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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000042.txt from 2011/04

From: "Dan Leeson" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Strav Three Pieces
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:39:08 -0400

I probably missed much of this discussion due to having to write six sets of
program notes for a bunch of next summer's concerts, so my little story may
have already been told.

Margaret is right and for another reason as well.

I believe that Stravinsky was sitting observing a clarinetist (whose name I
do not remember) rehearse his evening performance with an afternoon tryout.
He played on one clarinet.

Stravinsky interrupted him in the second movement, admonishing him for using
the wrong clarinet and saying something to the effect that, "I wrote the
piece for A clarinet with a purpose in mind and I expect it to be played on
an A clarinet."

The story is apocryphal but I have seen it in someone's biography.

Dan Leeson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Margaret Thornhill" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] Strav Three Pieces

> With respect to transposing the Stravinsky Three Pieces to be played on
> one
> clarinet:
> The entire work is a study in timbre from dark to bright. The first
> movement
> starts in the dark low register of the A clarinet, the middle movement
> explores the upper ranges of the A, the third ends the work with the
> brilliant color of the upper register of the B-flat clarinet. I am certain
> this was Stravinsky's object in asking for the instrument changes, more so
> than any range concerns.
> Transposition of this work is therefore a sort of violation of the music,
> since the instruments are to be heard sequentially, and alone.
> Margaret Thornhill
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