eb clarinet

April 7, 2016

Hi Sherman I have a 60’s era B&H Imperial Eb clarinet which I use for doubling in concert band and orchestra. It is a little powerhouse of an instrument and I love playing it, with reservations. It has it’s original mouthpiece. The problem is I don’t like it. I use Eb reeds in preference to cutdown Bb. I play a pair of Leblanc LL’s with a Vandoren B40 mouthpiece usually. I have tried a couple of Vandoren mouthpieces with the Eb and while they feel great to play, they just don’t suit this instrument. Any suggestions on modern mouthpieces that may suit this lovely little clarinet as I don’t have access to be able to just try a wide range. Thanks Kelli

Kelli:

your lls are a great choice. If the mouthpieces for Eb, play well, getting used to them will or should not be difficult

Have a good time with your monster

stay well

sherman


All Saints Day, Is it over? Promise?

November 1, 2015

imagesIf I neverI see Jamie Lee Curtis scream and Donald Pleasance murder Michael Myers , haunting the streets of Haddonfield, cloaked in darkness and blood, it will be too soon!!

Here, in Heartwood and Cornwall, and indeed all of Canada, this calm Catholic All saints day is celebrated with an endless bloody fear fest that is truly frightening. There is a ghostly lady, walking rhtythmically, in short steps throughout the halls, intoning a kind of mantra and looking for an elevator, pressing the code button, never getting the right numbers, and trying to get out. She goes from one elevator to another mumbling continuously.

Someone else likes to pilfer through my toilet articles, sometimes taking and or dropping a bottle. I will not see the person for a few days after. She is boh present and totally absent. So, in several aspects, Mickael Meyers is on the premises, especially at Halloween.

Last night, I went to bed late . There came two wiches, dressed as psw personal service workers. Have a happy Halloween, one said,(her tail seductively twitching) and I replied that I do not celerbrate this day of days. It has been disturbubgly  unsettling, especially being in this long term care center. Now, it is November 1st . And perfectly coordinated with the changing of the time. Of course, everyone forgot and the morning was endless.

Nobodyhad had their coffee and seemed very kind, though uncoordinated.

Even when a younger person, I had no care for this holiday, which has been turned into a festival of blood and gore.

We turned our lights out and kept no light in the window for these poor kids, dragging their parents from door to door.

And now, thanks to walmart and the other department stores, it has become a huge moneymaker, leading up to, but not separated from Christmas, celebrated with long lines of inflatable toys, and snowmen.

The personal service workers, incredibly kind, and you know who you are, wlike to talked about, and are richly deserving of praise and gratitude/   But, dont mention my name.

That would be uncanadian, or unforgivable.

Read my lips. Read my blog.

I love you.

sherman , 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

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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


From Heartwood Long Term Care/ Joan and Beverly

August 6, 2015

We sit at the same table, mostly.

Joan sits at my left. She has very lovely knowing eyes.Someone combs her hair most mornings, and, every once in a while she looks at me knowingly with large, remembering, knowing eyes. But she says little; no sentences,just makes her choice easily known and understood by her servers.. The rest of her face are unkindly appearing to be very much younger than all else.. She walks well with her wallker, though needs assistance to sit at the table. Sitting, she looks virtually collapsed, very small, shriveled, though with her occasional glance, there is a kind of communication, which is assuring..
When finished she, helped to her feet, walks quickly back down the hallway, her movements much younge appearing than sitting, Once in a while, I see her helping Ransom into his room nest to hers, actually pushing him in his wheelchair. He is intelligent,seemingly have losthis ability to talk , or even move at all.

Beverly sits to my right, and she is a new resident. She appears perfectly well, and seems to move by herself, though must be accompanied from her room and back.she looks well, her eyes appear bright. and she can speak, or seems to to speak.
She says she has no cholesteral, doesnt have anything wrong about her heart, and needs no pills for blood pressure.

When she speaks, she wants to know what utencil to use, frequently drops them, and knows nothing about their function, but she eats quickly , finsihing every drop, then asks for a towel, but she means a Tissue, for her nose leaks and drips constantly after finishing eat ing her food. She then begins to call various severs, whom she recognizes, but, in a very small voice, over and over , and asks why there is no response. She asks if she has had dessert, and keeps on asking until she is noticed.

Tonight, a server came to her and told her that she used used to live downstairs from and the server reminiisced about her childhood with Beverly, perhaps 20 years ago , or more. There was a brightening of her face, saying sometimes, yes, I remember that. The server was kind and smiling. It was touching to see, and helped me to understand her condition.

And, I suppose, to understand mine..

shermen friedland


orchestras/trouble

June 24, 2015

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the VIenna Philharmonic, summer concert

what an orchestra can be

It has been a dark few years for this country’s orchestras. In the past season, a bitter strike in San Francisco and a lockout in Minneapolis led to cascading cancellations, including of the San Francisco Symphony’It has been a dark few years for this country’s orchestras. In the past season, a bitter strike in San Francisco and a lockout in Minneapolis led to cascading cancellations, including of the San Francisco Symphony’

This remarkable venture, which resulted in works by Lukas Foss, Paul Hindemith, Roy Harris, Gunther Schuller and many others, put Louisville and its orchestra on the international cultural map and attracted luminaries like Shostakovich and Martha Graham to visit the city. But that wasn’t enough to fend off the regular financial crises that have dogged the orchestra over the decades since, until its recent bankruptcy filing.

This perennial instability has stemmed in part from an overreliance on bailouts from private sponsors and large corporations, some of which reduced donations during difficult economic periods or moved out of town. “No one wanted to face the reality that one day support would end,” said Jorge Mester, the orchestra’s current music director, in a telephone interview.

One solution being discussed is to reduce the Louisville Orchestra’s 71 salaried players to 55 and fill in the gaps with freelancers. “The musicians, of course, don’t want to abandon their colleagues,” Mr. Mester said. While the ideal is an orchestra that plays 52 weeks a year, he added, “it’s not a calamity” to use freelancers. He doesn’t fear that quality would suffer.

A reliance on freelancers is growing increasingly prevalent in many industries. Some first-rate orchestras, like the New York ensembles Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, have long had freelance structures. But even with lower overhead many freelance music organizations are now playing fewer concerts and producing less income for the musicians.
Stewart Rose, a horn player with St. Luke’s since 1983, also plays with Orpheus and the New York City Opera Orchestra and is currently on a temporary arrangement with the New York Philharmonic. He enjoys “the variety that comes along with freelancing,” he said in a telephone interview. But the time lag between performances during a slow stretch can be demoralizing, he said. “It’s really been tough for everyone with the decline in the amount of work out there.”

While the freelance model can be perilous for musicians, the upside for orchestras is a more flexible operating system. The rotating work force of the excellent Orchestra of St. Luke’s, for example, makes it easier to survive challenging times.

“One of the things that makes us resilient is our flexibility,” said Katy Clark, the orchestra’s president and executive director. “We don’t spend what we don’t have. We don’t guarantee work to our musicians and don’t require that they turn up. Even though you might think this would be anarchic, we have very stable personnel to an amazing extent.”

Another benefit of freelance orchestras, Ms. Clark added, is that they tend to have more inclusive management styles and thus suffer less labor friction.

St. Luke’s currently has balanced budgets, no operating deficit and a new revenue stream from the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, a complex for performance and rehearsals that opened in March, with rooms for rent by outside groups at affordable rates. The orchestra, which is often presented by Carnegie Hall and other organizations in collaborative partnerships that Ms. Clark described as fundamental to its success, has not cut any of its self-produced programs but has received fewer fee engagements during the recession.

This perennial instability has stemmed in part from an overreliance on bailouts from private sponsors and large corporations, some of which reduced donations during difficult economic periods or moved out of town. “No one wanted to face the reality that one day support would end,” said Jorge Mester, the orchestra’s current music director, in a telephone interview.

One solution being discussed is to reduce the Louisville Orchestra’s 71 salaried players to 55 and fill in the gaps with freelancers. “The musicians, of course, don’t want to abandon their colleagues,” Mr. Mester said. While the ideal is an orchestra that plays 52 weeks a year, he added, “it’s not a calamity” to use freelancers. He doesn’t fear that quality would suffer.

A reliance on freelancers is growing increasingly prevalent in many industries. Some first-rate orchestras, like the New York ensembles Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, have long had freelance structures. But even with lower overhead many freelance music organizations are now playing fewer concerts and producing less income for the musicians.

Stewart Rose, a horn player with St. Luke’s since 1983, also plays with Orpheus and the New York City Opera Orchestra and is currently on a temporary arrangement with the New York Philharmonic. He enjoys “the variety that comes along with freelancing,” he said in a telephone interview. But the time lag between performances during a slow stretch can be demoralizing, he said. “It’s really been tough for everyone with the decline in the amount of work out there.”

While the freelance model can be perilous for musicians, the upside for orchestras is a more flexible operating system. The rotating work force of the excellent Orchestra of St. Luke’s, for example, makes it easier to survive challenging times.

“One of the things that makes us resilient is our flexibility,” said Katy Clark, the orchestra’s president and executive director. “We don’t spend what we don’t have. We don’t guarantee work to our musicians and don’t require that they turn up. Even though you might think this would be anarchic, we have very stable personnel to an amazing extent.”

Another benefit of freelance orchestras, Ms. Clark added, is that they tend to have more inclusive management styles and thus suffer less labor friction.

St. Luke’s currently has balanced budgets, no operating deficit and a new revenue stream from the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, a complex for performance and rehearsals that opened in March, with rooms for rent by outside groups at affordable rates. The orchestra, which is often presented by Carnegie Hall and other organizations in collaborative partnerships that Ms. Clark described as fundamental to its success, has not cut any of its self-produced programs but has received fewer fee engagements during the recession.