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 The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-11-20 16:40

Of course, the principals of many major symphony orchestras do a lot of solo and chamber music work these days. But, I think a full-time soloist is a very different type of animal. Some of these soloists would, I suspect, be unable to pass an audition for a major orchestra. In what way are the two groups different ?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-11-20 17:54

Many other members of an orchestral section perform a lot of chamber music and solo playing as well as the principals. Perhaps not so much on a national basis but in their communities, music festivals etc. Many university teachers- professors also perform in those capacities as well. A university and orchestra position offer a steady income and security, at least they did before C19 hit.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-11-20 19:31

ruben wrote:

> Of course, the principals of many major symphony orchestras do
> a lot of solo and chamber music work these days. But, I think
> a full-time soloist is a very different type of animal. Some
> of these soloists would, I suspect, be unable to pass an
> audition for a major orchestra. In what way are the two groups
> different ?
>

It might be worth defining "full-time soloist" a little more closely. Do you mean any performing clarinetist who doesn't play in an orchestra clarinet section (principal or other chair)? Does playing chamber music count as being a soloist?

Major recording and concert artists may play concerti with orchestras, play in chamber ensembles, teach and write. But, as Ed says, members of major orchestra sections may spend their time doing exactly the same things. Among violinists, cellists and pianists, for whom the solo literature is more voluminous, the line between orchestra player and not-orchestra player is a little sharper. I'm not clear where the line is with clarinetists.

To address your question (sort of), I doubt if there are universal differences. There is, I'm sure, a difference in the level of interpretive and expressive freedom that comes as a soloist from being the principal decision-maker in any given performance situation. A player in an orchestra, even a principal, is more responsible to the conductor as the final musical arbiter. I've known or heard players who seemed more able than others to take advantage of the difference.

Karl

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 Re: The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2020-11-20 20:16

To address your question (sort of), I doubt if there are universal differences. There is, I'm sure, a difference in the level of interpretive and expressive freedom that comes as a soloist from being the principal decision-maker in any given performance situation.

---------------------------------------------------------------
I've been on audition committees where a candidate was dismissed for being "too soloistic", even for a principal position.

In other words the player was deemed too individualistic to ever blend within a section. I remember one such player (an oboist) who refused to slow down a passage even though requested by the music director.

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 Re: The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-11-21 00:13

I agree with the above. Not all "soloists" will fit into an orchestra setting. I don't consider myself a "soloist" though I've had the oppertuinity to perform every major concerto written for the clarinet, and a few non standard. I've performed over a dozen full recitals and have played all the standard chamber music many times over in some cases and many non standard works as well. No, I'm not a soloist because I made my living playing in an orchestra, teaching at a university and conservatory and music festival. I wasn't even a "principal" player.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: The difference between a full-time soloist and an orchestral clarinetist
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-11-21 10:53

At one point, the old full-time clarinet soloist was probably Benny Goodman! These days, there are quite a few. Some of them-as a friend rightly
pointed out-were at one time, orchestral musician: Sabine Meyer and even Paul Meyer, who was very briefly in the Paris Opera orchestra. Michel Portal was for a short while with the Orchestre de Paris and has pursued a soloist career in Classical music and jazz. I think you have to enjoy the spotlight to be a full-time soloist.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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