Learning, and Performing New Music

The educative process of a musician is much more complicated than it was even years ago when I was very active in as many musical areas as I could find They are,were ochestrel,solo, chamber music,teaching, both secondary and post secondary, admimnistrative,faculty member,writing and retiree, still learning . Lots of fun, lots of anguish,many mistakes. It happened to a gifted young clarnetist who was professionally trained and had the benefits of some very fine and noted professors, at many noted universities.

In working at being a musician, I have always championed the performance of new music. More than advising all colleagues on every level, to perform new music. I have encouraged its composition. I have had 53 pieces of music written or dedicated to me, and have performed tham all, with a great deal of pride. The composer who has composed the greatest number of works for the clarinet and for me is John A. Bavicchi, who is now about 85 or 90 and has written several Clarinet Sonatas, two Clarinet Concerti, A woodwind Quintet, dedicated to the Milwaukee Symphony Wind Quintet, instigated by yours truly, A quintet for Clarinet and String Quartetand a coupe of sonatas for Clarinet Solo.Most are published by Oxford University Press or by the composer himself, (available from J. Bavicchi 26 Hartford Street, Newton Center, Mass.) His syle is dissonant cumulative and difficult to perform, requiring real preparation. I have performed all, some with more or less excitement, mostly because I am a performer who reveres the sound of the clarinet above all other of its many facets. So what? Life is short, John and I are good friends. He has fought valiantly for his own style and has a style that is as recognizable as any composer.

This brings to mind the question of the talents of all of these composers, the new ones, the ones I have known and performed. Are there any who are as divinely gifted as Mozart, Monteverdi, Brahms,Bach or Beethoven? Uniquivocally, no We must all remember that these composers and perhaps a few others, were gifted in an almost Divine manner.In fact, these composers can justify the belief in a Creator, or Supreme Being ,or entity. Certainly they were vessels which were filled with music, and when filled, they passed on. One does not have to believe that, however other evidence is thin enough, the first requisite for
belief in a Supreme Being is belief. After that, the rest is easy.
They were really far above anyone who has come after them, as far as I know. I suppose I would or should add Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.

Many are good craftsman, far better than I, but they are not the masters mentioned above.Neither is music education or the education of clarinetists.All one needs to compose and call himself a composer seems to be a machine or a computer application. The kinds of courses like solfege, counterpoint, fugue, even history of music are seemingly less important. Success is either totally unattainable or immediate and/or short lived.
There are some truly incredible craftsmen out there,but seemingly our generatuion has, or is, passing. Yes, play as much new music as you can, but practice the clarinet much much more.Love for the instrument and for music itself is what is truly of great importance in a totally complicated and sometimes confused world
stay well.


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