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 Help - Solo de Concours
Author: TomD 
Date:   2010-06-10 18:22

In Solo de Concours by Andre Messsager, referring to the 14th measure of the Andante (the start of the sextuplets), the very first sextuplet gives me trouble going from throat Bb to the left hand C at faster speeds. Is this just a matter of practice, practice, practice or are there any tips to help out with this? I know that keeping the wind going over the break is really important. I have small fingers so if I don't cover all of the holes perfectly when going to the 'C', it's ruined. I am playing a Yamaha CSG-h. Can setup such as ring height be important here? Thanks for any help

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-06-16 13:26

I knew this would be an easy answer, but I was separated from my music for a week and just wanted to be sure.

The passage in question is awkward mainly since it doesn't follow a typical scale/arpeggio pattern but the left C is not an uncommon problem in itself. It goes without saying that you're doing the "Bb" as just "Register Key" and "A Key."

I've never enjoyed these "Frenchified" sextuplets!

..............Paul Aviles

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2010-06-16 20:05

I have been practising this today, and I've come to the conclusion that it's difficult because our fingers are well-trained on scales and because the sequence is not a scale of anything in particular our fingers stumble. Do you find it difficult playing Bb-C under normal circumstances? I guess if you are tackling this piece that the answer is no! So why should it be difficult? I think it's the notes before and after that start to confuse matters.

I have been practising by setting the metronome really slow and moving up one notch at a time. It's a bit laborious but I think it's working.

On another note, any tips for the trill on C5? I am fine on the high C trill but the little finger trill makes my little finger sieze up no matter which side I try to do it on.

Post Edited (2010-06-16 20:14)

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-06-16 20:14

Dear Plonk,

If you have "seizing" my guess is that your finger is straight and should be much better if you can curve your finger more. If it's already curved, I have no further non-medical advice.

For the record, I usually do better on the left for longer "C" trills.

....................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: TomD 
Date:   2010-06-18 13:16

Regarding my original question, one thing I have noticed is that when playing with a reed that blows freely in the low register but is somewhat resistant in the clarion, it makes going from the Bb to C difficult due to the sudden change in resistance. Is it acceptable to use the SLIGHTEST bit of rubato to make sure the C comes out? In the video of Julian Bliss playing this at 12, he starts this section at a quick pace but I have seen others that start it more slowly.

As far as the C trill, my pinky fingers are short so I can't bend it and reach the key thus it is straight out and I have problems with it. Can't trill very fast or for very long but I sometimes use the left hand C.

BTW, I don't know who this guy is but I think this is a pretty nice rendition, IMHO. Maybe his dynamics could be better in parts and some of his throat tones sound a bit out of tune but the audio of these videos is not great.

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2010-06-18 14:14

I love that performance - the Bliss one is good but a bit frantic at times, I feel. Jose Franch-Ballester makes it look like a walk in the park!

I doubt that a bit of rubato would offend anyone or even be noticed particularly, and if it solves your problem I'd go for it. I am always a fan of finding the easy way out though!

In that clip, F-B has really puffed out cheeks - is that circular breathing?

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: mrn 
Date:   2010-06-18 23:32 thing you could try is to put your right hand down (including the RH C key) on the Bb, add the LH C key right after you cross the break (so you're playing the C with both pinkies) and then lift the RH pinky up right before the Eb to transfer it to the Eb key.

It's a little more complicated than simply playing it on the left, but it might turn out to be smoother.

The other thing I would definitely do is to try to think "crescendo" as you go up. If you back off on the air as you cross the break the resistance change will cause you problems. So you need a little more air on the Bb than normal to make the transition.

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-06-18 23:44

Dear TomD,

Thank you for posting this video. A wonderful performance from a true rising star of the clarinet.

Hmmmmmm.............. is that a Rossi I see??

................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: clarinete09 
Date:   2010-06-18 23:55

Yes I guess, he plays with rossi! anyway its sounds terrific!

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 Re: Help - Solo de Concours
Author: TomD 
Date:   2010-06-21 12:54


I really like in the first section, right after the cantabile about 27 measures in where the triplets start. In the video, he plays the first two measures of triplets about mf, then he takes the next section down to piano. I haven't heard others do this and I think it is very nice, very classy. It's a nice contrast IMHO.

mrn, I tried your suggestion of putting down the right hand C and it helps alot. Not sure why but thanks much!

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