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Old 07-20-2011, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Classical Clarinet Thread

The clarinet. Squeaky torture device? Or wonderful, resonant, sensitive instrument capable of creating beautiful, haunting melodies with dramatic intensity? I hope this thread will prove the latter.

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Please share your favorite classical pieces for solo clarinet.
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My favorite is the Brahms Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No. 2, 1st Movement. I used to play this piece and adored it back in my teenage heyday of clarinet playing, accompanied by my dad on piano.

The song put Brahms on my list of favorite composers. It also made me love the clarinet. This was a nice emotion to have, because I generally didn't care for the sound of the clarinet very much...which was really a shame because I put many hours into practicing and played it exceedingly well.
(I did! It's true! ) The Brahms sonata made me feel I was creating beautiful music with the clarinet at last.

The sonata shows how sweet, delicate, and mellow a clarinet can be, yet also how piercing and passionate. Hearing this piece again reminds me that I've been meaning (for years) to practice my clarinet enough so that I can play it easily for a good length of time, which will require me to increase my lip strength.

I love how this sonata has so many emotions in it, for the clarinet sounds (to me) alternatively peaceful, driven, relaxed, plaintive, angry, determined, anxious, playful, ecstatic, yearning, demanding, patient, hopeless, and hopeful.

Brahms Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No. 2, 1st. Movement
Levan Tskhadadze - Clarinet




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If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"

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Old 07-20-2011, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh my gosh, I love the clarinet. I actually own a clarinet and can play it somewhat. I'm hoping to learn more! Anyways when I get to a proper computer I'll definitely share some of my favourite pieces with you guys!!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh my gosh, I love the clarinet. I actually own a clarinet and can play it somewhat. I'm hoping to learn more! Anyways when I get to a proper computer I'll definitely share some of my favourite pieces with you guys!!!
Fellow clarinetist! I'm actually hoping to learn more about clarinet solos, too. I've already posted my one and only clarinet piece that I love!

I hope you get to a proper computer soon so you can share some of your favorites. I am now reduced to Googling "Clarinet sonata youtube" and searching through the results for any I adore. So far, nothing has stood out for me, not even the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Brahms Sonata No. 2. But I'll post as soon as I find one!

In the meantime, here's a famous clarinet piece that has a sweet, slow feeling...but not much of the strength that I like in the Brahms Sonata No. 2, first movement:

Mozart Clarinet Concerto part 2
Martin Fröst - Clarinet




And since I like Copland, here's his Clarinet Concerto, which sounds like a hazy early morning, right before sunrise, when the cool blue of night lingers on in tranquility for a few more moments before that first ray of sunlight streaks across from the east and the livelier, jaunty day arrives, and eventually turns into sparkling chaos:

Copland Clarinet Concerto. Excerpts (2007)
Jose Franch-Ballester - Clarinet


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Originally Posted by Neapolitan:
If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hmm you have inspired me to look up some clarinet pieces.

When I was in grade school my music teacher told me that I should learn to play clarinet I guess because of the shape of my mouth or the space between my teeth. I don't know she was a bit eccentric.

She would look at people's hands and their jawlines and all kinds of things to determine what instrument they would be good at playing and mines ended up being Clarinet.

I wasn't able to play and learn because my mother would have to pay for the instrument and she didn't have the funds at the time.

Maybe one day I will buy it and practice on my own.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hmm you have inspired me to look up some clarinet pieces.

When I was in grade school my music teacher told me that I should learn to play clarinet I guess because of the shape of my mouth or the space between my teeth. I don't know she was a bit eccentric.

She would look at people's hands and their jawlines and all kinds of things to determine what instrument they would be good at playing and mines ended up being Clarinet.

I wasn't able to play and learn because my mother would have to pay for the instrument and she didn't have the funds at the time.

Maybe one day I will buy it and practice on my own.
Hey, I had a space between my teeth, too...and ended up playing the clarinet!

About your teacher: in my opinion, using "musical eugenics" to match children with instruments does kids a disservice since I think anyone can play any instrument if she or he really wants to. Most important is that the kids *like* the instrument.

I wanted to play the flute, not the clarinet, but I couldn't get out a note out of the flute the first time I tried to play one in elementary school. I recall an adult said my lips might make it difficult to play the flute well. Since I got a note out of a clarinet the first time I tried one, that's the instrument I selected for band, fearful of flute failure.

It wasn't love, though, and I think that an instrument paired with a child should feel like love. I never really liked the sound of the clarinet, which for me is an acquired taste that I only fully acquire when the song is Brahms Sonata No. 2, 1st movement.

I'm sorry your mom didn't have the funds at the time to buy a clarinet for you. I'm glad you are inspired to investigate the clarinet a little more now.

I've inspired *myself* to look for the remnants of my past clarinet life that I still have (besides the clarinet). I found my old Brahms Sonata No. 2 sheet music, several decades old and still almost good as new! I also found the first page, but only the first page, of a clarinet solo I used to play by Ernesto Cavallini Ernesto Cavallini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Now I'm investigating more of his clarinet pieces.

Ernesto Cavallini - Lontano dalla Patria / Romance for clarinet (1871)
Fabrizio Meloni -Clarinet

Playful and romantic, as the name suggests. Kind of fun:



Ernesto Cavallini - Adagio and Tarantella - Adagio e Tarantella per Clarinetto
This is the solo I played but never liked much because it just seems like a lot of noodling and showoffery (?) without much of a melody. Maybe someone else will like it, though.

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Originally Posted by Neapolitan:
If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bernhard Crusell was the clarinet giant in Sweden and Finland late 1700s-early 1800s:

‪Bernhard Henrik Crusell Clarinet Quartet in C minor (1/2)‬‏ - YouTube

‪Bernhard Henrik Crusell Clarinet Quartet C minor (2/2)‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Bernhard Crusell was the clarinet giant in Sweden and Finland late 1700s-early 1800s: . . .
I'd never heard of Crusell before. Thanks for sharing the two videos, BigSwede. The music was very pleasant.

I am now listening to some songs by another composer (and clarinetist) about whom I knew nothing yesterday:
Carl Baermann (1810 – 1885) from Deutschland. Carl Baermann - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is one of Carl Baermann's pieces that I feel is quite nice, starting off slow and contemplative, moving to a faster section, and then returning to the slow one:

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Carl Baermann - opus 63 No. 43,
from Carl Baermann's Complete Celebrated Clarinet Method.
Kees Vos, Clarinet, and Frits Kroese, Piano

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(The start of the main melody sounds very similar to some famous piece, but I can't remember which one...arghh!!!)



And another by Carl Baermann below, with a beautiful and unexpected video showing...mushrooms!
I'd watch it just for the mushrooms and other nature scenes, so the clarinet is a bonus.

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Carl Baermann - opus 63 No. 44 Variations Sentimentales
from Carl Baermann's Complete Celebrated Clarinet Method.
Kees Vos, Clarinet, and Frits Kroese, Piano

*************************************************
(Notice the unexpected, subtle entrance of the clarinet on third beat of a measure, rather than on the first beat. Also notice the variety throughout the piece...hence "Variations" in the title, I suppose. If you get bored with one section, a new one pops up soon! It's like channel surfing without the surfing. )

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Originally Posted by Neapolitan:
If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"

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Old 07-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Continuing the internationalization.

Miguel Yuste (1870-1947):




Ingenuidad ("Naivety") and Vibraciones del alma ("Vibrations of the Soul").



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Old 07-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=VEGANGELICA;1087835]I'd never heard of Crusell before. Thanks for sharing the two videos, BigSwede. The music was very pleasant.
Martin Fröst has recorded his three clarinet concertos if you ever want to listen to more of him.
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