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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000400.txt from 2010/11

From: Martin Baxter <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Sabine Meyer
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 07:58:36 -0500

On 25 Nov 2010, at 05:35, Shaw, Tim wrote:

First, "bassett" is just a description meaning a "miniature bass" - independent of keywork & even instrument - (e.g. a bassett nicolo is a tenor crumhorn or shawm)

I agree that Meyer's movements look a bit ridiculous (and I also prefer the more interesting sound of the earlier instruments played by competent players)
- but it's infinitely more ridiculous to claim that she & Frost are "totally incompetent because they don't even play the proper instrument".
I also agree on the need for a sense of history - So how does Danyel classify players of previous generations like (e.g.) Leopold Wlach, Gervase de Peyer Simeon Bellison, Reginald Kell to name just a few - who didn't play on the "proper instruments"? - or Romero, Mazzeo and others who designed their own instruments? ("totally incompetent"?)
As for clothes (and gestures, which have nothing to do with the quality of playing) - "rotten taste" is a matter of opinion. Frost's outfit, for example, is remarkably restrained compared to Scandinavian national costumes which are an integral part of a very old culture.
In general I agree with you, but as one who finds too much body movement totally distracting I do think many younger players seem unaware of how much they move.
I once saw a video of myself conducting and realised that I would probably get better results if I stood still. (I did!) The excessive body movements while playing were once confined to a few oboists. Now some younger players seem to be trying to outdo them. May I ask all players who perform in public try to get a video of at least one performance by themselves, watch it and think whether their gyrations add to or detract from the effect of their performance.

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