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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000227.txt from 2010/05

From: Martin Baxter <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Clarinet in C
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 13:52:46 -0400

What do you use for the Mozart Quintet?
On 24 May 2010, at 10:49, corvo di bassetto wrote:

> Yeah, but how about having a historically correct clarinet made? Strauss did not write for Boehm system instruments and the C clarinet called for by Schubert has very little in common with the kind of instrument discussed here. Would that not also produce a "sonic character that is not what the composer had in mind"?
> To me this problem is indeed so severe, that I can hardly play French music written in 1925 on anything but a French clarinet made in around 1925. This would of cause be entirely inappropriate (even though I use Albert instruments) for Brahms. Sure enough, various clarinets, being quite different in feel, intonation, keywork, produce enormous problems if you have to switch all the time, hence I am afraid this would not be an option for a regular orchestra musician. On the same line it appears a practical solution that if you have to play on modern standard instruments with the capacity to play difficult passages in x flats or sharps, why not play everything on the e-flat and Bb you are used to? It won't be historically correct anyway yet at least well executed. I am hearing a lot of historically "authentic" performances with a level of technical proficiency so low it is certainly not what the composers wanted either.
> Best regards
> danyel
> Am 22.05.2010 um 19:47 schrieb Dan Leeson:
>> I almost never played the piccolo clarinet parts. I did Til Eulenspiegel
>> once on an E-flat, and one of the Mahler symphonies also on E-flat though
>> the part called for a D. But if I were playing today, I would have a D made
>> for me.
>> I do not think that my conception of what instrument to play on is more
>> finely attuned than the composer's perception. In effect, the use of a
>> clarinet pitch not called for by the composer runs the risk of producing a
>> sonic character that is not what the composer had in mind.
>> Dan
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Martin Baxter" <>
>> To: "The Klarinet Mailing List" <>
>> Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2010 10:31 AM
>> Subject: Re: [kl] Clarinet in C
>>> On this topic Dan how do you feel about D clarinet parts being played, as
>>> they almost always are, on the Eflat clarinet.
>>> Martin
>>> On 21 May 2010, at 23:48, Dan Leeson wrote:
>>>> And some 15 years ago, when I first began banging on the C clarinet drum
>>>> on
>>>> this web site, suggesting that clarinetists had no business deciding
>>>> which
>>>> to use when playing but should respect the composer's request, there was
>>>> a
>>>> great deal of rejection of my philosophy. I may have been a prophet
>>>> ahead
>>>> of my time. Every symphonic clarinetist should have an A, B-flat, and C
>>>> clarinet at all gigs. It should be a condition of employment.
>>>> Dan Leeson
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Keith Bowen" <>
>>>> To: "'The Klarinet Mailing List'" <>
>>>> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 3:30 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [kl] Clarinet in C
>>>>> I have had an Amati C for several years, and also bought two in Prague
>>>>> for
>>>>> US friends. They do play nicely and are incredible value. I did some
>>>>> work
>>>>> on
>>>>> the intonation (following Clark Fobes valuable advice on his website);
>>>>> the
>>>>> oldest one needed a lot of work, but the more recent ones very little.
>>>>> They
>>>>> have had strong development in the last few years. They really are fine
>>>>> for
>>>>> the use you describe, and the conductor of my pro-am orchestra commented
>>>>> favourably when I and the professional first used them in Beethoven 5.
>>>>> He
>>>>> felt the different sound quality was striking and important. I have
>>>>> played
>>>>> them against the cheaper Noblets and Buffets and prefer the Amatis.
>>>>> I have recently indulged myself in a Wurlitzer C to match my Reform
>>>>> Boehm
>>>>> A
>>>>> and Bb, but that is because I am playing more Harmoniemusik, in which C
>>>>> is
>>>>> very common and exposed. And it was an indulgence.
>>>>> There are hundreds of works that call for the C. Clarinet manuals
>>>>> throughout
>>>>> the nineteenth century remark on the different tone: more penetrating
>>>>> and
>>>>> brighter, and how composers must allow for this. It is, in my view, a
>>>>> mistake to try to make a C sound like a Bb, or to play the parts on a
>>>>> Bb.
>>>>> Keith Bowen
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