Sherman Friedland 1933-2017

June 17, 2017

sfSherman Friedland was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1933, and attended Brookline High School from 1947-51.

After serving as a bandsman in the U.S. Army, he attended Boston University, studying with Gino Cioffi at the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as with Rosario Mazzeo.

He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

He was appointed Principal Clarinetist of the Milwaukee Symphony in 1961 and studied at Le Conservatoire Americain.

He studied with Marcel Jean in Paris, and studied chamber music with Mademoiselle Nadia Boulanger.

He was awarded the Diplome cum Laundes in Clarinet by Mlle. Boulanger in 1960.

In 1965, he was appointed as Creative Associate at the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Lukas and Foss, directors, under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

sf2The group, which included Paul Zukofsky, Buell Neidlinger, John Bergamo and Carol Plantamura, focused on avant-garde music and performance, performing regularly in Buffaloand in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall.

Friedland was Professor of Music at Plymouth State College of the University of New Hampshire in 1968-69, and he served as Assistant Professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado from 1969 until 1976.

In 1976 he became Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, where he taught Clarinet and Chamber Music, and was conductor of the Concordia University Symphony Orchestra until 1993.

Friedland organized, and was clarinetist and director, for the Concordia Chamber Players.

His concerts as clarinetist have been reviewed by The New York Times among other publications.

He has appeared as clarinetist in over eighty-five concerts of chamber music for Radio Canada. He has also appeared in Musicien Québécois.

Friedland has recorded four compact discs for SNE Records of Montreal: The Concordia Commissions: Music, When Soft Voices Die, Vibrates in the Memory (SNE 614), Sherman Friedland in Concert (SNE 618), The Dream Itself Enchanted Me (SNE 538), and a release including the John Bavicchi’s Clarinet Quintet.

Sherman Friedland died January 26, 2017

He leaves his wife of 51 years Linda, four sons Noah, Abram, Nathan and Joseph; and 2 grandchildren Kayla and Sarah.

A private family service was held. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Wilson Funeral Home 822 Pitt Street, Cornwall. If so desired, contributions to the Ottawa Heart Institute would be appreciated by the family.

Nota bene: Sherman’s Clarinet Corner will remain online until January 2018.

– Neil Schwartzman, webmaster, colleague and friend of SF

Advertisements

Sutermeister Capriccio for Solo Clarinet (in A)

June 17, 2017

The Sutermesiter Capriccio for Solo Clarinet is one of the more accessible solo worksfor the instrument. I had a request for information on this work from a young man in New Zealand who is studying and working on it in order to play for anexam. He could find nothing about it to place in his program notes; and in away there is not a lot or material on Mr. Sutermeister


Your sound: “setup”, or head?

June 17, 2017

Just thinking about David Glazer, looked his name up and found that he passed away last week. Brother of Frank, (perhaps a more well-known pianist), David was the clarinetist with the New York Woodwind Quintet at its prime and made many recordings and appearances with them. (Sam Baron, Flute, Ronald Rosenman Oboe, Arthur Weisberg, Bassoon, and John Barrows Horn.) It was at the time, simply the best ensemble of its kind.David Glazer was a player of rare ability in that he was able to blend i with a chamber ensemble with a wonderfully sensitive musicality. David also concertized with many orchestras mostly in Europe. In the early 60’s he was in residence along with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisonsin, (Milwaukee). I went to see and meet him one afternoon. He played a Chedeville mouthpiece with a metal inlay and we immediately tried each others mouthpiece(and clarinet). At the time, I was playing a Selmer S, a very bright mouthpiece and I thought his sound to be quite thick . Within about 5 minutes, he was sounding like David Glazer on my mouthpiece and I like, my bright self, on his. He had retired in 1985, and is survived by his brothers.

As a clarinetist, like you who reads this, I’ve thought about sound for as long as I have played the instrument. From my first efforts, when I heard my first teacher play, it has remained paramount in my mind and certainly whenever I play, (sometimes to great frustration), perhaps as you have as well. So, when I remember the playing of David Glazer and that afternoon in Milwaukee so many years ago, I realize that most of my sound must lodge somewhere in my head, resting in my conception of what the clarinet ought to sound like. Music and the musical phrase have always been more important to me than the basic making of the sound, however that sound does come first. If David Glazer was able to make his sound on my mouthpiece, (and mine on his), what in the world do the things that many students and professionals talk about all of the time have to do with the sound we make on the instrument? NOT all that much, which is basically the subject of this posting.

I am almost overwhelmed by the amount of words I read and hear about mouthpieces, instruments, “setups” and even ligatures. It is enough to make one overcome with the selling of equipment, for that is what it is.

There are folks who market all of the above at prices which are inconceivable to me. Mouthpieces for five hundred dollars! I am especially bothered by the so-called “stepup” products for that is pure and utterly ridiculous crap! A player of the clarinet can make a beautifuly sound on a Bundy mouthpiece, or one of the myriads of Kaspar mouthpieces, (knockoffs and otherwize) for sale out there for hunreds of dollars. And that doesn’t get close to the clarinet itself.

I am maddened by the price that students must pay for what they thnk or are told is a good clarinet, one that has that special sound or ping. Anything near the ballpark of three thousand dollars (or more) is wrong. Wooden instruments are not necessarily better than plastic or hard rubber. The Buffet Greenline clarinet is essentially a plastic clarinet and it is about three thousand bucks! Is that right?  Hard rubber is as good a material as grenadilla or even more exotic woods. These weird woods are much more prone to cracking than hard rubber and the sound is essentially the same. The Lyrique clarinet, (which I play) costs about a third of the price of a wooden instrument and the essential scale is better in tune. This is not an advertisement for my clarinet, for I have never met the man who designed it, nor spoken with him. But I know we feel the same about the hurt we experience when we know a young student or the father and mother of that student have to go and get a loan to buy the youngster an instrument that will run them almost four thousand dollars.

So think about the late David Glazer and me that afternoon. We played with our basic sound on each others mouthpiece (and clarinet). Take it from there when you look at asetup, a step-up, a horn, mouthpiece, ligature or the rest of it. Use your head and your ears.

Stay well, and keep practicing.

Sherman


The demon caller

February 5, 2016

Each morning, for as long as ican remember, at exactly 4:30 AM, my phone rings exactly once, and only once. And, Idont have any idea who is the caller. Now, can it be someone whom I know? Or, someone who is unknown? Is it to remind me of something which has left my memory? I have always prided my self concerning memory.

But as these calls continue, always at 4:30 AM.and only once, doubts are beginning to multiply. Natrully, it could be anyone. About anything, and I dont have Åny clue.

Or, can it be some indication of actual old age? This is disturbing. I am living in a place where screams can be heard at any time, without warning, where this is much dimentia present, coming virtually all day and night, with no warning of any kind.

What does one do? Tell a support worker? I dont think so. That would draw attention to no one else but me. And somehow, that is troubling. Anyway, I feel the need of a coffee, If you are actually out there, ring more than once. If so, I may answer the ring, but now, I am not so sure.

sherman at Heartwood.


RIDENOUR C clarinet and Esperanza

September 17, 2015

Hi Mr Friedland

I have just ordered a ridenour C clarinet and Bb Speranza (a discontinued model similiar to the 576bc at a very good price). My main music interests are klezmer, jazz, band and pop tunes. Would having a C and Bb clarinet cover all my bases, or would it be worthwhile to purchase an A clarinet sometime down the line even though (at least at the moment) have no interest in orchestral playing? In other words, should my next clarinet be another Bb with different characteristics, or an A clarinet. Can a C clarinet play the A clarinets parts? Also, are you familiar with the Speranza clarinet at all and if so what’s your opinion. Thanks in advance, Eli

It is very interesting, but it is a very simple recommendation to make. Tom has solved the problem, actually a long time past. I have played all of the many models he has produced and/or designed, including the Opus, my best clarinets. THE best clarinet.

William Ridenour is the best designer of clarinets in the surrent era.

The material he uses in all his intruments is more stable in all ways, than any other used to make clarinets. Of course, it is hard rubber, or ebonite, which is as stable, and will not crack, will not crack or shatter in any way, and is virtually impervious to temperature changes.

Take all of that to the bank, as they say. Enjoy them.

All good wishes.

sherman


A letter from A student from UMASS

August 24, 2015

Hi Sherman,

My name is Steve and you were my clarinet teacher MANY YEARS AGO at UMASS (1965?) and I played 2nd clarinet with you that year in the UMASS orchestra before I transferred to MIT. I have continued to play the clarinet – and still practice almost every day – and still take lessons (now with Tom Hill in Boston). I have enjoyed your blog for years but have never written. I wish you well

I recall the incident that they decided to take a photo of the UMASS orchestra and you suggested we hold our clarinets with hands reversed. What a lark.You gave a recital at UMASS that (my freshman) year and you played the Schumann fantasy pieces. I had never heard the clarinet played that well before (by leaps and bounds). I was ready to give up, but I am glad I did not. I play much better now (at age 67).

Dear Steve:

Thank you for your kind letter, deeply appreciated. I remember 1965 as it was our first year of marriage, (and we are still adjusting)

I still play with my hands reversed, which is of course, more fun, but am considering no hands at all.

Have been quite ill with varia, a new valve. a few heart attacks, am in a long term care facility, and feel much better.

Thank you again

Keep practicing.

Stay well.

sherman

0


From John McKinney, Leblanc and Selmer

August 8, 2015

ear Mr. Friedland, Hope You are well!

Just wanted to say I read your letter on your website. Please have faith there are many people who still remember all you have done for championing beautiful values in music and clarinet playing.

Today there are so many famous players who believe only in super hard reeds and jaw pressure. I direct my private students to the Clarinet Central website, so they can hear recordings of Gustave Langenus, Louis Cahusac, Reginald Kell, and many others. It then becomes obvious what Benny Goodman was doing with his classical performances and tone concept. Two of my teachers were Ronald Phillips and Eugene Zoro; so this has meaning for me.

These great players all had round mellow sounds that were sweet and clear. The beautiful universal quality of their playing could be appreciated by anyone. I include your recordings in this great company.

Please forgive this question if it is out of line. Is it possible for your family to get you a lap top and headphones so you can enjoy classical performances on YouTube?

Thank You For All You Have Done!

John McKimmey
Leblanc Artist with Conn Selmer

Plays Leblanc Clarinets and Selmer Saxophones Exclusively.

Dear JohnMcKinney

Many thnaks for your kind letter.There is a rather lovely,view surrounding this lovely place, WIth huge evergreeon spruce and flowers, and , strangely, none of the charmng little critters that come in the early light. I have a macmini, which provides me with excellent sound and I prefer small speakers, which provide me with a natural sound, which me of the wonders available  through You tube, and a real favorIte, Medici TV from which you can hear and see allof the many festival s, from throughout the world,and their current offerings..

I am aware of threat players and there  aremany,but find myself much more intnter

sted in their abilities to differentiate in their ability to add a unique interpretative quality.

The quallity of sound is quite similar, however the ability to make a phrase sing and rise above the sound of the other comes to only few of us.

thank you, and best wishes.

sherman friedland