Hello, I am a clarinet student at Iowa State University. I am doing some research on clarinet virtuosi and the mechanical development of the clarinet for a lecture-recital I will be giving this spring. I understand from Woodwind.org that you are a former student of Mr. Mazzeo. I wanted to ask you if you knew of any music for clarinet (and piano, preferably) which was written specifically for Mr. Mazzeo or the Mazzeo clarinet. If you could reply as soon as possible I would appreciate it greatly!
Dear Clarinet Student,
I studied with Rosario for six years. He was my dear friend and mentor as well.
When I retired I had 40 works written and/or dedicated to me. About 15 of them are on CD, available from me or from the woodwind.org pages. I have four CDs in all, mostly contemporary in nature.
Rosy had many bass clarinet parts in the orchestral repertoire written specifically for him. Two that I can think of are the Bass solo in the William Schumann 3rd symphony.
The Eb clarinet part in El Salon Mexico by Copland, another friend, was not written for Rosario, however it was he as Eb clarinetist of the BSO at the time who was the first to insert the famous glissando. After that it was and is always played in that way, to this day. I am quite sure that many composers consulted with him; after all the BSO gave premieres of Prokofiev, Messaien and many others.
I can not be more specific. Rosy did not concertize on any clarinet. He was for 30 years the bass clarinetist and personnel manager of the BOS. He was not known as a concertizing clarinetist in the “sonata” sense. With that fierce schedule there was no time; however he was a teacher like no other for solo and chamber music. He understood music as well as anyone, over and above the clarinet. In that was he was the ideal teacher. His clarinet wisdom was infinite – he had no peer.
One may say that all music written during his lifetime was written for him. Yes, that is really true. He made it all his own regardless of who wrote and for whom they wrote. Most composers write for themselves. Then perhaps they dedicate the work to a friend, hopefully admired, who will play the work. Performances of new music are not easily gotten. Sometimes a lover becomes involved in the conception of music, but less and less now, as the music has not that much love contained within.
If you are doing a lecture-recital, you must perform on a Mazzeo-system clarinet; if you need information on the early stages of the clarinet and those who became players of the instrument, let me know. At thetime of his death, I was the only reasonably well-known clarinetist still concertizing on the instrument.
Thanks for writing. Hope to have been of help. Good luck on your recital and for ever.