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 Rossini Oveture Question
Author: chamberguy 
Date:   2017-08-13 02:50

The overture to Barber of Seville (using the part found on IMSLP.ORG) is labeled 'in Do'. Does Rossini want it played on a C clarinet? I have one, but at rehearsal 14, the part says 'in La', indicating an A clarinet. So rather than play it on my C clarinet, I am inclined to play it on the B-flat up to rehearsal 14, transposing, and then switch to the A clarinet.

Advice? Reasons?



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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-08-13 03:15

So yes, you are reading the instructions correctly. I'm not sure why the part changing to Clarinet in A would influence your choice of instruments for dealing with the part in C. Is it just a matter of how many instruments you are having to carry and set up? It seems highly unlikely that you'd not be using the Bb at some other point during the concert anyway.

It's great to play the part on C Clarinet where indicated if you have a decent instrument and the other player does as well. Otherwise you'd probably want to play it transposed on the Bb for a more cohesive section sound.

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-13 03:26

Not so long ago that's probably how even principal clarinetists in major orchestras would have done it. If you have a C clarinet there's probably not much reason to play it on a Bb. I don't see that it lies better in F# minor-A Major than it does in E minor-G Major. So, I'd probably (and have since I've owned a C clarinet)) play the part the way it's written on C and A.

But if you're performing it and you're preparing for that, you might check about which version you'll be doing. Your mentioning rehearsal #14 as the switch to A clarinet makes me wonder if you're looking at the Original Version on IMSLP. The part I have here is the same as the Revised Version farther down the page at IMSLP. Among the obvious differences are that there are the 2 parts are separate, there are rehearsal letters instead of numbers (14 is I) and the change happens 13 bars before I (your 14). The music is a little different where the change happens in the revised version.

There may well be other differences - I only spotted that one because of your post. I don't think I've ever played the Original Version.

Karl

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: echi85 
Date:   2017-08-13 03:33

Personally, I would play the whole thing on A. I use my C clarinet regularly but if there's a quick switch where intonation will suffer, I will transpose of whatever clarinet I'm currently on.

I often find that I'm in easier keys as well. For example, if you transpose the Barber of Seville C clarinet part on A, it puts you in Bb major instead of A major. Just change the key and read bass clef. It works great for a lot of Rossini and Donizetti operas.

I've often wondered why composers wanted C or D clarinets, but I do try to use them when I see it. In this case, I would say for certain the solo sounds better on A vs C as it uses more open hole notes and also keeps you in G major vs E major. You would run into a pinky problem if you played the solo in C.

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-13 14:13

Rossini wrote a LOT for C Clarinet. His Operas are full of Clarinet in C and intended to be played on C.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.skypeclarinetlessons.com/about.html

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2017-08-13 16:01

The parts are C and A for this overture. In fact most of the opera is C with a little Bb and A.

I've always played the overture on A transposing the C for A. Some play the C on Bb or use a C.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

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 Re: Rossini Overture Question
Author: KenJarczyk 2017
Date:   2017-08-14 03:38

There are aome Music Directors/Conductors that seem to have a "thing" against the C clarinet. Under these, I've done the Rossini on Bb. The transcribed part is also on IMSLP.

Otherwise, I really believe that most composers knew what they wanted, and assigned parts to what they wished to hear. Unless directed by the conductor, I always bring the clarinets called for.

Ken Jarczyk
Woodwind Guy
Clarinets, Saxophones and I own several Flutes.

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-08-14 04:15

Do musicians commonly transpose while sight-reading?

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: chamberguy 
Date:   2017-08-15 21:42

Could you explain how you come to the conclusion that rossini intended his C parts to be played on a C clarinet?

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-16 02:16

It's always a good idea to follow the composer's original intention if possible. Each horn certainly has it's 'own' sound/quality. So, I'd always assume someone like Rossini would use a specific instrument to achieve the texture he desired.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Caroline Smale 2017
Date:   2017-08-16 02:19

I personaly would assume that if he intended for his Bb parts to be played on Bb and A parts on the A clarinet that it's completely logical to expect that ne wanted his C parts to be played on the C clarinet.
Why would he write them that way if he didn't intend that result ?



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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: elmo lewis 
Date:   2017-08-16 03:53

Rossini wrote a lot of music in a short amount of time, I doubt if he even considered the textures and which clarinet sounded like what.He was more interested in finishing the job on time. Also, the overture was almost always the last part of the opera to be composed (the singers needed to have their parts first so they could memorize them). Many times, the musicians didn't get the overture parts until a few days before the premier. Writing for C clarinet, when possible, would save a good deal of time during a hectic opera season.

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-16 03:54

I've never been a fan of the C Clarinet.


Too kazoo like for my taste

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.skypeclarinetlessons.com/about.html

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-16 04:59

elmo lewis wrote:

> Writing
> for C clarinet, when possible, would save a good deal of time
> during a hectic opera season.

Why?

Karl



Post Edited (2017-08-16 04:59)

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-16 05:05

DavidBlumberg wrote:

> I've never been a fan of the C Clarinet.
>
>
> Too kazoo like for my taste
>
That's your opinion, of course. But Rossini and many other composers, not to mention many clarinetists throughout history through the present day, may have disagreed with you. [wink]

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-08-16 05:47

How does the sound of modern instruments, equipment, and players correspond to what Rossini expected to hear? It seems possible the changes in clarinet sound in general since he composed are greater than the differences in the Bb/A/C instruments he was familiar with. For one thing, it's been said (and apparently demonstrated, though I only heard YouTube videos when I was thinking about it, and I didn't save them) that C clarinet playing today can sound much less bright than formerly was the case.

I don't see orchestration as the inscrutable work of mysterious gods. If you can make the part sound good and communicate effectively, that trumps having to follow the last tittle and jot of ink on the page whether it sounds better or not.

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-16 06:51

Philip Caron wrote:

> How does the sound of modern instruments, equipment, and
> players correspond to what Rossini expected to hear?

I suppose this is one argument in favor of performing on period instruments. If there was a difference - and it's hard to imagine there wasn't - among the native sounds of A, Bb and C clarinets in Rossini's time, then it seems irrelevant whether or not the difference among modern instruments is the same.

> I don't see orchestration as the inscrutable work of mysterious
> gods. If you can make the part sound good and communicate
> effectively, that trumps having to follow the last tittle and
> jot of ink on the page whether it sounds better or not.

The OP asked what players here would do and why. An argument can be made (and has been in this thread) that it's important to honor what the composer wrote, or that it isn't important, and that debate has been going here and on the Klarinet list forever. There are players who on both sides of the debate, and it seems to me that's what chamberguy was asking about. I don't think many players even in major orchestras used C clarinets during the first two-thirds or so of the 20th century. They transposed for convenience or to stay with a single warm instrument (rather than picking up a cold one) or because the key is better on something other than the composer specified or because they hated the sound and intonation of the available C clarinets. I don't think it was even an issue back then for most players. If you think the composer's instructions ought to be followed whenever possible, that is, I think, a fairly contemporary attitude and one about which many players can be quite dogmatic.

One thing is fairly certain - Rossini is not in a position to complain, whatever a player decides.

Karl

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-08-16 10:09

I've always questioned the composer. Mainly the birth date. So I tend to feel with older composers I will play the parts on a Bb clarinet. In this case with Rossini I've always used a Bb.

I'm very much with David on this. I don't like playing on C clarinets in general because like any clarinet they often need to be tuned up, new pads, undercutting, so it's paying $5000 for a decent horn which you may only use once every 5 years if you are lucky. So few are made you probably won't find a new one that plays well. So you may have to look in the used sections. You can find C clarinets on ebay for about $150. It will cost $1150 to make them play!

But often composers explicitly what to hear that C clarinet sound. It is different. Just as an Eb clarinet sounds so different from a C clarinet or a Bb clarinet. That 1 step makes a difference. We can hear and feel the difference between an A clarinet and a Bb. I've even played on an old D clarinet. It had a sound of its own. It was an opera and I can't recall the name.

I think we have to look at what and who the composer was. Did that C clarinet part really make that difference he/she wanted while composing the piece? If yes well we should play it on a C clarinet. It surely has a huge different ring to the sound.

Transposing is not a big deal if you were trained to do so. So lets leave that out and assume everyone knows how to transpose. We really have to study the emotions of the composer. Beethoven wrote a lot of parts for the C clarinet. The 9th Sym. has a killer movement and if you use the Bb clarinet I think you are in 5 sharps and the tempo is about 142 plus, depending on the conductor, expect 152. You are tonguing every note. It would be nice to have a C clarinet for this piece. I've played it twice and this movement kills me. Lots of hours go into practicing. Clean crisp articulation. The rhythms aren't too bad.

The last movement of Tchaikovsky's "Little Russian" Symphony is for the C clarinet. This is another piece where the notes fly by. 1 beat per measure towards the end. A C clarinet is a welcomed gift if you own one. Oh, this is his second symphony.

I have a C clarinet somewhere broken down, the goal was to make it play really well. I don't think it will ever happen! I'd rather transpose for now. I will fix it up if I'm convinced that the composer wanted the part played with a C clarinet.

So find a C clarinet if you can't transpose and if you happen to be playing that one piece which surely requires a C clarinet from the composer.

Hope this helps!

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




Post Edited (2017-08-16 10:27)

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2017-08-16 18:19

I remember recording some of the Rossini overtures with the Academy of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields in the mid-70s. At the time, it was considered unusual to use a C clarinet, and when I did, Marriner mentioned it in an interview about the project. You can still buy the CDs, and I think it's often a strikingly appropriate tone-colour for the music.

If you play the complete operas, it becomes clear that Rossini was thinking quite carefully about which clarinet he would use at any given moment. And I can also report that the difference between say, Bb and C on the old instruments carries over to their modern counterparts. (I find I tend to 'look for' the same sort of sound on my modern instrument that I find on my old instruments in that sort of music, anyway.)

Of course, it makes as much (or as little) sense to talk about THE sound of a C clarinet as it does to talk about THE sound of a Bb clarinet. Different players make different sounds on both, and there are differences between different C clarinet setups just as there are differences between different Bb and A setups.

Perhaps think of it as another possible way into what you imagine the music can be – endorsed by the composer.

Tony



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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-08-16 18:33

I always appreciate and enjoy y'alls insight. For years when I'd be playing a gig, invariably a piece in the concert would have no clarinet. So instead of sitting there twiddling my fingers, more often than not, the conductor would hand me an oboe/flute/violin/piano part to keep me entertained. Instantaneous transposing has never been my forte, so I broke down and bought a C clarinet to make my life easier.

I've had excellent results with Ridenour's C horn. For $1200, it was a bargain that completed met my needs. Great intonation, a cool sweet sound, plus she's a tough little horn. Resistance seems comparable to my Buffet. It seems to get banged around more than my other clarinets. I mention this as an option that may not be obvious.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Rossini Oveture Question
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-08-18 03:57

Dave said, "I've never been a fan of the C Clarinet. Too kazoo like for my taste"

Dave, maybe you should whisper in the ear of Morrie Backun next time you see him. I bet a Moba C clarinet wouldn't sound very kazoo-like. It would be cool to find out.

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