Scherzo from Midsummer Nights dream

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYhSAP6viHs&gt;

The above address should take you to the you tube recording of two clarinetists from Paris, specifically, the Orchestra of Paris, as it says, playing the clarinet parts from the Scherzo, Since this is repertoire that   you and I have actually played many times, I can only inform you that they play is as easily as they can. That’s very fast!

They have good tongueing, and they manipulate the parts quite well, though far from perfectly. They are not totally in “sync” in several of the ascending scales for the two. I also find the sound to be very thin, and yes, very French, very far from the way it’s is played in the US or in Germany or Holland. Those clarinetists have much more substance in their sound. By comparison, this is thin playing, but very indicative of the clarinet playing one hears in Paris. Thy play Selmer Clarinets as do most Parisian clarinetists, but the sound is much more the tradition in that city, and certaily not the sound of the “make” of the clarinet.
I wonder why they seem so pleased with themselves when the results are really not that good or precise.
What we know about this particular group of soli passages for two clarinets is the issue is never the speed, but always the conductor who of course, sets the tempo.
If he had taken it down a notch or two, making precision more important than speed, I doubt if they could have rattled it off, and been so pleased with themselves.
This is not an experienced couple in the business, but a couple of tongues, and for the reason stated above, I find it less than impressive.
The conductor in this Mendelssohn estblishes everything.
Anyone having played the work or about to, should first of all, determine what the tempo will be.
This requires time with the conductor and/or the rehearsals necessary. If you will determine those points, you will be much more successful performing this frequently heard work, but never ever this fast.

Keep playing, and stay well.
Sherman

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