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Clarinet Lessons: Kodaly - Dances of Galanta

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All right, so, Galanta Dances.
Yes, nice piece.
Nice piece to play and great solos.
What is expected of us to play?
We have to have great flair,
virtuosity, and expression.
Now how do we get to the part of flair and
The first part of that is we have to
practice these runs actually slowly.
Now, everybody knows that, so
why am I wasting your time thinking slow?
Because It's how to play slow, and
which notes we're going to anchor in.
We're gonna use certain notes
as a trampoline to get going, so
that then we will have the actual clarity,
and therefore we will have the virtuosity.
And because there are some notes that will
have those anchor notes that we're going
to lean onto and
then we have to do the rubato.
Rubato means to steal time a little bit
and to bring it back, because we're
leaning on some of them and we have to
bring it back by the end of that run.
Then it will just have the flair we need.
So the first thing to be thinking
in the first solo after the trill,
the notes that I would like to invite you
to consider is the A flat and the E flat.
Now, the A flat is so that then we don't
rush through the passage right after
the thrill, and then the E flat is
actually a very important note to lean
on a little bit, even though it doesn't
say in there, it's good to lean so
that then, because let's face it,
most conductors, they're a little lost.
Shh, let's not advertise that too loudly.
But when you lean on there,
you are helping
them to hear where that second beat is,
and therefore they'll be able to bring
the orchestra at 35 in the right split,
so it would sound like
this after the trill.
You see, like.
So then it gets the flare.
And then it's still clear.
Now, the other thing is that,
in the second time that that comes,
we have to make sure that the tempo
that we do the 32nd notes is helpful.
We're going to be using that tempo for
the poco stringendo, so
don't play too fast because,
if you go [SOUND] then the orchestra has
to go [SOUND] and then there's
an unnatural around the stringendo and
you have to tongue a little too much.
Plus this tempo is from the lento 54.
So if we think about it,
there's no real thing going too fast.
So even though there is a poco piu
mosso around 20, about number 20.
Basically 18 measures before we
play the solo, well, actually,
it's like 12 measures before we
play the solo, is coming from 54.
So if we are subdividing, that's 108 for
32nd notes for the eighth notes.
[SOUND] It's not that fast.
We just see black notes and
we freak out a little bit.
So we just have to be thinking expansive,
So that then we can go [SOUND].
Let's remember that we're gonna add
the flair with the rubato on the E flat.
And then we're going
to be thinking of that
So that's why we have to make
sure that that tempo is not
too fast at the beginning and
it's clear.
Then one last thing.
The beginning it says forte expressivo,
and I've heard so
many clarinet players,
because of this forte expressivo thing,
think they can just
It's nice for us in our rooms to do that,
but musically speaking,
it's actually not very good because
when we start, we have to remember,
it's the end of the violins
playing that very beautiful tune.
Which means that our solo really does
not start until the third measure,
on the trill.
Okay, so what do we do?
We concentrate on the espressivo part of
the first two measures, not on the forte.
And in this case, the forte will be F for
full, full sound, not loud.
Therefore, we can try to do it like this.
Okay, so then it's
a big dynamic change but
it's not militant.
Okay, now the last little thing we're
gonna talk about right now is the trill,
how do we treat that trill?
The trill, I would say that we start
piano and there's a crescendo and
fermata, and because it just
has to have flair of eastern
Europeans sort of Gypsy music and
this kind of stuff.
So it has to have a nice
feel where it's not stiff.
Therefore, I try to think of increasing
the speed of the trill as I get faster,
and as I try to get out of that
fermata before I have the run,
I slow down the trill and
I do a taper dynamic.
So diminuendo, slow down the trill,
crescendo, intensify.
So, I will try to show this now.
The part of the andante maestoso
there are a couple of
things that are tricky.
You know,
here is says andante maestoso and
Kodaly actually puts 76 to 80 for
the tune.
Now, the slowest part of
76 is like [SOUND], so
sort of like a slow dance.
It's still danceable, and
that's the slowest part.
Now traditionally unfortunately
it's played much slower.
Unfortunately for Kodaly,
basically, not for us.
Because it's slower we get to play a very
juicy solo with a lot of inflection, etc.
But we're basically ignoring
what Kodaly actually wrote.
That's not clarinetist's fault,
that's conductor's fault.
So what we're going to
do with this is that,
in an audition set up you're not
trying to alienate people, so
you have to do something that
is basically traditional but
you have to actually show that you
understand what's printed in the part.
Now so the good thing about
this tempo that Kodaly puts in
there aside from the fact
that it becomes a nice, slow,
bouncy dance is that the triplet
Treatment, then it's easier to deal with.
[SOUND] One, two, three, [SOUND].
Now, when we're having to play slower,
then it has to be in a place
where it still has flair, and
we still have to be able
to go to the next note.
But believe me, and this is one of
those where you get an audition, and
you'll have one or two cranky little
musicians in the back tapping to get,
this person is not playing rhythmically,
if you play too soon or too late.
But, because of this having
to get to do it slower.
And there's a solution that
I'd like to offer to you.
Now, the important thing is to start
the rhythm where it has to be so
that then, if we're playing
way slower.
Then for the once we are measuring.
We are there in tempo.
then we get to the third beat,
in the right spot.
But, because we don't want to get to the
next beat too soon and make the triplet
completely even, and it has to sound
more gypsy-like, you are improvising.
What we'll do is,
we play the note a little bit longer, and
threfore it forces us to do rubato.
Which then adds to the flair.
So, we have to thank,
a little bit, the cranky people.
Then it gives us an opportunity to
be even more expressive, actually.
So then we can go
one and two.
[SOUND] And because we are leaning on
the first note and then we have to go.
If you're leaning at crescendo, it helps
you justify the accent that we have.
[SOUND] And therefore,
the accent has a little bit more meaning,
because it has that intensity
from the rubato before.
If we play straight, then without that
little bit of tension,
then it sounds a little bit cold.
That's not the kind of music we want.
So it has
a little bit
of that.
And there's room to,
because it's sort of this kind of music,
you want to make sure that you show
the tempo and you show the way there is.
But the treatment of the triplet you
will do a similar thing when it comes.
Now the most important thing that
I want you to be thinking about.
Similar is not the same.
In music, similar is literally
things that have like gestures.
But it's not identical gestures.
And that's very important
to think about in music.
You don't ever want to
play everything the same.
So, in this one then, you actually play it
with, some of them with more leaning and
some of them with less, but the point
is that we do it in the right spot,
from the beginning, so that it has
the proper rhythmic structure, and
then, the amount of treatment that we do,
that's what comes into
the part of interpretation.
If you'd like to submit this
Kodaly excerpt, sorry, Pick up.
If you'd like to submit this Kodaly
excerpt, here's what I'm looking for,
flare, virtuosity and expressivity.
Before you submit your video,
be sure to watch the other video
exchanges on this excerpt, and
see what I have told the other students.
Once you have done that,
submit your video, I’ll take a look, and
I’ll give you some feedback.