The Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto

Mr. Friedland:
first, your postings are invaluable and a treasure. Second, I love my Arioso Bb clarinet. Third, I now play only Legere reeds. I have had several for well over a year which I alternate. Fourth, you have posted several very positive comments about Richard Hawkins. I most enthusiastically second your comments about this fine clarinetist. You have referred to his website and the sound bites of his performances. If you go to the NPR Performance Today website, and do a search for Richard Hawkins, you can hear his full performance (approximately eight and a half minutes) of the Artie Shaw “Concerto for Clarinet,” at the Hot Springs Music Festival. It is an electrifying performance, especially the last thirty seconds. I understand he advocates Legere reeds. Assuming he used a Legere during the above performance, all doubts about Legere reeds will probably be quickly erased.


Mr T:
Many thanks for your note, with its information. I consider Hawkins to be one of the most important clarinetists, and his playing to be superb. Not only that, but that he plays the Shaw with what I remember to be the exact sound and relaxtion as Shaw himself. And he plays ordinary classical repertoire with more sensitivity than most players I have heard. The place to go for the Concerto is National Public Radio Website, and for the other examples of this fine playing go to his personal website. For those of you considering university, think of Oberlin and Richard Hawkins. I would imagine he is very much in demand, but you never know until you try, and Oberlin is about the best University for Music in this hemisphere, including the others.

best wishes,


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