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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000325.txt from 2005/04

From: Carol <carolames@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] Clarinet Symposium
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 12:08:10 -0400

Aad Overeem wrote:

>Dear Kenneth,
>
>What a fantastic report! Thank you very much! < i agree! Wish i had known this when i wsstill playing,!
>
>All the best,
>
>Aad Overeem
>Netherlands
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Shaw, Kenneth R." <krshaw@-----.com>
>To: <klarinet@-----.org>
>Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 10:16 PM
>Subject: [kl] Clarinet Symposium
>
>
>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?bio=Larry_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?cart=332239860
>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
>flow 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
>forward. 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
>
>Fingertips 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
>fingertip 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
>fingertips.
>-- 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
>fundamentals 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,
>from 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
>fingers 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
>for 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
>for 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/>.
>
>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? 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
>from 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.
>
>Finally 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.
>
>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
>finger 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.
>
>Finally, 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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