble connecting intervals over the break. David said
that the solution was slow practice, to make the motion of several
=66ingers into a single motion. Also, the student was dropping the air
pressure, possibly in an effort to make the bad connection less audible.
David emphasized that the air pressure must stay constant, and the
student had to play through each interval.

[The student kept her left shoulder raised and moved it with each
phrase. This produced a pinched tone, with too little fundamental. The
movement of the shoulder drained musical movement from the playing.]

*STRAVINSKY, Three Pieces

David noted that the comma marks in #1 are controversial. He thinks
they are not really breath marks or even phrase marks, but just
indications of non-connection.

#1 is all in the low register. Therefore, it's important to compensate
=66or the limited range by keeping a good flow and emphasizing the phrase
shapes.

The second part of #1 should be very soft. One of the great things
about the clarinet is that we can play softer than anybody else -- and
we should.

#2 is about fast paying and big leaps. It's about speed and precision,
not lyricism. Think "typewriter fingers" -- low and precise movement.

However, the key to learning the fast notes is starting slow. The
difficulty is **not** playing fast. It's about getting each change
perfect. "Slow practice means fast progress."

The jump from clarion G to high G works best with an alternate fingering
=66or the high G, with the right index and ring fingers, rather than the
index and middle fingers.

*THROAT F#.

David learned from Robert Marcellus that this note should almost always
be played with the left index finger. The only time to use the side key
is on an ascending chromatic scale. You need to learn the "flip" change
to the thumb F for everything else, including the descending chromatic
scale. This is a great skill to have in your repertoire, since you will
then never get caught and can make either change without having to
worry.

*BRAHMS, Sonata #2, 1st movement

David told the story of Brahms being inspired by Muhlfeld's playing and
responding with his four great clarinet works at the end of his career.
Brahms was so grateful that he assigned all the royalties to Muhlfeld.

The opening of the first movement of Sonata #2 is simple and placid.
Let it flow out, and don't make it complicated. [It's a contrast to the
opening of Sonata #1, which is intense and dramatic.]

Distinguish rigorously between the eighth note triplets and the groups
of four sixteenths. Audition judges **really** listen for this. The
same goes for ties over a bar line or to the first note of a triplet.
Count extra-hard.

In the second section of the first movement, dare to play soft. The
pianist will hear this and help you.

*****
*****BEN REDWINE
*****

Ben Redwine spoke about the clarinet in the early history of jazz and
played a number of examples. He also spoke about the fundamentals of
improvisation and had a number of players play with him.

*****
*****GUY CHADASH
*****

Guy Chadash is an excellent player and a top repairman. His barrel
design has been adopted by Buffet, and he also makes instruments that
are very well reviewed. His views are sometimes controversial, but he
has a great ear and an artist's touch in tweaking clarinets to play
better.

*BACKUN BELL

Guy began with a master class session with an advanced student who
played a 20th century piece from Bonade's 16 Grands Solos De Concert, a
collection of mostly French contest pieces. He did no coaching on the
music, but concentrated on the student's instrument a Buffet RC
Prestige, and particularly his Backun bell. See
<http://www.backunmusical.com/>. =20

The bell produced a warm, mellow tone, which Guy did not like. He had
the student put on his Buffet bell, which was dramatically different,
with less warmth but more resonance.

Guy asked the student why he had bought the RC in the first place. It
must have been because he liked it. Why then did he want to use
something that took away the basic character of the instrument=3F The
instrument as made had the characteristic Buffet ringing quality, which
lets you be heard through an orchestra. The Backun bell eliminated
that.

As a performer, it's your obligation to make the instrument sound the
way you want it. Play the instrument as it was made, and **you** make
the difference.

With the Buffet bell, the student got a good ring in the sound, which
Guy worked on with breathing exercises. He said that to get intensity,
you must blow "small" and intense. The clarinet is a high-pressure
instrument. If you open up the air passage, you go flat and lose
intensity.

[I liked the student's sound with the Backun bell. I can only assume
that he went back to it the next day. In principle, even if you choose
a Buffet for its sound, and the Backun bell changes it from the maker's
vision, that's no reason you shouldn't switch to something you like
better. Ricardo Morales plays a Backun bell (on his Selmer Recitals) in
the Philadelphia Orchestra. Guy had an excellent point, and the student
had a more powerful, ringing tone with the original barrel, but that's
not the only possibility.]

*BLOWING

You blow with a small mouth opening, as if you are sending a spitwad
across the room. This in turn requires strong support. He had the
student blow very hard through a plastic coffee stirrer, with the inside
about the size of a pencil lead. Do this hard enough to make a loud
hiss. That's how hard you blow the clarinet.

When the student went back to his clarinet, there was a big improvement
in sound. It was big and "orchestral." Guy wanted even more, and had
the student alternate between the stirrer and the clarinet. He improved
each time.

A good warmup is to play just the mouthpiece. When things are right, it
should sound a clarion high C. Few people can do this at first. If you
can't, it's a sign that you need to work on embouchure firmness and
breath pressure.

[Again, high air pressure is necessary in orchestral playing, but this
is not the only way to play.]

*INSTRUMENT DESIGN

No one else volunteered to play [probably due to Guy's aggressiveness].
Guy then answered questions, mostly about instrument design.

BUFFET TUNING

On all Buffet clarinets, the throat tones are high, as is the top of the
clarion register. They do this deliberately. If they did not, the
overtones would be low and the tone wouldn't ring.

You correct sharp throat tones by pulling out the barrel, lengthening
the bore and creating a gap between the bottom of the lower barrel
socket and the tenon. It's designed for you to do this. By doing so,
you correct the pitch, but the overtones stay in tune. If you use a
tuning ring, it will make less difference in the throat tones, while
lowering the high clarion and leaving the overtones out of tune.
Preferably, you should never use a tuning ring. The only exception is
where the throat tones are in tune and the high clarion is quite sharp.

Similarly, if the middle clarion (from G on down) is too high, pull out
the middle joint, and do not use a tuning ring.

European Models

Buffet says that it makes its European models (with an F at the
beginning of the serial number) at A 444, whereas its US models are at
442. Actually, the instruments are identical. The only difference is
that the barrels are 1 mm. shorter.

The RC and Festival models are identical. The only differences between
these models and the R-13 are:
-- The register vent is 3 mm. higher.
-- On the upper joint, the ring finger hole and the C#/G# key are
slightly (I think he said 1.5 mm.) lower.
-- The lower joint is 3.8 mm. longer, and the conical area is slightly
longer.
[-- Note that Francois Kloc gives slightly different measurements.
<http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klarinet/1999/07/001212.txt>. ]

RC/Festival vs. R13

I said that the polycylindrical area in the upper joint was different on
the RC and Festival, with two steps rather than three. Guy demanded to
know where I had heard this, because he didn't know anything about it.
I said that Francois Kloc had written about it. Guy retreated slightly,
but still said he hadn't heard this.

The RC/Festival design makes the upper clarion notes lower (i.e., in
tune), at the expense of the throat Bb, which is poor.

High F and F#

All Buffets are flat on altissimo F and F#. In passages slow enough for
this to be heard, open the right-hand sliver key.

Chadash Clarinet

Guy said that his ideal tone comes from the original R-13, made from
1955 to about 1965, when there was a change in design. His Chadash
clarinets are very close to this design, with corrected intonation,
particularly in the high clarion. <http://www.chadashclarinet.com/>.

*MOENNIG VS. CHADASH BARRELS

The Moennig and Chadash barrels supplied by Buffet both have a reverse
taper, smaller at the bottom than the top. They have the same diameter
at the bottom, but the Moennig is larger at the top and thus has a more
severe taper. The tapered bore improves tuning and focuses the tone.

Guy said that Moennig himself used the greater taper but also made the
barrel's top socket deeper, which increased the volume of the bore.
Buffet's Moennig barrels don't have this and thus don't work as well as
the Chadash barrels, which are designed to have no gap at the top.

*BORE OIL

Like Francois Kloc, Guy advises against using bore oil. It only raises
the grain or "burr" of the wood. This lets the wood absorb **more**
water and swell more, not less.

*HYDRATION

The bore gets plenty of water. Where the instrument needs moisture is
on the outside. Absorption of water in the bore causes swelling from
the inside and can lead to cracks. You need to hydrate the wood from
the outside. DampIts don't hold enough water. Guy uses drug store
sponges, which he slices thin with a razor blade.

*WOOD

Today, wood is cured for a short time, using heat and oil, both of which
make it unstable.

Up to 50 years ago, all wood was aged outdoors for 10 years. Then the
billets were turned on a lathe from square to oversize round, and an
undersize bore was drilled. Then the wood was aged for 10 more years
outdoors, in the wind, snow and rain. As a result, many billets
cracked, but they would also have cracked as finished instruments. The
surviving billets were completely stable. It's not that they wouldn't
absorb water. It's that when they dried out, they would return to
exactly the original dimension.

Grenadilla/mpingo is by far the best wood for clarinets, due to its
density, hardness, resistance to water and the fact that it doesn't
crack along the grain.. No crack you ever see will follow the grain.

When wood is sufficiently seasoned, after playing the bore returns to
exactly reamer-size overnight as it dries.

*BLOW-OUT

Clarinet blow-out exists. It comes from oversize areas in the bore,
which do not return to reamer-size due to insufficient seasoning and
curing with heat and oil.

*PLASTIC

I noted that the finest flutes are made of metal, Heckel bassoons are
lined with bakelite, Loree oboes are available with plastic upper joints
(at a higher price) and that all Laubin oboes are lined with plastic and
have plastic chimneys for the tone holes. I asked whether a
satisfactory plastic clarinet could be made.

Guy said he had tried many Buffet Greenlines but did not like the
material. For him, there is too much resistance, and the tone does not
"ring." However, hard rubber (the same material used in mouthpieces) is
just as good as wood

*****
*****CONCERT*****
*****

Mark Nuccio played "Tribute to Bach" from a newly published set called
"Tributes" by Bela Kovacs. It was a tonal composition combining themes
=66rom several Bach solo suites for violin and cello. Mark also played
"Three Etudes on Themes by Gershwin" by Paul Harvey.

This was good music, and Mark played wonderfully. He has a sound unlike
anyone else, and it was round and consistent throughout the range and at
all dynamics. He has perfect intonation, a full sound even at ppp and
an even scale and smooth technique. For him, the mechanics are
automatic, and his full attention was on phrasing and communication with
the audience.

David Hattner and Daniel Spitzer played Sonata for Two Clarinets by Alan
Hovhaness and the more familiar Sonata for Two Clarinets by Poulenc.
They are very fine players, perfectly matched in sound and style. They
were particularly witty in the final movement of the Poulenc.

=46inally Mark Nuccio (Eb), Daniel Spitzer (Bb), David Gould (Bb) and
David Hattner (bass) played "Thema de Maria" by Astor Piazzola and
"Liza" by George Gershwin. Once again, everyone was perfectly matched.
Mark showed why he was chosen to play Eb in the NY Philharmonic. His
tone and control were remarkable.

*****
*****MARK NUCCIO
*****

Mark's master class was on orchestral solos.

*CAPRICCIO ESPAGNOL

Don't practice this from an excerpt book. Use the full part. The solos
are almost always required at auditions, and they put out the full part.
You need everything going your way, and seeing something familiar is a
big help. Also, the audition committee will sometimes ask you for
lead-ins and lead-outs, which aren't in the excerpt books, and you need
to know them.

Even though the opening solo is marked "ff con forza," start slightly
softer than your loudest and swell through the first phrase. Play 3%
less, work up to your loudest, and then go 3% more. This will stretch
your ability to play loud. The solo is problematic. You have 30 string
players, all frustrated soloists, working against you. Nobody can cut
through if the strings decide it's their solo. You need to play a bit
softer and get the conductor to rein in the strings.

The first four trills in the opening solo always have two beats. The
ones after that have one beat. It's important to accent and separate
the single-beat trills.

In the second movement, you can't play or even practice the solos in
isolation. You absolutely must go through a recording while following a
score. Your solos passages are identical twins with those played by the
concertmaster. A violinist plays a ricochet on the fast arpeggios,
which you can't do. You have to find a way to match the violinistic
devices and then get together with the concertmaster and work out how
you're going to match one another.

In the solo with the big ascending (and then ascending/descending)
arpeggios, the weight should always be on the first note. Feel the
depth of the first notes. The low note in each ascending arpeggio must
be full and round. You have to get all the way to the bottom to get
started.

*SCHEHERAZADE

When you learn the first movement cadenzas, work from the score. The
string pizzicatos between the cadenzas are a vital part of the music.
They build the drama from each cadenza to the next. You have to be
aware of the strings and let them do their work. Don't play too loud or
dramatically in the first cadenza. You have to give yourself somewhere
to go. =20

The first two long notes in each cadenza should be strictly in tempo, at
the same speed as the pizzicatos. At the end of each cadenza, the final
note and its pickup are in the following tempo.

Use the side key, not the sliver key, for each Bb. If your right index
=66inger is long, you may have trouble reaching the side key. The
solution is to bend the tab so that it slants out.

*BRAHMS 4TH, SECOND MOVEMENT

This solo is quite long, and thus the audition committee won't ask for
it until the finals. At that point, they already know you can play the
notes. What they're looking for is phrasing and personality.

The challenge is to keep a strong underlying beat and precise rhythm,
while still being peaceful and calm. It's a killer for breathing.
Practice the entire long sequence, planning your breaths and feeling the
underlying rhythm. However, it's also important to feel the pulse in
your mind without permitting any pulse in the air.

*DANCES OF GALANTA

The long solo in Kodaly's Dances of Galanta is difficult technically and
even more difficult musically. It's not enough to play the notes
perfectly. You have to understand how this kind of music works and
phrase it coherently.

Remember that this is a dance. Hungarian dances typically use a
long-short rhythm, and this occurs constantly in the Kodaly.

You must keep the underlying dance flow, which is about 76. Keeping the
tempo keeps the conductor happy. You of course use rubato, but you
can't just slow down. You have to let it flow faster than the basic
tempo as well as slower.

Resolve the trills. Stop them a little early. Then start the rips a
bit slower and accelerate.

*SHOSTAKOVICH 5TH, Eb SOLO

Mark is the Eb clarinet player in the New York Philharmonic and coached
the Eb solo in the second movement of the Shostakovich 5th.

This movement has a grotesque quality, but you still must play
musically. Don't shriek, and use plenty of legato.

Hear the opening C# clearly in your head before you play, and diminuendo
down the first two bars.

In the upward slurs, hold the high notes full length. For the first one
(up to altissimo C#), try it in the clarion with the left index finger
(like the F# below).

*GENERAL WISDOM

Mark uses a Glandale barrel on his Eb (as did Ted Johnson in Cleveland).
They may not be made any more.

The right sound is the one that lets the person next to you clearly
determine the pitch.

It's important to find the right mouthpiece. Chris Hill's Zinner-blank
mouthpieces set a high standard. Mark plays a 1930s Charles Chedeville,
which he got only recently.

Ligatures don't make much difference. They can only detract. Mark
recommends the Bonade and also likes the Spriggs.

Remember that we're wind players. When you're scared, it's tempting to
back off on the wind, to make mistakes less obvious. But that just
makes it harder. Keep the air pressure steady.

Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect. Anyone
can play any passage perfectly at sight. Just play it at 1/8 speed.
NEVER PRACTICE FASTER THAN PERFECT. Anything else is just practicing
how to make mistakes.

*****
*****VANDOREN and BUFFET PRESENTATIONS
*****

The symposium ended with a presentation by David Gould of Vandoren on
the reed and mouthpiece production process and a question and answer
session on the state of the business by Chris Coppinger of Buffet.

=46inally, Mark Sloss did a magnificent job organizing the Symposium and
keeping everything running smoothly. We're all greatly in his debt.

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