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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Thoughts on Articulation

I love your last post, Kristen! I especially like the "Mental To-Do" at the top. In addition to the physical aspects of articulation that you explained so expertly, it also helps me to have a model of articulated sound. This probably falls under "1. Be Creative" in your post above. While there are many fine recordings of clarinetists who articulate beautifully, I often like to have a model that is not a clarinetist, but rather a vocalist or violinist. The physical nature of the clarinet lends itself well to heavy articulation, whereas so much of our repertoire demands lighter articulation. In addition, so much Classic and Romantic music is written in an operatic (vocal) style. To try to overcome the tendencies of the clarinet and achieve a variety of articulation styles, I listen to vocalists and string players and try to put passages in that context (vowel? consonant? on the string? off the string? pizzicato?) to achieve lightness and style appropriate to the passage.

The two recordings of "La Ronde des Lutins" (the original for violin and a transcription for clarinet) illustrate this idea in action.



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