Program Choice

Dear Mr Friedland,
I’m planning my programme for an ‘A’ Level recital. Could you please advise me on which of these two programmes can demonstrate more aspects of playing? Is this then the programme I should use?

1) Beethoven Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, op 11 (1st mvt)
Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
Rossini Introduction, Theme and Variations

2) (The specific order of pieces for this programme isn’t confirmed yet)
Mozart Concerto (1st or 3rd mvt)
Bruch Concerto for clarinet, viola and orchestra in E minor, op 88 (1st mvt)
Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo

If you think programme no. 2 is better, could you please advise me whether to do the 1st or 3rd mvt for the Mozart?

Thank you very very much!

Best regards,

The second program is more demonstrative of the aspects of the clarinet. The first movement of the Mozart is the more difficult of all the works and is transparent enough to earn very high achievement if you rise to the occasion. By that I mean that the reason that the first movement of the Mozart is the most significant work in the entire repertoire. Why? Because the work is totally transparent. You play with what is exactly on the page, that is to say, every single phrase ending with a quarter note at the beginning of a bar means exactly that, and no more. This work, more than any other shows the tiniest error in articulation or even notation, which is its secret. You ear will become sharper as you listen to yourself play. Even record yourself. Listen back and spot the many errors, and repair them. I have found that this single work is very difficult , that is to say, if you really listen .
This goes as well for the Stravinsky work, which is less clear because there are so many opinions about it, but this too starts with absolute accuracy.
Beethoven and Rossini are inconsequential by comparison. If you want the most demonstrative of the virtuoso 19th century, choose the Grand Duo Concertante, by Weber, the prince of both clarinet and piano works of the century. I hope that you do well on your recital and that is some way I have helped with my somewhat stern suggestions. You will find both he Stravincky and the Mozart with playing analyses on this site.

good luck, sherman friedland



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