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Clarinet Lessons: Nielsen - Symphony #5

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[instrumental music]
Nielsen- Symphony #5.
Okay so we know that Nielsen
was very fond of the clarinet,
he wrote a great clarinet concerto,
and the player for
whom he wrote the concerto oxenbad was
a virtuoso a big virtuoso at the time.
And there's actually some recordings
that you can actually hear him play,
playing the quintet.
Now the one thing that he
liked to do in this piece is
characterizing oxenbad just
like he did in the clarinet
concerto, so
there's a great deal of changes.
Now the thing that he had a very,
very quick temperament and
he could just get really, really angry and
irrational at times without
much provocation even though his
nature was to be sort of sweet, but
it just didn't have too much of a filter,
and you can see it in the music as reason.
Now there are two things to check out.
These first two solos that I'm
talking about, the clarinet comes and
it has an explosion of rage and
intensity, okay?
And so it is extremely important
that we have the biggest
ringing sound that we can make but
without losing the quality of the sound.
Yeah, this is another one where we
have to get to basically the edge
of what is intense but
without losing the quality.
Okay.
Now we tend to be a little bit
free when it comes to that kind
of treatment of tone.
But to me it's very important that in
most of the modern 20th century where
the tone quality remains on a high level.
Well, I think that we used
the excuse that it's modern music,
we have to accelerate all
the things in order to
have the excuse to not be as careful
with the quality of the sound.
And I believe that is a mistake.
We should always make sure
that whatever we're doing
is a portrayal, that it's artistic.
Now, let's just check.
When we're doing the transfer in
the first solo from the B, it's forte,
going on the break, some people actually
play this all because it says fortissimo,
just going with moving these notes,
just making them with
the regular fingerings.
Let me try to show you.
[MUSIC].
So if you hear that, there's a little
bit of a bump because we're going
from the clarinbraes to the altissimo.
And, it gets a little bit harder
diddle-diddle-didddle-di.
That, actually, may be a very effective
way to play in the orchestra.
When you have a big hall and you have 95
other colleagues playing with you and you
have the timpani, boom, boom, boom, boom
and the snare, da, tickety, da, da, da!
[MUSIC]
That could work there.
When we're by ourselves and
we're number 77 in an audition day,
[LAUGH] it's one of those things
where we want to be in control and
be suggestive of the intensity.
But, for a note to get to a place
where the sound can be a little ugly.
A little ugly, I call ugly a sound
that has more, too much of something.
Like if it's too, too bright it's shrill,
if it is too dark and
doesn't have enough height
it's an opaque sound.
We don't want to go there.
We want to have a balanced sound.
So for this one,
I would suggest using the side fingering.
It's still going to be bright and
then you use the regular fingerings for
the rest of the run.
Let me show you.
So I'm trying to explain the use
of side and then going here so
we use the side and then the last C sharp
of the measure, then we go to regular.
[MUSIC]
And then when we get the B
we can do the crescendo and
can get the spin in the sound and
the brightness.
And the clarity of the sound, and then
these two notes, because they tend to be
a little bit lighter and thinner,
you will get a lot of highs.
So you don't have to really
play as loud as possible,
because the quality of
the sound will be bright.
[MUSIC]
You see,
that's very bright,
and then we have room.
Now, the same thing happens for
the next big solo, so
you have to get a reed that helps you,
that gets you enough strength.
And you can play with force and
with virtuosity and
confidence that the sound won't break
while you're playing very loudly so
then it doesn't get to
[SOUND] just spreading.
You still want to have the intensity,
okay?
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So the cadenza comes at the very end of
the movement,
we have to keep in mind that right before
their big orchestra climax
comes the strings playing,
this very beautiful long
theme is just going through,
pushing forward, and the woodwinds
having this austenato [SOUND].
High register, fortissimo
everybody playing very intensly.
The snare drum has a marking by Nielsen,
I have to improvise certain
patterns that he has to have from
the rhythms, that he has from before.
So he's trying to drum the orchestra,
that's the marking,
so he has to have this kind of intense,
explosion of sound and
intensity that goes on, and
then when that climax finishes,
then we have again, a style that Neilsen
exploits in the clarinet concerto.
So then you can see Oxenberg's
beautiful humanity and gentle part and
he has this very nice solo which is
excellent because it's in the very nice,
best clarion register and
we don't have anybody to compete against.
In the moments when we finish
the first part of the cadenza and
there's a quarter note fromata.
Then the snare drum is
still playing back stage,
and its still showing some of
that intensity from back stage.
So you can see also
the character six of Oxenberg.
He could be gentle, but still there's
something in the back of the mind that
could go off okay, and
therefore because of all this
intense music that came before,
you have to try to find a way to get
your sound to be flexible, and smooth.
Now in this particular one,
I would prefer to have like the most
balanced sound, the most singing sound.
But in reality,
what you want is the contrast,
especially after having those very intense
solos, just to play with a gentle sound
and with gentle fingers, so that then
you have a great deal of contrast.
Now this is one of those solos where we
can put to work and to put to use the work
that we've been doing from the previous
lessons talking about finger legato and
how to work on finger technique.
In here, just to remind you if you
haven't bothered to check it out just yet
or you haven't seen it in a while,
is that we need to keep the fingers
always working like an octopus, and
as gently as possible so that then we
have beautiful legato from note to note.
So let me try to show you a little of the
movement between [SOUND] from the solo.
[MUSIC]
I
squeezed
it.
Yes we're going to do this faster.
[SOUND] But we have to get as
close to that feel as possible.
[MUSIC]
Now this solo,
because we are trying
to do all those things,
it is one of those legato technique.
It is important to remember that
the legato technique is to help us to show
the phrase, and to go from note to note.
Don't make it an exercise in legato,
so very espressivo.
It says [FOREIGN].
Which is very funny because lontano means,
from a distance.
Okay, so when you're hearing it,
it's like it's from a far,
it's sort of like a thought.
But he puts quasi which is almost molto,
so that's like saying,
you know I would like just little bit of
an explosion, just a little explosion.
[LAUGH] So it's sort of like
this kind of thing, so
almost extremely far away again,
but the feeling is smooth,
far, and heart felt
[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
If
you like to
submit this
Nielsen excerpt
here's,
what I'm
looking for.
Bravura playing, big sound and
a ringing tone, without shrillness.
Pay attention, that is very important
that even though it’s 20th century music,
that we can sound powerful but
still with high quality sound.
Before you submit the video,
please check out what other people
have submitted in the Video Exchange.
Once you have done that,
submit your video,
I'll take a look and
give you some feedback.
[MUSIC]