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Clarinet Lessons: Mendelssohn - Symphony #3

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On Mendelssohn's Third Symphony,
there are a couple of things that are very
tricky to do, but they are very elusive.
The number one thing is to be
able to be doing articulations
that are singing in the dotted rhythm
It is very tricky because
there has to be a slight gap,
yet it cannot be dried out
by stopping it with a time.
Then, of course,
one of the other tricky things
is that we have to always
make sure that we are not
miscounting in the long notes.
And it is really important for
us to always sing.
The colors of the throat raise must
be controlled as well as the forte
articulation and the tone has to be
really well taken care of between
forte and pianos then it
always has a nice continuity.
The other thing that we have to
be careful about is the kind of
articulation that when do when there's
a sforzando and the high B and the high D.
I would say those are some
where we actually have to try
to do what I call an air accent.
So the air distribution is,
I would say, about 95% air, and
very little of the articulations.
So that then it doesn't sound [SOUND] but
[SOUND] sung out.
Let me try it and
let me try to demonstrate.
You see the second one with tongue.
Is not as beautiful and
gets a little bit whiny.
If we do it much more air,
Then, we can get more tone right away and
there, you can have room for singing.
Another thing that is important is how
to work on getting the articulation
to be melodic, and part of the sound,
and not late, and not hard.
For example, the first full measure,
we have 16 notes and
therefore the dotted rhythm has to sound
like we have a continuation of those.
So sometimes I will suggest that it is
important to practice it, articulating
continuous 16 notes, and then highlighting
the notes that we actually have to play.
For example
So that then, we get used
to a particular movement for
the tongue that is pa-da, pa-da.
Not ta-ta, ta-ta.
Da-da, da-da.
Always going toward the next notes.
Since the strings always
have continuous 16th notes.
[SOUND] [SOUND] So it is important
to keep that movement so
that when we are in tempo
so that then they are clear,
but they're melodic and
they're in the tempo.
One of the tricky parts about all of
Mendelssohn's music is that it has
to have a lot of life and
vitality and clarity.
And this particular passage
before C it's one that after we
play the beginning of the solo that is
lyrical, then we get into a part where
we have to play very quick articulation
that is short, yet it is soft.
We have pianissimos, accents,
sforzandos which we have to bring out
without getting way too far away
from the realm of the pianissimo.
Whenever we have to do
something like this,
I would recommend to always,
let's remember to use much more air so
that then, we get the spin of the air
getting the reed to vibrate a lot.
And therefore, whenever we articulate,
any little bit will stick out and
therefore we get better
clarity with more tone.
In the passage right before F,
it is basically the culmination
of the whole movement.
Everybody is playing fortissimo, it has to
have buoyancy et cetera, and the trick for
us is to try to play with as big and as
bright a sound without getting strident.
And still having enough room for
the fortissimos,
the accents and
the articulation that has to be singing.
It is very difficult to be
thinking singing quality when
we are playing fortissimo.
And, again, I would suggest let's
just think, forte is full and
fortissimo, full and buoyant, okay?
So it should be a happy,
bright approach to playing the piece with
short articulation and
just a lot of vitality and not hard.
If you'd like to submit this Mendelssohn
excerpt here's what I'm looking for.
Great, bouncy rhythm, clear articulation,
and pacing from the dynamics.
Before you submit your video, be sure to
watch the other video exchanges from 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
give you some feedback.