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 Dvorak 9 question
Author: Dan Oberlin 2017
Date:   2018-05-15 20:56

Is this usually played entirely on A clarinet (transposing the few measures for Bb in the second movement)?

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: GBK 
Date:   2018-05-15 21:57

Play the entire symphony on A clarinet.

That way the solo in the 2nd mvt after #2 is on a warmed-up clarinet, and doesn't require a left pinky C in the two exposed measures before #1 (and after #5)

...GBK

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-05-16 00:48

Depends on the player but it makes sense to do it that way.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2018-05-16 02:29

I play the whole piece on A clarinet. One reason is that Dvorak 9 is a crowd-pleaser and is often done in outdoor summer concerts. If it is cold, it is good not to have the Bb exposed to the cold.
My orchestra did Dvorak 9 last summer on top of a mountain on an uncovered stage. It started to rain and I was grateful to run for cover with only one clarinet!

Simon

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: marcia 
Date:   2018-05-16 08:58

I performed Dvorak 9 this past Sunday, and did it all on my "A". I really don't understand why he wrote those few bars for Bb.

Marcia

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-05-16 10:13

Play it all on your A - all you have to do is change the key signature from three flats to four sharps in the sections written for Bb clarinet.

I don't know if that was Dvorak's doing or the publisher overthinking things when it's not really the most practical thing to do by any means. I would like to see Dvorak's original handwritten score which I assume was all in Concert Pitch. I heard there are other discrepancies between the publisher's score and Dvorak's original intention where some dynamic and accent markings go where the publisher equalised things whereas Dvorak had written different accents between the different instrument sections in the same place for better effect.

If you think the clarinet part is bad for changing from A to Bb, then back to A and to Bb again and then back to A for the remainder, then have a look at the changes in the horn parts.

Chris.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-05-17 08:26

Yes transpose it or rewrite it if you find transposing is a bit hard.


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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-05-17 10:19

Bob Bernardo wrote:

"Yes transpose it or rewrite it if you find transposing is a bit hard."

With this, you only need to change the key signature from 3 flats to 4 sharps (from Eb Major to E Major) after the seven introductory chords if you're playing the entire work on an A clarinet.

All the printed notes will remain in their exact same positions on the stave, so it's by far the easiest transposition in that respect and no real need to rewrite anything besides pencilling in the new key signature and altering accidentals.

Any further accidentals that crop up are changed from flats to naturals and from naturals to sharps - you're only shunting everything written for Bb clarinet up by a semitone.

Chris.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Dan Oberlin 2017
Date:   2018-05-17 21:21

Thanks for the responses. Just wanted to see to what extent the "follow the composer's intentions" school of thought influenced peoples' choices in this particular case. Thanks also for the transposition advice - this will be considerably easier than the first time I played it, 53 years ago and entirely (except for the low E's) on Bb :).



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-18 00:01

On a Boehm clarinet, I never saw any reason not to play that bit on the Bb as written.

I find I can make it sound better, according to me. That is, I can find more easily the relationships between the timbres of the notes that I feel the phrase requires, as well as the general sound quality.

How it came to be written that way is an interesting question. Dvorak was probably writing for a German system clarinet, so my preferences on the Boehm clarinet wouldn’t bite, even had he been interacting with the situation on such a practical level.

I did once play it on an Ottensteiner (German system) clarinet, and still preferred the Bb, even though you’re forced to play a ‘fork’ F for the first note.

The chalumeau duet with the cor anglais is another consideration. You’re better off with a C rather than a C# for the second note, and actually having a ‘not sharp’ instrument helps.

Tony

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2018-05-18 07:26

"I find I can make it sound better, according to me. That is, I can find more easily the relationships between the timbres of the notes that I feel the phrase requires, as well as the general sound quality."

Precisely the reason I play the 2nd mvt of the Beethoven vln concerto on A clarinet.

Glad we finally agree :)
Simon

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-18 12:08

I think the point is, rather, that we don’t.

Tony

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2018-05-18 15:31

"I think the point is, rather, that we don’t."
And I think the point is rather, that we do :)
(Another high point for the Bboard. Two people disagreeing on whether they agree.)

Tony, in the past you have written that on period instruments in a Mozart opera you switched to a A clarinet to avoid playing a throat F, on Bb clarinet, since the throat F is a weak, cross-fingering. Absolutely, I do the same sort of thing on period instruments.
Above, you state you play the bit in question on the Bb for the sound quality. You "can make it sound better".
Your choice is even based on the quality of individual notes (C is better than C#).
I completely agree. My choices in the Dvorak and elsewhere are based on the same criteria.

Your stated reasons for playing the Dvorak bit on Bb are all pragmatic, instrument-based choices, the same type of choices which might influence one to play the slow mvt of Shostakovich 5 on Bb clarinet instead of A, the Strauss Oboe Concerto on A clarinet instead of Bb, the Francaix Concerto on A instead of Bb.

I realize this is anathema to you, but we agree :)
Simon

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-18 16:53

I play the Beethoven violin concerto slow movement on the C clarinet as Beethoven wrote it.

You transpose it for the A clarinet.

I play the passage for Bb clarinet in Dvorak 9 on the Bb clarinet as Dvorak wrote it.

You transpose it for the A clarinet.

How is this agreement?

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-20 20:03

I remember going into the question of Dvorak 9 a few years ago when the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performed it in New York on period instruments. The first clarinet in the first performance by the New York Philharmonic was one C. Reinecke, and I wanted to know what sort of instrument he would have been using. (I now see that he published a tutor, and have ordered a second-hand copy of it. Perhaps that will tell me – or perhaps someone here knows?)

On that occasion, however, I played on a pair of Ottensteiner copies, as we were also doing the Brahms violin concerto.

I now see that photos of the NY Philharmonic parts are available in their Archive, and had a look. The manuscript parts used in the first performance clearly indicate Bb and A parts in the slow movement; but a later printed edition contains pencilled evidence that SOMEONE played it all on the A.

Clearly people have done this; but I was charmed by a pencilled note above the unison chalumeau first and second clarinet passage accompanying the cor anglais in this copy: "humming sound"!

Having just had the wonderful experience of our yesterday's Royal Wedding being enlivened by an incredibly inspiring black preacher and choir, I was able to think of this as an orchestral attempt to recreate the sound of a choir humming in accompaniment to a soloist; and then I imagined the possible effect of the rest of the wind section actually humming along with the two clarinets:-)

Can someone persuade a conductor to try this in a rehearsal?

I also read in the Archive that Dvorak was directly inspired by Longfellow's 'The Song of Hiawatha' in the second and third movements. I never knew that.

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-22 23:43

>> Your stated reasons for playing the Dvorak bit on Bb are all pragmatic, instrument-based choices, the same type of choices which might influence one to play the slow mvt of Shostakovich 5 on Bb clarinet instead of A, the Strauss Oboe Concerto on A clarinet instead of Bb, the Francaix Concerto on A instead of Bb. >>

I realise that I never answered this bit.

There are ARGUMENTS in favour of playing this bit on the Bb clarinet, just as there are ARGUMENTS in favour of playing the Beethoven violin concerto on the A clarinet.

But those arguments don't DETERMINE what we do.

That's why I've said several times here, that what you do constitutes your personal choice in a complicated situation. I choose to prefer the C clarinet, against my personal convenience, in the Beethoven, partly because I am influenced by other arguments.

And, I don't choose to play the Dvorak on the Bb clarinet BECAUSE it fits with what I find convenient, musically.

I choose to play it that way because Dvorak wrote it that way, and NOTICE that it is convenient.

Finally, I'd say that, from what I can tell, you have a simplistic view of what CHOICE is.

Choice transcends reasons. You don't CHOOSE something because of a reason.

You rather choose it because you choose it, within the cloud of reasons.

>> I realize this is anathema to you, but we agree :) >>

I hope that explains why we do... and we don't.

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: marcia 
Date:   2018-12-24 05:53

>If you think the clarinet part is bad for changing from A to Bb, then back to A >and to Bb again and then back to A for the remainder, then have a look at >the changes in the horn parts.

That may be so, but horn players do not have to change instruments. Yes they do have to transpose into more keys than we do, but from my orchestra experience, horn parts are less "active" (for want of better word) than woodwind parts.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-12-25 02:36

Played the Farrington arrangement a couple weeks ago, and did the Bb parts on Bb. I don't know anything about the textual history of the score and might be completely off, but my A sounds different from my Bb, and I think the parts echoing the end of the English horn melody sound lighter and more like an echo on Bb. It seems plausible that he wanted it that way. I switch the barrel with the mouthpiece, so I used a short barrel and pushed it way in on the Bb. Even though it was in a cold church, the tuning was fine. I borrowed a C for awhile recently and wouldn't play the Beethoven concerto on it because it sounded like an Eb, but with a decent sounding instrument, there are musical reasons to use a C for that, too. In Mozart operas, it seems a lot more like he just switched instruments to make them more playable for the keys the numbers are in.



Post Edited (2018-12-25 02:42)

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-12-26 08:45

To put this thing in perspective, we all play passages with a "wrong" clarinet because of various practical reasons. No one wants to start a solo in Brahms' 3rd having a ligature and reed in the left hand and the rest of the instrument in the right! It's only decades ago, that we played all the C-parts transposing, because no one had any C-clarinets. We even demanded the ability to transpose prima vista in examinations. And even now if you play something with a C-clarinet, the conductors don't seem to even notice any difference if you succeed in playing that "thing" in tune. Also one may wonder how deep thought have the old masters had in choosing the clarinet in their instrumentation, i have even had a feeling that there tends to be more c-parts towards the end of certain operas. (The dead-line looming?) We also know, that we can't use a c-clarinet in Brahms' 4th, because the part goes below the instrument's compass. How many low e-flats have we found from Bb-clarinet parts? Trumpets seem to transpose quite a lot making life easier. Modern horns of course play everything with the same instrument (or using the "small" horn with very high parts).

Yes, i use c-clarinet quite a lot nowadays, now that that instrument exists again. I feel, that f.ex in Berlioz's symphonie phantastique it's a real game-changer. If i perform Mozart's 3rd clarinet quartet, i play it with a C-clarinet, unlike Dieter Klöcker seems to do in his world premiere recording...

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-12-26 09:58

In the Dvorak 9 part perhaps the issue is the second register f sharp, that tends to be a bit bright in tone colour in the french clarinet, otherwise i don't see any reason why not transposing with A. That can be helped by opening the e flat key with your rh little finger. I have played it both ways and got no feedback whatsoever from the conductors. And if those semigod creatures from mount Olympus can't tell the difference...

The clarinet sounds better in flat keys, so always remember to play in D flat major, instead of C sharp major!

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-12-26 15:39

>> To put this thing in perspective, we all play passages with a "wrong" clarinet because of various practical reasons.>>

It's this 'because of' that I was arguing against. (I'm arguing against the arguments themselves.)

We choose to play passages 'with a "wrong" clarinet' – if we do – BECAUSE WE CHOOSE TO, not 'because of' an argument.

As so often here, people want JUSTIFICATIONS for what they do: Kal Opperman always said, Bob Marcellus always did, composers don't care, etc etc.

And yes, practical considerations come into it. But they don't DETERMINE it.

Be true to yourselves.

Tony

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-12-31 14:08

I am afraid that in the concert conditions i haven't got enough time to change the clarinet in Brahms' 3rd symphony securely enough, therefore i have CHOSEN TO play the beginning of the 1st movement transposing with an A clarinet!

Etc... etc...

I don't hold Kal Opperman or Bob Marcellus responsible for my choices.

I even admit that my choice is different from my professor's, with whom i used to study with in 1980's.

Because english is not my mother tongue i am sorry, if poor grammar has prevented some one to understand my point.

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2018-12-31 18:35

I am afraid that in the concert conditions i haven't got enough time to change the clarinet in Brahms' 3rd symphony securely enough, therefore i have CHOSEN TO play the beginning of the 1st movement transposing with an A clarinet!

--------------------------------------------
If you look at the original manuscript of Brahms 3 you can see the at first Brahms wrote everything for the B-flat instrument. It was only later (at Mühlfeld's suggestion?) that he transposed the two passages for the A clarinet.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-12-31 21:05

Not entirely sure whether Tony's observation that these decisions are because we "choose to" play a particular clarinet is saying that most or all of our "reasons" are in fact rationalizations; a statement of the view that character is destiny; or more a kind of philosophical examination of the viability of Free Will. B.F. Skinner would probably say that deciding to play the whole slow movement on A was determined long before we even saw the music, but B.F. probably never had to worry about something as non-deterministic as reeds, either. I do think that some players rely on a generalized approach for such things, and others look at the details of the piece in question to decide what to do, so that for some of us, the reasons really can come before the choice.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2019-01-01 04:18

Yup. Done that too, played those solos transposing with the Bb clarinet. Actually, that's the thing my professor demanded to be done. Quite awkward, isn.t it! One might wonder, which actually sounds better. I have also heard that some teach, that you might want to play the slow movt solo transposing with the A clarinet. Try it, interesting...

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-01 05:04

What sort of mouthpiece did B.F. Skinner use?




...................Paul Aviles





...........................HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-01-01 07:28

Pavlov 2L. Lot of ring to it.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-01 12:01

This movement is much easier if you play the whole movement on Alto sax, transposing at sight.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-02 14:22

No one thought that was funny except me, it seems.
I've played this piece 3 times as principal clarinet, each time as "Acting/Guest principal" in a 2nd tier orchestra... each time broadcast so I can listen later and take note of my shortcomings...
And each time I played the B flat bits on B flat as I saw no reason to not do what I was told by the bits of paper provided. There were no apparent issues caused by this, I didn't drop the clarinet or fall out of my chair. I did ok thank the good lord. Next time I'll do it all on the A clarinet just to see how it rolls!

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-01-03 03:34

I want to write something more about Brahms 3, which has come up in this thread. I'll do that anon.

However, meanwhile, I just wanted to point out that:

>> And each time I played the B flat bits on B flat as I saw no reason to not do what I was told by the bits of paper provided. There were no apparent issues caused by this, I didn't drop the clarinet or fall out of my chair. I did ok thank the good lord.

>> Next time I'll do it all on the A clarinet just to see how it rolls! >>

...is evidence that the BBoard has had a negative influence here.

Because, now, there's ANOTHER REASON (just to see how it rolls) to be a cheeky player in the 'New World' Symphony (as well as in the real New World, it seems).

I HATE that all these nondescript players – and pretty clearly, many of them here ARE nondescript players – TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO, eg:

"Play it on the A clarinet...."

Notice, I don't tell people what to do myself – whether I'm nondescript or not.

I'd rather give them the options – including greasing their corks, having two clarinet stands, and practising the switch for AT LEAST a minute – and then explain that what they finally do is THEIR choice.

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-01-03 04:00

I actually have no intention whatsoever of playing this on the A clarinet, the comment was aimed at a specific friend who mocked me for my smart arse alto sax comment, but that would have only been apparent to that one person. Sorry, I appreciate that this is not an appropriate forum for private jokes, but suspect more than that one person detected my sarcasm.



Post Edited (2019-01-03 07:06)

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: marcia 
Date:   2019-01-03 21:07

Tony Pay

Please explain what you mean by the term "nondescript players".

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-01-04 03:22

I mean people who fail to aspire to what Charles Rosen described as the duty of the artist:

""It is the moral duty of a performer to choose what he thinks is the musically superior version, whatever the composer's clearly marked intention – it is also the moral responsibility of a pianist to try to convince himself that the composer knew what he was doing."

The argument in:

http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/lookup.php/Klarinet/2001/06/000034.txt

...also comes into it.

Some people here think that I demean amateurs. Not at all: some amateurs embody these ideals far better than many professionals.

I see that you yourself write in this thread that you don't understand why Dvorak wrote those bars for the Bb clarinet. I'd say that that's a good starting point.

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2019-01-10 20:33

Tony,

Do you have any recommendations on what to read by Rosen? I’m certainly interested to know more. Thanks

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

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-01-10 21:40

Has anyone seen Dvorak's original manuscript to see what he wrote?

Chris.

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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-01-13 23:26

The Rosen quote is from the first of three lectures given in Rome in 1993, titled: 'The Frontiers of Nonsense'.

It is published with the other two, 'How to become Immortal' and 'Explaining the Obvious', in "The Frontiers of Meaning".

Rosen's most famous book is "The Classical Style". However, "Critical Entertainments" speaks clearly to us too, as does "Piano Notes".

I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Rosen on several successive days while we were both teaching at the International Summer School in Sermoneta (in 1995?) Among other things, he told me a great deal about Brahms's compositional relationship to Beethoven, much of which appears in "Critical Entertainments".

On another tack: whilst the point of changing the Brahms III clarinet solo from Bb to A clarinet is something that Brahms would clearly have appreciated, if it were suggested by a player – even though he didn't originally write it that way – the idea that someone other than Dvorak could have organised the PUBLISHED switch in the Ninth symphony (in both score and parts) without the composer's input is surely implausible.

Tony



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 Re: Dvorak 9 question
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2019-01-14 01:40

Much appreciated Tony.

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

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