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 Golden Spinning Wheel
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-02-19 05:51

I'll be reading Dvorak's The Golden Spinning Wheel next Friday. I've never played it. Going through the part tonight, I'm wondering what anyone's experiences has been with the last page. There are changes between Bb and A clarinet throughout the piece. At the top of the last page (P. 7) there is a change from A to Bb to play a few staves of arpeggiated and melodic passage work in Bb major (clarinet's key - Ab concert).

Halfway down the page the music changes key and the new clarinet key for the remaining 7 staves is Cb major (all 7 flats). It isn't all that difficult or even awkward in Cb. But there was a perfectly good 15 bar rest ahead of the key change. I wondered, I think justifiably, why Dvorak didn't change to an A clarinet to put the last half page in C major.

I think I can see by looking at the score why Dvorak might have thought a Bb clarinet would be a better choice. But I'm curious about what clarinet others who have played the piece, particularly in a performance setting, have used and why. Apart from the standard reasoning that Dvorak must have had a reason, so we need to honor his choice, I'm curious if experienced players have found that the Bb clarinet actually works better here despite the key.


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