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 What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Becky 
Date:   1999-08-24 14:02

I was reading through the topics and I noticed that a lot of people dislike Richard Stoltzman! They either dislike his tone, his attitude(i'm guessing) or something else. I am a very big fan of him but he is the first and only clarinetist I listen to. I suppose I should listen around. I just want to know what Stoltzman did in the past or what he contiunues to do that make other clarinetists dislike him. I asked my teacher about him and he said that Stoltzman can be nice and "not so nice". Any experiences?

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Mike B. 
Date:   1999-08-24 14:25

Well (opinion on) -

Some people dislike just about anyone you care to mention. I've seen disparaging remarks about Stoltzman, Eddie Daniels, etc. on this board on a regular basis. Sadly enough, the people making the remarks would give their <insert spare body part here> to have a fraction of the ability of the trashed artist in question. Sour grapes, IMHO.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-24 15:17



Mike B. wrote:
-------------------------------
Sadly enough, the people making the remarks would give their <insert spare body part here> to have a fraction of the ability of the trashed artist in question. Sour grapes, IMHO.
--------
Not IMHO. People have likes & dislikes when it comes to performance, irregardless of the talent employed during the performance. I don't think anyone on the BBoard (at least I don't remember anyone) ever disparaging Stoltzman's <B>talent</B>, but many have been critical of his <b>style</B>. Same goes for E.D. or anyone else you care to name.

There's room for all of us. Enough people like Stoltzman & E.D. to make a comfortable living for both of them. Doesn't mean <b>eveyone</B> likes them.

For me - if I could play as well as Stoltzman or E.D. - I wouldn't emulate their style, but I'd be able to play in the style <b>I'd</B> like. Doesn't mean you'd like my playing, though.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-08-24 15:50

I think he's a highly creative artist and also a nice person, from the brief encounter I had with him. Also, his technique is sometimes amazing.

I think criticism of him comes from the fact that he seems to do some things against tradition. For example, he has transcribed and recorded (on clarinet) Mozart's Bassoon concerto and Flute Andante. He was one of the first to record the Mozart concerto on Bb, changing many notes to the lower register to emulate a basset clarinet. He uses some vibrato and tends to "bend" notes to accentuate phrases. He also records other types of music besides classical.

I would think that a person who really likes the straight-forward approach to playing (like Karl Leister) probably would not be a Stoltzman fan. But they both really had a lot of good ideas in their approaches.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Gary Van Cott 
Date:   1999-08-24 18:25


ted wrote:
-------------------------------
. . .and tends to "bend" notes to accentuate phrases. . . .
-------------------
I am not sure this is how I would describe it, but I think Stoltzman sometimes tends to try to do too much with slower passages/longer notes. I don't think is always works or is appropriate. That's my opinion. I wish I had his technique but I have been playing and listening to other clarinet players for 40+ years and can reach my own conclusions.

Someone on the klarinet list once said that with his technique he could play any way he wants. Some of his playing I enjoy. I may even buy his recording of the Finzi 5 Bagatelles someday because I really like the arrangement for strings. (I have about 75 clarinet CDs and no Stoltzman.)

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-24 19:08

Stoltzman also got a reputation for eccentricity of a type that some people consider offensive, when he streaked the stage early in his career. There's some stuff about that in the Archives here that you can find by doing a search with the words "Stoltzman" and "naked". It turned out that he had simply followed the instructions of an avant-garde composer who wrote into the music that the clarinetist should exit, strip and then streak the stage. Whether the composer meant the clarinetist to take this instruction literally in performance (or just have a private laugh about it as he read through the score for the first time), I have no idea!

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-08-24 21:13

Naked Stoltzman!?!? Yeah!!
I like him more and more. I first got his Tashi record of the Messien and it was great. We used to dog his style in school, but none of us could play like that. I guess we just thought his phrases only reached in short spans across time, that he somehow didn't hear the "long line" across the larger shapes of the music. I don't think i'd say that any more. His recording of the Finzi mentioned above is really beautiful.
There's that line of commercialism that he walks, a lot of his recordings seem a little too marketable not to question. Maybe not as far as a "3 tenors" record, but still made with radio play and sales in mind. This could be seen as a compromise in veiw of things like "Quartet for the End of Time." but he's gotta get paid, right?

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   1999-08-24 22:13

Lelia wrote:
-------------------------------
Stoltzman also got a reputation for eccentricity of a type that some people consider offensive, when he streaked the stage.... It turned out that he had simply followed the instructions of an avant-garde composer who wrote into the music that the clarinetist should exit, strip and then streak the stage....


Lelia -

I've heard the story from an unimpeachable source (who was there at the time), but never with any mention of your information. Where did you learn this? I had always heard it was simply an immature gesture by a brilliant player barely out of his teens, protesting a dreadful performance and a worse audience.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Don 
Date:   1999-08-25 01:39


So, Stoltzman bends notes and uses vibrato where applicable. I Remember the Reginald Kell controversy back
in the 50's over the same issue. In the name of creativity
there is nothing wrong with this and I wonder if sometimes
we haven't been trained beyond our ability to reason.
Oboes and flutes can use vibrato but not clarinets. Why?
Historically, new musical forms are usually met with
skepticism, i.e. Stravinski had the problem, big time.
As for me,however, I wish Stoltzman would not venture into
jazz as he has been known to do. It ain't there.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Don 
Date:   1999-08-25 01:40


So, Stoltzman bends notes and uses vibrato where applicable. I Remember the Reginald Kell controversy back
in the 50's over the same issue. In the name of creativity
there is nothing wrong with this and I wonder if sometimes
we haven't been trained beyond our ability to reason.
Oboes and flutes can use vibrato but not clarinets. Why?
Historically, new musical forms are usually met with
skepticism, i.e. Stravinski had the problem, big time.
As for me,however, I wish Stoltzman would not venture into
jazz as he has been known to do. It ain't there.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-25 01:50

Don wrote:
-------------------------------
Oboes and flutes can use vibrato but not clarinets. Why?
--------
That observation is applicable primarily in this century. Vibrato was used in Brahm's time (Muhlfeld is said to have a very pronounced vibrato). That being said: vibrato should be a sharp edged tool, not a blunt hammer.

Sometimes Stoltzman is slicing sushi, but other times he's fixing fenders ...

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: angella 
Date:   1999-08-25 03:52

if stoltzman is the only clarinetist you're listening to, you're REALLY missing out on some great playing. i guess nothing is wrong with stoltzman if you like that style, but as someone mentioned, yes, he has technique, but just because he makes money doesn't mean he's the ideal clarinet player. i have a recording of him doing the clarinet, cello piano trios with ax and yo yo ma, and i NEVER listen to it- i'd even give it away if someone wanted it. of course he has some stuff that is likable (what that is is up to the individual) but, personally, i find his constant vibrato
naseuating (sp), especially in the more classical music. yuk. ok, so some like him, some don't, but i HIGHLY suggest you check out some other respected players- or just any other ones, marcellus, sabine meyer, jon manasse, combs,
kell, karl leister, eddie daniels, benny goodman, and the list goes on- no one left out intentionally... but, that's only my opinion

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Hiroshi 
Date:   1999-08-25 03:56

I just do not like his tone quality.Not my type.How he behaves I don't care.
What kind of tones I like? I think it can be recognized what players I like:I like Gervase de Peyer,Jack Lanslow,and Michell Alignon, and Charls Neidich for clarinet(No other American players' tones,I do not prefer.But I do not like German players like Karl Leister and Sabine Meyer either).As to oboe,Leon Goosens is the best especially in his old days. Mechanical Heinz Holliger is out of the question. As to flute Marcel Moyse(the best),Louis Moyse,Julius Baker,and Willium Bennet.Not James Galway.He expression is too much.

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 Jack Lanslow and Michell Alignon???
Author: Gary Van Cott 
Date:   1999-08-25 15:36

Who are Jack Lanslow and Michell Alignon? I have never heard of them. I searched amazon.com, the web, and the klarinet archive with no matches.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Brent 
Date:   1999-08-25 17:43



Mark Charette wrote:

Sometimes Stoltzman is slicing sushi, but other times he's fixing fenders ...

What a great line! I love it!

Brent

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 RE: Jack Lanslow and Michell Alignon???
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-25 22:09

The Lanslow I don't know about but try
Michel Arrignon

l-r transposition.

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 RE: Jack Lanslow and Michell Alignon???
Author: Gary Van Cott 
Date:   1999-08-25 22:49



Mark Charette wrote:
-------------------------------
The Lanslow I don't know about but try
Michel Arrignon

l-r transposition.
-----------------------
OK. Found him. But very little in the way of solo work on Amazon.com. (2 *pieces* out of 7 CDs.) Hiroshi what have you been listening to?

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-25 23:43

Personally, i don't like his tone. I thought he was a British player until i found out he was born in Omaha, Nebraska. I know not all British players have spread sounds like that, but that is the common conception of British players.

As a little anecdote from a couple of friends of mine:
A few years ago when he played at one of the ClarinetFests, he had an afternoon recital and requested the Festival organizer of that year to have a limo drive him to the exhibits which were only a 5 minute walk or so away.

So from what I've heard about him, he has a very big ego.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Lelia 
Date:   1999-08-25 23:56



Ken Shaw wrote:
-------------------------------
Lelia wrote:
-------------------------------
Stoltzman also got a reputation for eccentricity of a type that some people consider offensive, when he streaked the stage.... It turned out that he had simply followed the instructions of an avant-garde composer who wrote into the music that the clarinetist should exit, strip and then streak the stage....


Lelia -

I've heard the story from an unimpeachable source (who was there at the time), but never with any mention of your information. Where did you learn this? I had always heard it was simply an immature gesture by a brilliant player barely out of his teens, protesting a dreadful performance and a worse audience.

Ken Shaw

Hope I didn't contribute to spreading a false rumor. I can't claim any "unimpeachable source" and I wasn't there. I read this story in the klarinet archives, by searching under "naked" and "Stoltzman" after someone on this BB several months ago gave just enough of a hint to rouse my prurient interest. Someone gave the version you just did; then someone else excused Stoltzman's behavior by saying the music called for it.


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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Marci 
Date:   1999-08-26 01:34

Daniel- I have been reading all of the postings about Stoltzman and his playing, and while I personally like his style, I can accept that other people do not. I don't think that it is appropriate, though, for anyone to assume a player's attitude or ego. If you have never met Stoltzman, then what basis do you have to judge him? I have met him a number of times and every time I see him, I am amazed at his humbleness. He does not have an ego and he is always eager to talk to people about anything. If you ever do get a chance to see him, please go up to him and talk to him. He really is a great role model for all clarinetists- not just in his controversial style, but in his attitude towards others.

Daniel wrote:
-------------------------------
As a little anecdote from a couple of friends of mine:
A few years ago when he played at one of the ClarinetFests, he had an afternoon recital and requested the Festival organizer of that year to have a limo drive him to the exhibits which were only a 5 minute walk or so away.

So from what I've heard about him, he has a very big ego.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: angella 
Date:   1999-08-26 02:56

marci wrote:

He really is a great role model for all clarinetists- not just in his controversial
style, but in his attitude towards others.


i think a role model is really an individual preference depending on whether you respect the person, respect thier playing, their choice of music, sound, style, etc. he's not my role model- that doesn't make him bad or good. it's personal preference.

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 RE: Jack Lanslow and Michell Alignon???
Author: David B. 
Date:   1999-08-26 03:18

Jacques Lancelot

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: David B. 
Date:   1999-08-26 03:21

more like avant-garde idiot, not composer. That's not an art - thats B.S. (pardon the french;)

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 huh?
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-08-26 21:07

David B.-what are you talking about?

Thinking about Richard Stoltzman has helped me. I used to not like his tone, his vibrato, his lite jazz, etc. Then I heard the Corigliano and shut up. He's got a totaly personal sound - this is a big deal. I think it's one of the most important things to confront: "trying to sound like YOU." So here is an example for all of us, regardless of preferances. I think media has conditioned a need for artificial purity in society. The need to have ultra clear skin, unaturaly thin bodies, simple/plain McDonalds, all of these encourage us to create things that are annonymous, pure, defined, etc. Smooth jazz like Kenny G or Dave Koz follows this trend. Now, put Kenny G next to Jelly Roll Morton and you see how raw things can be. I think we should appreciate the contrary - we should go for the raw and personal in our music. This means sounding like YOU sound and listening to YOURSELF more than anybody else. To me, Eddie Daniels is too pure and clean, so is Benny Goodman (most of the time), but Stoltzman says to heck with it, I gotta be me. With this attitude he touches people with his music - more than just a bunch of clarinetists - but folks all over the world. People seem, to me, to be concerned these days with a dark sound, since I gave this up, I've been a much happier clarinetist. happier, how's that for a SAT word!

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 RE: huh?
Author: Tim2 
Date:   1999-08-27 02:32

I like was you said, STuart. Pretty philisophical but yea, you need to be who you are, to stand apart. Good words, STuart.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Darrel 
Date:   1999-08-29 07:09

There is a lot of agreeing and disagreeing about Stoltzman, but, all I have to say is this. Great technician, phrasing o.k., but, the vibrato has got to go. I can not stand the intermittent vibrato that he uses; wether or not it is called for or not.

As for his supposed arrogance or snootiness, who the Hell cares? For a person to have the talent that he does, I guess you could say that he has the "bragging rights" to do and be that way. I guess we all could be that way if really allowed to.

Looking for another technician? Look for Anthony Pay. He does a completely awesome rendition of the Mozart Clarinet concerto that I have heard. There is also a newer player named Sharon Kam. There is another good clarinet player. She has some interesting ideas on how to play the Fantasy Pieces from Robert Schumann.

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Travis 
Date:   1999-08-31 05:38

Before I say anything, let me validate it by saying that I AM a Clarinetist.

I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. Whether I play with vibrato or not doesn't matter because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will listen and heed to what my instrutors say until I no longer have them breathing down my neck and then I will do anything I please because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will do whatever it takes to sell records and compete with the likes of Kenny G. because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will look down my nose at every other person in the world because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will criticize every technique that I do not myself employ because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will treat my peers well before stabbing them in the back because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. I will let the conductor know that he/she does not know DIDDLY about what he/she is doing because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna. And right in front of everyone! because I am a Clarinetist; I am a prima donna.

And if you don't agree with me, that doesn't mean DIDDLY to me because I am THE Clarinetist; I am THE prima donna!!

Travis Miller

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 RE: What's wrong with Stoltzman?
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-09-05 17:08

Kenny G. isnít really much competition for a clarinetist. Gee, I sure am a clarinet supremacist arenít I?

And youíve got that wrong! Iím the contra player, I am the prima donna! Just kiddingÖ

Kontragirl

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 RE: Kontragirl
Author: Travis 
Date:   1999-09-10 03:40

My point exactly....this was all in jest anyway (sort of)....by the way, I am actually a bass clarinetist...low reeds rock!!

Travis

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