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 New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-12-30 10:59

by James Zimmerman, Principal Clarinet of the Nashville Symphony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bKg6JSm0ro

I think this will be very interesting to many readers here. The first video follows his path with Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3 through a week of rehearsals and concerts. It's well produced and intended for a clarinet playing audience.



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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-30 12:23

Quite interesting but I never thought Mendelssohn symphony no.3 second movement is that difficult... for me it is rather fun to play. Moreover, I think the solo in the last movement is much scarier because usually it's pretty tired then and the intonation is quite hard to control with second clarinet and with first bassoon.



Post Edited (2017-12-30 13:35)

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-12-30 20:23

One of the best, most useful presentations I've seen in years. This is all about the social dynamics and musical politics of working in a orchestra, the give and take that makes effective performances possible. Few activities are more dependent on adaptation, compromise, and a willingness to accept the unexpected than successful orchestral playing. Mr. Zimmerman has captured the nuances of respect for and accomodation of others that ensemble players must make perfectly in this video.

Orchestral clarinetists learn that by listening to the preconceived ideas and perceived difficulties of the string players, the brass, and the conductor and comparing these with their own preconceptions, everyone must compromise and be willing to change for the combined performance to gel. Everyone gives up some individual preference to acheive a synergy. The conductor gives up the idea of absolutely fixed and stable tempo; the clarinetist settles into the unacustomed articulation and learns to accept a slower tempo, the strings nudge the tempo forward to bow more naturally, and the horns suprise themselves by playing the passages faster than they thought possible or desirable. Each section must listen to the other sections and offer a creative response.

The result is not the acheivement of some Platonic idea. The music is not drawn by a computerized automated draftsman in perfect geometric shapes of unchanging symmetry. It is a living adaptive organism, filled with unexpected asymmetries (such as frequent small but meaningful tempo changes). To play well is not to "stand your ground" and refuse to compromise but rather to learn to see the ever changing musical landscape though the eyes of your compeers, to walk in their shoes, sit in their chair, and feel through the piece as if you were playing their instrument.

My take home on this is that we should all practice our "parts" not to acheive some imagined solo perfection but on an ad hoc basis ever subject to further alteration and change. Flexibility, not rigidity is the key. We should ask not "what is the ideal way to play this" but rather "how would I play this if the combined performance requires changes in articulation, tempo, dynamics, pitch and tonal shading." In music as in life, to adapt is to survive and thrive--to refuse adaptation is extinction. This relates to all ensemble playing, duos, recitals with piano, any combination of clarinet and other instruments.

I hope Mr. Zimmerman continues this valuable series.



Post Edited (2018-01-02 00:28)

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: johng 2017
Date:   2018-01-03 01:09

Worth watching for any ensemble player of any instrument. Hey, even piano players could learn something! Thanks for posting this.

John Gibson, Founder of JB Linear Music, www.music4woodwinds.com

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-01-03 01:46

MANY MANY MANY pianists could learn something from this.
I am in complete agreement with Seabreeze- and I wish someone had taught me all this when I was a youngling... PAY ATTENTION KIDS, this is probably the most important lesson you'll learn about being a musician.

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-03 03:47

Well I surely agree with the player. The beginning passage should be articulated. As for the speed I also agree with him, but I do feel that the horns can have trouble with their entrance. It was fun hearing the discussions.

I also liked his playing. Very fun to see this put onto a computer.


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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2018-01-03 04:26

Exceptional learning experience. Well worth watching.


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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-03 04:50

Wish he would do this for every concert! Wow so much to learn.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-04 09:21

Also, can anyone tell me how could the tempo the Berlin Phil recording that stable? Was it processed by the sound engineer? Or this shows the difference between a top orchestra and a normal professional orchestra?

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2018-01-05 08:18

Did anyone else die laughing when Beavis and Butt-head popped up at the 8:40 mark?

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-01-05 08:25

I did...

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: GBK 
Date:   2018-01-05 12:01

Many of us grew up learning the excerpt from the Bonade orchestral excerpt book or the International orchestral series where the sixteenth note pickup is slurred in both books.

So for us, it's no change (and sounds 'more correct')

...GBK

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2018-01-05 16:07

Indeed GBK, it’s also in Mendelssohn’s own hand in his manuscript. It’s available on IMSLP

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

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 Re: New Youtube series on pro orchestral clarinet life
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2018-01-05 18:38

I appreciate the enthusiasm to debate topics. What I think is more important than the articulation of that note is Zimmerman’s frankness about what he preferred, his interest in seeking out information, and his willingness to defer to the edition and research. Zimmerman’s advice on contacting the orchestra you’re auditioning for was also excellent.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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