I am a professional clarinetist and I was asked by a local high quality liberal arts college to give a talk and demonstration about Symphonic Technique and Tradition of the clarinet.
There are so many possibilities, and I would like to do a nice job for these highly intelligent students.
The talk would be for an hour. Can you give me guidance as to what you feel would be the most interesting items to talk about?
Dear Mr. S:
Thank you for your note, and if I have the correct person, I do hope that things go well in –.
If I do have the correct person, you also play Saxophone which means you have a conversance with Jazz, which may come in very handily in describing clarinet technic within the Orchestra.
The Tradition of the Clarinet should be relatively easy to prepare,basing it upon what you know and observing a few of the important dates in the development of the instrument as first the Chalumeau, then the adding of the register key, then its use in ensembles, followed by perhaps, it’s first use within the Mannheim School and the orchestras of the period.
Mozart’s love and his use of the instrument could take either an hour or how much or little you wish to say , including his first use of the instrument, his letters to his father concerning how beautiful he felt the instrument was, the use of a pair of clarinets in the orchestra, and of course, Beethoven’s way of using the instrument. Following that, there are all of the Romanticists, and the various enlargements of the clarinet part, the addition of the little clarinet and the big one with Berlioz,Wagner and Company, and R. Strauss.
All of the above contributed to the technic of the instrument, demanding more and more virtuosity from the players within the orchestras , from Berlioz through the end of the century.
Back to the technic of playing the clarinet within the orchestra, you can easily demonstrate some of the facets of embouchure and absolutely correct articulation, intonation, and even expression within the symphonic repertoire, contrasting it with the entirely different technical style frequently employed in Jazz.
Here is an old story for you, and it is true. When attending the New England Conservatory, I had the opprotunity to hear and to meet and to play clarinet duets with Gerry Mulligan, who asked me if I wanted to play some together. (He had a lady from the Conservatory).
We met and played some of the standard duets found in the many books of them that abounded. Every phrase that included 8th or 16th notes at any tempo, he would accent the second and forth note. I had a big mouth (at the time) and told him that “we don’t play that way in this type of music” He got totally upset, and threatened me physically.
This contrast may help in a demonstration of orchestral technic.
I do hope that these comments will help you in your lecture. Make sure you play examples for them.
“There can be no dialog about music without music”. Igor Stravinsly. Most sincerely,