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 Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: patrica 
Date:   2018-01-07 09:23

As a complete amateur who plays less than once per week and hasn't played in any ensemble for so many years, I recorded this excerpt from Capriccio Espagnol to apply a newly formed community amateur orchestra. Before I submit, could you guys please give some comments or feedback? Sorry for the bad sound quality.

Please download the mp3 file below...

Post Edited (2018-01-08 03:06)

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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-01-07 10:56

Just wanted to say you are not a complete amateur as you call yourself. I won't give my feedback, as I will let other more experienced people comment on your recording.

And for anyone who wants to listen to it, I had to open the file with VLC player to get it to work. Windows Media Player couldn't play it for some reason.


-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: patrica 
Date:   2018-01-07 11:24
Attachment:  a2.mp3 (647k)

Thank you ray for mentioning the format issue... changed the coding into the correct one now.

Post Edited (2018-01-07 11:32)

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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-01-07 18:42

It sounds well-controlled technically and rhythmically. There's a little bit of noise in the articulation on the highest notes that you might address over time but it isn't intrusive in this recording.

My only suggestion might be that you include a couple of the other solo excerpts from Capriccio. What else are you submitting?


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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: patrica 
Date:   2018-01-07 20:00

Since this is a pretty casual orchestra, the only other piece I need to submit is the second movement of Mozart concerto (also excerpt).

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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-07 20:23

This is a hard piece often asked at major symphony auditions. Surely asked at college auditions and military auditions. Your tempo is good for the piece. The reed sounds soft with the mouthpiece you are using. I'd go up a 1/2 to a full strength.

The articulation is close. Cut the tongued notes shorter, staccato, and accent the first notes when you are tonguing them. Your tongue seems a bit heavy sounding. Maybe think of a crisper style, practiced slower for a bit. Mainly sluggish after the opening few bars.

When practicing try to keep you tongue as close to the reed as possible, to avoid a heavy articulation. So you are just touching the reed with your tongue not slamming the reed against the mouthpiece. You can practice a C major scale for this since the key is in C major at this point. Start very slow to get the feel on hardly touching the reed with your tongue. We have to remember the tongue is a very strong muscle and when an exciting piece like this is played it's hard to control this very strong muscle. This is normal. The faster the piece is the harder the tongue hits the reed. So we have to train it.

When I studied this excerpt with Robert Marcellus he insisted in playing the D without using the side D key, but it is pretty much impossible for me, but he did it. I would suggest practicing the C major scale using the normal D fingering not the side D, but use the side D for the actual piece for evenness.

You are very close to nailing this piece. Give it a few more weeks and you will have it down.

I just read Karls comment. There are a few other solos, but the other hard one that really stands out starts out is on low A. Slow at first, then it is repeated 2 more times, each time it gets faster and higher. I'd like to hear this too if you can record it. It's a blast to play.

The other solo which people have a lot of trouble with starts with middle E, F#, then G#trill to A. That trill is hard for non left hand players. So many gifted players screw that up. It's repeated twice. Then it goes up a step, which is easier.

Please post a recording again in a few weeks or whenever you feel you have it down. It's was exciting to hear it played so well at your level and you are not too far off from perfection.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-01-07 20:46)

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 Re: Comments on excerpt
Author: patrica 
Date:   2018-01-07 21:40

Thank you Bob for your very nice and useful comments. Yes, my reed is indeed soft and I wish I could have more time to practice because at this moment I feel my embouchure and air support are not good enough for me to use a harder reed. As an old hobby player who has no teachers, it is so nice I have people from this board to help.

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 Re: Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-08 05:54

This excerpt is indeed hard. Here is a recent performance by Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, which is certainly a full professional orchestra. To my taste, I can't say the clarinet solo is very satisfactory...

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 Re: Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2018-01-08 21:42

Apart from the one finger slip (this is a live performance after all) could you please elaborate on why his performance is unsatisfactory?

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 Re: Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-01-08 22:09

See the comment given by Bob. To my taste, the tonguing of the clarinet player is a bit too heavy, at least heavier than the poster here. This just makes the dance-like music not as fluid as it should be. Again, this is very subjective of course. What do you think of the one played by this poster?

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 Re: Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-09 14:00

When you play the second movement of the Mozart Concerto think of 2 dancers moving elegantly and very romantically. So the piece is a visual dreamy feel. As you move your fingers lift them slowly and press them down very slowly as well, to obtain the gracefulness. Generally as the notes move up you < mf to f and as the notes move down the scale > to p often. So we want to be expressive. I almost think it was Mozart writing about himself dancing on a Friday night with a beautiful lady. Read on and you will see why. There were no radios or TV's then.

In theory I think this is one of the harder pieces to play. I'd rather play Capriccio Espagnol any day over this second movement; also Mozart's Quintet, second movement.

A finger exercise you can try is pressing down on the keys and then lifting them off of the keys to gain complete control of the tiny finger muscles which tend to have their own little brain in each finger. Often just play a few measures and move your fingers as slow as possible and forget about the rhythms as you practice. Look into a mirror.

What happens is the audience, or in your case the audition committee FEELS this romance and it's not just notes popping up and down on the horn as your fingers hit the keys.

A really excellent etude is Rose 40 book, the first etude in the book. This covers everything I've said. A must for everyone to study. I think I have it memorized because it is that challenging to be done correctly.

The last few notes of the second movement start with C, D, E, and F, F ,F , and F. Your tongue should just barely touch the reed on these notes. The last F I end with air support and control, not my tongue, because you are the only player playing. The orchestra has stopped so you fade out this F from p to pppp. This lasts one beat longer than when the orchestra stops. I think Mozart intended this moment to be a KISS between the male and female dancers, perhaps Mozart himself. It has been noted that Mozart was a ladies man and loved to dance. That special moment was just for them. This extra second after the music stopped. Was this that passion between 2 dancers? Maybe? It is odd to hold over a note when the orchestra has stopped.

Every time I've played the Concerto and the Quintet ended with standing ovations and I think it is due to giving the audience that feel of emotional experiences for just a few minutes the music has touched their hearts. I didn't do this alone of course, I had good orchestras, the conductor, and for the quintets good musicians that were willing to put in about 20 plus hours of rehearsals to make it click.

Please post a recording the Mozart if you wish!

Yes music is powerful.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-01-09 14:13)

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 Re: Please give comments on my excerpt
Author: patrica 
Date:   2018-01-09 18:44

Thank you so much Bob! I really appreciate your help and I will try to take your advices into my playing.

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