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Clarinet Lessons: Shostakovich - Symphony #9, 2nd Movement

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[MUSIC]
Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony.
It has a lot of great little solos
to play, but two super great ones.
We start the second movement, and
two things that we tend to
really put a lot of emphasis in,
is the attack of the high D and
how to finger the high F sharp.
Well, for the high D, it is important to
try to get a fingering that is responsive
so that then we are able to
play with great fluidity.
Now, I like to use the backless
D on the A clarinet.
The backless D because it's rounder and
the leap down is also smoother
to go from the high D to the A.
And even if we have a clumsy little
thumb Because the D is actually round,
even a clumsy slur here is still pretty
decent in comparison to just hoping for
a super perfect legato from the high
bright D to the A clarinet register.
The high F sharp Is one of those tricky
things because we always find ourselves
which finger is our E there, secure but
they don't have the right style and
then right kind of tone or the ones that
have the right kind of tone are unstable.
Well, I have found a couple
of them that work quite well.
The one that is the most stable,
I have found,
that is the high A with the top trill key.
So we can slur from the high
A to the F sharp like that, but
incidentally that is a fingering
that you can use also and
works great in the Copeland Concerto.
Let me try.
[MUSIC]
Now, sometimes you may
find that in your clarinet,
it might pop out a lot.
There's two reasons why
it might tend to pop out.
If the reed is too light, this fingering,
since it's so responsive,
it will scream out.
The other reason, it could be that you
have to make sure that the opening of this
key is no more than
about four millimeters.
Okay, when we get much
more opening than that,
the trill from A to B is very clear, but
these notes come out way too high and
then they scream out.
Okay?
Now the other thing to watch
is that we hear that F sharp
way too sharp all the time, and then it
makes everything, all the other notes,
since are going in high steps,
we have to then match the high step.
So then we end up with a very sharp tonic.
So, if you play sharp,
it would end up sounding like this.
[MUSIC]
But we're not going to do that right?
We have to practice and then we can
get the F sharp in the right spot.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
The other fingering that I use,
I end up using more often than not,
is actually the standard high F sharp, but
half holding it and using this sliver.
It's very risky.
I don't know why.
I just learned it that way and, for some
reason, I have had great luck with it,
but I'm telling you it's actually luck,
and at some point I'm gonna lose that bet.
[LAUGH] But in the meantime this
is the one that I have been using,
so the way to practice it is high A,
sliver,
then practice rolling the first finger.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Now, those two things are what we
clarinet players really worry about.
What most of the other people
who listen to this piece,
mainly your colleagues who are musicians,
and the rest of the public, what they want
to hear is beautiful legato tone and
very singing quality for that piece.
So practice those parts a lot, so
that then we can get those well,
but really try to bring out the color and
the beauty of the sound,
the smoothness of the sound,
and the dynamic contrast,
so then you can show off
your singing quality.
[MUSIC]
If you'd
like to
submit
this
Shostakovich
excerpt,
here's
what I'm
looking
for.
Beautiful tone and legato,
and always, always singing.
Before you submit your video, but sure to
watch the other video exchanges on this
excerpt and
see what I've told the other students.
Once you have done that,
submit your video, I'll take a look and
give you some feedback.
[MUSIC]