What’s important for the sound of the clarinet

Hi
I have recently begun playing clarinet again after 30 years
I am working on improving the Altissimo Range
I have just finished Altissimo Studies for Clarinet by Thomas Filas
I was wondering if you could recommend any other studies
Thank You
B W

Dear BW: thank you for your note and its question. My feeling is pure and simple , that the” altissimo”  is not necessary to improve upon.
It is more necessary always , to improve your quality of “sound”, but with sound, you’re talking about really being critical of every aspect of the way you make the sound. “Attack” can always be improved upon, especially being able to attack any note, at any dynamic, and with every type of attack. “Legato” is impossibly difficult to achieve perfectly with our instrument, throughout all its range, in all dynamics.Dynamics, crescendo and especially diminuendo are worthy of considerable study prior to any consideration o the extreme high register..
Technic or speed as most call it, is the simplest to achieve, but changing speeds is not. “Rhythm” and being able to change rhythm seamlessly is difficult, but certainly achievable. Of course, “staccato” is an aspect but one that is highly over rated, at least in the retrospective look I take at my playing career, which has been long and very varied.
The clarinet in the final judgement is an instrument which expresses an absolutely unique quality of sound, and the melifluousness of the rendering of that quality is far ahead of the extreme high register of the clarinet.
Yes, there are many in both Jazz and Classical styles that specialize in the altissima register of the clarinet, but considering the many I have heard, the sound is never impressive. 

We all know of many clarinetisits who have uniquely beautiful qualities of sound. But the extreme high register of the clarinet has no particular distinct advocates, rather it is the all around quality of the clarinet sound which is most distinctive to us.

Best wishes, Sherman

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