The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide

The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide

The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide

The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide

Synopsis

This guide, written by one of the foremost interpreters of early clarinet music, is intended for all clarinetists with a desire to investigate music of earlier periods. It contains practical help on both the acquisition and playing of historical clarinets, while performers on modern instruments will find much advice on style, approach and techniques, which combine to make up a well-grounded, period interpretation. Most importantly, case studies that include the music of Handel, Mozart and Brahms help recreate performances as close as possible to the composer's original intention.

Excerpt

This practical guide is intended for all clarinet devotees with an interest in historical performance, whether as professionals, students, enthusiastic concert-goers, discriminating listeners or players of modern instruments seeking advice about those matters of style, approach and general technique which combine to make up a well-grounded period interpretation. the art of music is indeed notoriously difficult to describe in words, and there were inevitably numerous conventions which theorists simply took for granted. However, primary sources can be a great inspiration, whether on a philosophical or a practical level. Above all, we should never forget that in Mozart's day the performer's foremost aim was to move an audience.

Treatises can illuminate the history of music in a variety of unexpected ways. For example, Joseph Fröhlich's Vollständige theoretisch-praktische Musikschule (Bonn, 1810–11) has the following advice for the wind-player. He recommends a moderate life-style and avoidance of anything which could damage the chest, such as running, riding on horseback or excessive indulgence in hot drinks. One should not practise after a meal and so the afternoon is best avoided; furthermore, one should not drink immediately after practising if the lungs are still warm, since this has been the cause of early deaths with many people. in the case of dry lips – very bad for the embouchure – the mouth should be rinsed, preferably with an alcoholic beverage to give the lips new strength. Crucially, Fröhlich's advice needs to be interpreted with the original conditions and tastes in mind, since he was writing at a time when a performer's continued good health was an altogether more fragile matter than it is today.

The primary aim of this book is to present and interpret evidence from such sources on matters which include technique, style and expression, and to offer suggestions for further reading and investigation. There is also guidance on many other relevant issues, as well as advice regarding the . . .

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