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Clarinet Lessons: Mozart - Clarinet Concerto

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Mozart's Concerto
is the concerto for us.
It has everything.
That we would hope to have virtuosity,
singing style, and
a very, very organic way of writing for
the clarinet.
There are so many things that we can
talk about in this concerto, but
things that I would like to stress
right now are some of the differences
of the way that we can think about
this concerto as performance
tips versus audition performance tips.
Those are completely different things.
For example, the concerto was a routine
for a basset clarinet in G originally.
That's how he started writing it.
Which is a bass clarinet
that has an extension to
the low C as compared to the traditional
clarinet that we have this.
E we can go up to four extra half steps
going down, now they are only remaining
parts of the [INAUDIBLE] is 199 bars for
that basset in G and then,
The rest that we have is just baron
writer edition that was done, and
actually when it was published,
it was already written with their regular
concerto, because unfortunately, there's
always a one of the things that we have
to deal with is that, when we're talking
about publishing, even back then, you
have to follow the mighty dollar, okay?
So the thing is that Mozart wrote
this concerto for Anton Stadler, and
he was one of the best exponents
of that instrument, but
it used to be one of his specialties,
and therefore baron writer
published it in a way that it then will be
more accessible for more people, but they
didn't bother to even put the original and
then put the version on the side.
So, for the longest time we have had to
speculate a little bit about how some of
the passage work was done now I actually
prefer to perform it on a Basset Clarinet
which is a clarinet with a four extension.
I didn't used to do it
like that all the time.
Once I actually started
doing it it gave me a great
open the world for
me in terms of the explaining and
how the concerto has to be performed.
Or a way that makes sense to perform it.
For example when you play
on a basset clarinet.
The lowest note because
of the extra tone holes.
That the instrument has.
It actually gives you
a very sweet warm sound.
But actually it's not usually the basset
clarinets are usually not as powerful
as the traditional clarinet,
in terms of being able to play
loudly with a good sound.
Of course, you can play in terms of volume
in the virtually the same dynamics,
but the kind of quality of
somebody will get is not the best.
So I would say then for
a concerto performance, and, and
concerts is usually like you can play on
a more gentle approach since actually
you have to play it gently and
with great nuance and beauty if you
want the concerto to sound nice and
also you have to also
remember that because of
the key that he adjusted it to A major.
Which is a transition key that
Mozart uses very, very, cleverly.
In the 18th century a lot of pieces were
determined the kind of
character they had by the key.
So C major was a very brilliant key.
E major G major they were so
called happy keys.
Now C minor or
D minor were very grave and very intense.
A major was actually a transition key
where it would have great beauty.
It could be happy but
it would also have a bit of nostalgia.
Now when you think about the original
version of the instrument being
done in G okay?
Which means it will be sorta happy and
an open concerto that has
a great deal of happiness.
And then changing it to the A major
actually gives you a window of
thought, a little bit of chance to think,
well, perhaps, this nostalgic feeling that
the concerto has is something
that most are wanting to exploit.
He does that in the same way in his piano
concerto where he puts the clarinet and
in the actual quintet.
And it's a beautiful piece in A major
what he has a nice transition.
Even his violin concerto number
five which he did when he was
19 years old has a very
beautiful adagio beginning.
That has an operatic sound
that even though it's happy,
it still has a great deal
of heart-felt emotion.
Now, when it comes to
playing concertos for
audition preparation,
now when we are playing, and
we are one of many people who are actually
in line to get an audition, you want to.
Make sure that the concerto being the
first thing that you usually tend to play,
that it give you a good opportunity to
show your sound and that you are very
happy and confident to be able to play
the piece and to play the instrument.
Therefore, a tempo that is brisk,
is extremely important so that, then,
people do not confuse being a little bit
in the sentimental side with morose.
Unfortunately, there are some things that,
in terms of auditions,
that we get into this grey area
of what people confuse,but if
you are trying to be careful,
people will think you are boring.
Sometimes, people with think
if you are trying to play,
with a great deal of emotion and
show the contrast, but
some people might say that's a little
too rough, or too harsh or whatever.
So, the thing is that you can never
really second guess a committee, but
what you want to do is to
show the differences, okay?
So for this,the concerto, I would say the
material is important in audition to have
a brisk tempo,
anywhere between 122 to 126 to 128.
It gives you a nice levity, so
then you can have the 16th
notes have a bubbly presence,
and then you can have it
in a good transition where
you want to play some of
the fast notes steady [SOUND] and
then for
when you're playing the legato parts.
[SOUND] You can smooth it out,
instead of going.
[SOUND] In square.
It's not a march, but
just a very beautiful singing style.
[SOUND] Smooth, not square.
And then when we get to
the 16 note passages,
then it can be synculating and
with a lot of flair.
If you'd like
to submit the Mozart Concerto,
this is what I'd like you to think about.
Beautiful sound, great rhythm,
and very nice articulation.
Since the pieces are long, please go ahead
and send whatever you have prepared.
And then we can go little by little
until we can finish the piece.
Before you submit your video, be sure to
watch the other video exchanges on this
piece and
what I have told the other students.
Once you have done that,
submit your video.
I'll take a look and
give you some feedback.