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 Speaking of altissimo
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-02-14 03:08

If you thought you've heard it all then just sit back and experience this... Youtube....search under Carmen Fantasy clarinet.....clarinetist's name is Mate Bekavac.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Tom A 
Date:   2008-02-14 03:39

Impossible. They're squeaks that just happen to match the written melody exactly.

Is there a "jealousy" smiley?

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: ChrisArcand 
Date:   2008-02-14 03:50

That is incredible. Thanks for the post....CA

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Liam Murphy 
Date:   2008-02-14 08:13



Arnoldstang,

Thanks for notifying us of these clips. Youtube really is a fantastic place to find incredible videos. Whenever I think that I've watched every one to be seen, more are posted like this.

This is the first time that I've ever heard Mate Bekavac, and he really does seem to be a true pioneer of clarinet playing. Anyone that reciprocates what they've obtained from music in the form of either, composition/arrangement, Inspiration of other players, Inspiring composers to write for them etc. have my eternal respect.

Thanks again,

Liam



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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: rsholmes 
Date:   2008-02-14 13:21

Incredible.

Here are the links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrS-CanzAtU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FL8PGUfHQs

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2008-02-14 13:24

Well...I think the only techniques that I didn't see were circular breathing, multiphonics, and double tonguing.

Excellent performance! I wonder whether classical performances of his that do not lend themselves to "ethnic" techniques are played more traditionaly? (This is mere curiosity, not implied slight).

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Wayne 
Date:   2008-02-14 16:47

Thanks for the catch ! Amazing playing ! It looked to me that he did circular breath for some passages and not for others. In fact, it almost looked like his cheeks puffed out to support some of the altissimo notes but I'm really not sure. What most caught my eye was how relaxed his lips and face appeared when he hit those very high sustained noted. Amazing stuff !

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2008-02-14 17:01


Neat parlor tricks!

[Donning helmet, body armour, and flame-proof coveralls.)

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2008-02-14 17:04

Hey Bmcgar,

That guy has one heck of a parlour! (if parlour tricks they were). I wonder what the rest of his house looks like?

James (in good fun)

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2008-02-14 17:30

James,

I DO understand that your comment was in good fun, so don't misunderstand that.

However, the point that I hoped readers would get from my quip was that, although the player's mastery of all this high altissimo stuff, circular breathing, and other "special techniques" inspires respect, awe, envy, hero worship maybe, and so forth, at least for me it has no staying power musically.

I'm not saying that Bekavac's isn't a fine player, but it would be nice, for once, for people to go ga-ga over a player doing particularly good job with some "straight" piece, played with particular finesse and musicality.

Fireworks wear thin pretty quickly for me.

(My posts on this topic, btw, were spurred by a student of mine who came for a lesson last night. She stubbornly refuses, week after week, to really work on her clarinet sound, yet she's hot to learn circular breathing so she can amaze her friends, now that she's heard Robert Spring do it.)

Oh well.

B.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: GBK 
Date:   2008-02-14 17:39

bmcgar wrote:

> at least for me it has no staying power musically.



I found it incredibly impressive, with enormous technical prowess and VERY musical.

I would also venture to say that the average non-clarinetist, aside from not fully comprehending how difficult some of the extended altissimo work was, would find this MUCH more enjoyable and long-lasting than listening to yet another performance of the Mozart Concerto...GBK



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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-02-14 17:50

On one website he lists an email address. I'll email him and see if he would be interested in answering a few questions on the bulletin board. This is assuming of course the moderators are ok with this.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2008-02-14 17:56

Hello B,

I am happy to commiserate with you on the frustrations of attempting to instruct young students on the "subtlety" of good sound. We could both speculate endlessly on reasons why it is hard to get them to concentrate on an aspect of playing that is fundamentally essential...

I thougth Bekavac expressed the music quite well, and I will speculate that (at least on my behalf) I think that ten years from now I will still enjoy it.

From my earliest post on this thread, I was curious about Bekavac's more classical performances. I think it we would both be interested to hear if his "parlour" tricks are put aside for a more conservative work.

But to your point about music fans going ga-ga over "legit" (in heavy quotations) clarinet performances: There was a long thread that just argued over such a performance by Julian Bliss.

I wonder if, in twenty years, we'll still be dividing clarinet performances into mainly classical vs. mainly modern, or will it be accepted by most as mainly clarinet performance?

James

Gnothi Seauton

Post Edited (2008-02-14 17:58)

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-02-14 19:06

He is quite good!!! Parlor tricks or not, but was quite musical and he had a lot of control.

He was basically in super high note gear as when he was playing a D#-E trill it squeaked a harmonic which no way would have happened if he was playing something easy like the Mozart Concerto. (range wise that is.........  ;)

I wonder what his setup is?


Very nice playing

btw, I did an arrangement on my page (midi) of a version of that (Bizet Var on Carmen)

http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Music/Blumberg.html

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


Post Edited (2008-02-14 19:07)

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-02-14 19:10

email to Mate failed.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-02-15 00:07

It's very interesting. It reminds me of a Carmen Fantasy i have for clt and piano by a French person, can't remember the name and don't have the music at hand right now.

He wasn't circular breathing. When he was puffing his cheeks out it was so he could get his teeth on the reed or all the stuff from D upwards. Ths is the only way to get those notes which are essentially harmonics.

I enjoyed the version but it sounded like his was losing a little control in the coda at the end. Other than that, very good. Where can I get that arrangement??

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-02-15 00:21

Peter - is it Borne?

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-02-15 06:45

I liked it and thought he was a very good player and the music was very good too. IMO the entire thing was a little too long and repeatitive, and also some parts weren't exactly together, but it definitely had amazing moments!

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-02-15 13:48

I'll try to get in contact with him. I think he plays with one of the artists I do management for in Slovenia.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: hans 
Date:   2008-02-15 16:02

Arnoldstang,

Thanks for that. It was very enjoyable.

Regards,
Hans

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: crnichols 
Date:   2008-02-15 16:16

This is very fine playing! His mastery of the altissimo superieure is impressive.

Christopher Nichols, D.M.A.
Assistant Professor of Clarinet
University of Delaware

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: janlynn 
Date:   2008-02-15 16:30

Fantastick. loved it!

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-02-16 15:28

re Peter Cigleris and teeth on the reed. I assume Peter has dealt with this before. Assuming one wants to incorporate this technique , how do you accomplish the transition from the standard embouchure to teeth on the reed without resetting? Mate does it so smoothly. Obviously it isn't a problem if there are rests.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-02-17 23:52

Arnoldstang, playing with teeth on the reed requires a fair amount of practice, time and energy. The method involves moving the lower lip gradually till there is no lip left and the teeth are exposed to the reed. I found when learning this whilst at college that to play anything higher that altissimo D I needed less lip contact and to get up to altissimo G like the one in the recording and in The Seven Brightnesses by Maxwell Davies, teeth lightly on the heart of the reed worked well. A great deal of control is needed with the embouchure as the harmonics are so close together in that area. In a way it's rather like the brass technique of pitching notes.

How do you reset the embouchure?

Well that depends on you the performer. I developed a way that worked for me but it did involved lifting. The performer in the video clip does this also by way of puffing out his cheeks and relaxing the embouchure. I haven't used teeth on the reed stuff for a long time as I got most of that out of my system at college performing contempory and avant-garde stuff. I'll have a go again in my practice session tomorrow and see if I can be anymore clearer about how to do it. Read the section in the Cambridge Guide by Roger Heaton, he mentions it briefly.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-02-18 17:37

I wrote Clarinetist Joze Kotar in Slovenia and he didn't have his e-mail address.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: bcl1dso 
Date:   2008-02-29 02:32

I dont believe that you have to put your teeth on the reed to get those notes, however it makes it easier. I can get a up to an F with still a normal embouchure. Still this performance was absolutely incredible! He really has no limit!

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-02-29 07:51

Teeth on the reed is a standard comtempory technique. I can also get up to an Eb and F on a good day without putting teeth on the reed but for the G it is the only way.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Curinfinwe 
Date:   2008-10-01 14:53

I don't think circular breathing is necessarily a flashy parlour trick- I learned how to do it because I was having difficulties with sustained passages in some songs, and it really wasn't that hard.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-10-01 16:13

David,

The arrangement I have is Louis Petit (I think?). I've moved addresses so it's in a huge pile of music which really needs to be catalogued.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: buedsma 
Date:   2008-10-03 06:51

indeed : which arrangement was it ?? any ideas someone ??

===snip=========================

Author: cigleris (---.popl.adsl.virgin.net - ISP in London, H9 United Kingdom)
Date: 2008-02-15 00:07

It's very interesting. It reminds me of a Carmen Fantasy i have for clt and piano by a French person, can't remember the name and don't have the music at hand right now.

He wasn't circular breathing. When he was puffing his cheeks out it was so he could get his teeth on the reed or all the stuff from D upwards. Ths is the only way to get those notes which are essentially harmonics.

I enjoyed the version but it sounded like his was losing a little control in the coda at the end. Other than that, very good. Where can I get that arrangement??

Peter Cigleris
http://www.canteloubetrio.com
<www.morgensterns.com>

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-03 11:59

Peter- "Teeth on the reed is a standard comtempory technique. I can also get up to an Eb and F on a good day without putting teeth on the reed but for the G it is the only way."
-
Not trying to pick a fight or anything, but G can be performed without teeth on the reed. I do it everyday in my warm up.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-10-03 13:17

Well Skygardener,

If you can play G'''' without putting teeth on the reed then you either have a crazy hard setup or your just a better player than me.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-10-03 14:04

Hopefully you don't live close to your neighbors practicing that stuff  :)

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-03 15:04

>> If you can play G'''' without putting teeth on the reed then you either
>> have a crazy hard setup or your just a better player than me.

I don't know if that's what you really meant, but of course being able to play that G doesn't make someone a better player. The way someone who is able to play that G is using that might make someone a better player depending on how the other player is using whatever it is they are playing without that high G. In the same way that someone can make great music with three notes comapred with someone who makes terrible music with four.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-10-03 15:19

Circus tricks

Entertaining though

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-03 20:13

My setup is on the soft side. This summer I was practicing on a B40 with VD blue box 2.5 reeds and I had no trouble playing G; playing with 2 though, was too soft and I could not get past E.
If playing that high makes me better, thanks, but since there is not really any music for it, the point is moot. All other aspects of my playing (the stuff that you actually see in music) are rather average.
=(

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-10-03 21:38

Skygardener,

Perhaps we have are wires crossed. Which G were you refering to? I was refering to the super G (one octave higher than altissimo G), the one you find in The Severn Brightnesses by Peter Maxwell Davies, it's on the last page if I remember rightly.

Anyway it doesn't really matter we only really need to play up to altissimo C, there's not many pieces which require higher than that.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-10-03 21:39

Skygardener,

Perhaps we have our wires crossed. Which G were you refering to? I was refering to the super G (one octave higher than altissimo G), the one you find in The Severn Brightnesses by Peter Maxwell Davies, it's on the last page if I remember rightly.

Anyway it doesn't really matter we only really need to play up to altissimo C, there's not many pieces which require higher than that.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-03 21:57

Yes, we are talking about the same G. Thus, a 4 octave G major scale is possible

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-10-03 22:03

I can get the 5th octave g, but only my dog can hear it.......





(kidding)

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-03 22:14

Poor dog... ;)

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-04 07:30

>> If playing that high makes me better, thanks, but since
>> there is not really any music for it, the point is moot.

I guess you are right in this specific case, but I guess always I have a problem with that philosophy.... I don't consider there is such a thing as "there is not really any music for it", where "it" is some sort of possibility on the instrument. It all depends on what you do with "it". Some musicians decide what to do, as opposed to play what there is already to play, in terms of ideas. Of course I don't mean one way is better than the other, but I think it's it's better to always allow all ways as options. Possibly this is not your philosophy at all, but that's what was implied from your post.

>> Anyway it doesn't really matter we only really need to play up to altissimo C

SAme thing... could be completely correct in some cases, but this is blocking a lot of other ideas that exist in music. I don't consider there is any note that "we only really need really need to play up to". This is fine for a specific situation but nothing too general.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-10-04 09:41

I was joking, a bit. I actually started experementing with the higher high notes after buying a piece that went to second E. Never performed it, but after I was able the play that E I thought, "What about F?"...
It is a useful skill for me as I use it to determine equipment quality. If I can't play those notes I assume I may be missing some upper resonance. Maybe it's the reed or the lig or something else, but I don't feel like I have a "complete" sound if those upper notes don't come out.
Ps. I can't do it if I am using a lip protector on my lower teeth.



Post Edited (2008-10-04 09:43)

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2008-10-04 11:49

Clarinbass

I agree with you, I was really making a general comment refering to 'standard' repertoire both solo and orchestral. Of course there really are no limits on what you decide to do as a performer, it's just finding the means to do it.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2008-10-04 12:35

I'm sure you didn't mean what was implied from your posts. I guess my problem was with how you described what you meant and not what you actually meant. And for the high note "needed", I actually meant limit in both directions, in case that wasn't clear.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: leon kajon 
Date:   2009-06-07 01:14

actually he does breathe circulary and double tounges if you listen more carefully. i've heard him two times live , and had a masterclass with im in Serbia. HE IS THE KING OF CLARINET

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: reedwizard 
Date:   2009-06-07 18:59

Cool the Maynard Ferguson of the clarinet!

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 Mate Bekavac
Author: Robert Moody 
Date:   2009-10-16 23:50

Absolutely amazing, inspiring and humbling.

I can only imagine the lonely hours spent on that kind of technique and skill.

Then again, you'd HAVE to be in love to spend those hours. Maybe he was not lonely.

Salute to Mate.

Robert Moody
http://www.musix4me.com
Free Clarinet Lessons and Digital Library!

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Rapidcif 
Date:   2009-10-17 18:05

ok i am a stupid animal. Ive been playing clarinet for 4 years and i've always thought the highest note you could play was altissimo G.... Does anyone have a fingering chart for notes over altissimo G?

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: mrn 
Date:   2009-10-17 18:45

Rapidcif wrote:

> ok i am a stupid animal. Ive been playing clarinet for 4 years
> and i've always thought the highest note you could play was
> altissimo G.... Does anyone have a fingering chart for notes
> over altissimo G?

There's one on this site, actually:

http://www.wfg.woodwind.org

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: cornellouis 
Date:   2011-12-19 17:55

It seems to me that if a student is excited about circular breathing, then you should encourage it. If she gets good at circular breathing, then great. One day she'll realize she sounds like crap for long amounts of time before taking a breath, and then she'll work on tone.

In all my time with the clarinet in middle school / high school, it seems like everybody was just telling me how I should play the clarinet instead of asking me what I wanted to sound like. This attitude crushes the passion inside. The clarinet is just a tool to express the sound I want. It's not an art to be mastered. It's a wood stick you use to make new art. Who cares if you play a piece *correctly* -- I only care if you play it *beautifully.* My greatest joy with the clarinet was learning glissando on my own. Without a good handle on glissando, I feel like you really don't have control of the instrument.

I think this guy sounds fantastic. Bravo to him for the amazing technique.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2011-12-19 22:50

This guy is using fascinating tricks on his clarinet but give me a good piccolo player anyday.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: derf5585 
Date:   2014-04-29 03:39

Just saw video. At about 1 minute 50 seconds of the second video it looks as if he takes something out of his pocket and puts in the mouthpiece area. Pine Tar?

fsbsde@yahoo.com

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: JonTheReeds 
Date:   2014-05-03 10:28

This is an interesting video - a lot of great textures and sounds and some serious chops

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=530fCnJujRE

--------------------------------------
The older I get, the better I was

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: Funfly 
Date:   2014-05-03 18:58

Thanks for opening this thread again.
Interesting performance and I hear that he is a brilliant 'normal' player.
Is this style unique to this performance or is it a genre?

Martyn Thatcher Mature Student Cheshire U.K.
Clarinet - Yamaha SE Custom
Alto Sax - Yamaha YAS 480
Guitar - Yamaha FG 375-S

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2014-05-03 22:32


Am I the only one not at all envious of people who can play in the extreme ranges, double- or triple-tongue, circular breathe, and all the rest--nor particularly impressed?

I never saw a musical need for any of these things.

But then again, I'm a geezer.

B.

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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2014-05-03 22:36

I'm messing with the Lindberg Clarinet Concerto - it uses all of the above.

Envy not needed, but techniques - oh yes

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.ClarinetLessonOnline.com


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 Re: Speaking of altissimo
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2014-05-04 08:02

Guess, before everything else, one has to want to play these pieces.

At my age there's too much music that requires only "conventional" techniques that I want to play yet--or again-- without dealing with that stuff.

Maybe if I were 20 again. (Or maybe 40?)

(I learned circular breathing and double-tonguing when I was young, but never used it. But that was back in the stone age when the Martino was considered difficult.)

B.



Post Edited (2014-05-04 08:03)

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