Dienstag, 24. August 2010

New clarinet methods

In German we say „Sometimes there is something in the air“ or „The time is ripe for something“ when a new development happens in a similar way in different places. When I started to write my clarinet method „Claritop“ (www.hug-musikverlage.ch) I heard from a student that Reiner Wehle is writing a method as well. His three volumes of Clarinet Fundamentals (www.schott-musik.de ) appeared at the same time as mine. When I saw his method I realized that it is based on the same philosophy. Reiner Wehle visited my masterclass in Switzerland this week and comfirmed that he had the same impression. At ClarinetFest in Austin I met Larry Guy and he gave me his books „Intonation Training/Embouchure Building/Hand and Finger Development“: Incredible, he did in USA a similar thing that we did in Europe at the same time!
What is this similar idea about:
· Good exercises are the basis for the development of technique.

· Technique means not only fast fingers. Technique is breathing, posture, sound, intonation & articulation etc.

· We can give important explanations about clarinet technique and they can be very helpful.

· Basics are important. If they are not good, all the rest cannot work really good.

· Important is precision and thoroughness.

· They are based on the work of our excellent teachers: Daniel Bonade, Hans Rudolf Stalder and Hans Deinzer.

This is not new but it was hardly applied to the Clarinet in the 19th century. There was a certain activity in the 20th century but it was as a whole quite poor. Everything based on the 19th century. Bärmann, Kröppsch are not bad, but there are now better methods.
It is so important that we are always aware why we practise and what is our aim and the way to achieve it. We have to start with the easy things and go step by step to the more difficult ones. Never jump a step. If you play too difficult things you get cramped. Try always to feel free and relaxed. And don’t forget: Good practising is fun! The succes will make you happy.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate and contact me.
All the best

Montag, 2. August 2010

ICA ClarinetFEST Austin 2010

Hi Clarinetfriends
I just came back from the ClarinetFEST in Austin. Everybody who was there would confirm that it was a terrific Festival. Well organised by Nathan Williams and Richard Mac Dowell. Thanks and congratulation – you did a great job for the clarinetfamily. It was really the feeling of a family. Indeed all musicians can be the best friends in such circumstances.
It was so impressive to see how different the clarinet can sound. Best in Romantic and Classical Music, in Jazz, Klezmer, Contemporary and with Electronics as well as a group in clarinet-orchestras. A rich and huge range. I could discover new fine compositions for clarinet: Have you ever heard of Whitney Prince, Roshanne Etezady or Theresa Martin. They composed awesome Duos for Clarinet. Robert Spring and Jana Starling introduced them in a terrific way. Or did you know that Costa Rica has a rich clarinet life with a society and a own Festival? The whole world is moving.
And then the Bass Clarinet Blow-Out of Rico: What a fantastic group with Laurie Bloom, André Moisan, Rocco Parisi, Alcides Rodriguez and Pedro Rubio. And they played the new Rico Bassclarinet reed – superbe sound! I played my newest compositions for clarinet: My 6 Etudes de Concert and 2 movments of my new Clarinet Concerto. They are on my new CD Virtuoso (https://neos-music.com/) and published by Edition Hug (http://shop.musikhug.ch) and by Metropolis Musicpublisher (http://www.metropolis-music.be). On my website you can listen some samples.
On the home back I was visiting Eddie Daniels in his home in Santa Fee. He is not only a terrific clarinet Player but a great personality as well. What an open mind: We discussed about all kind of music specially about Stockhausen and Ligeti – and of course about Thai Chi. I was allowed to assist to a lesson with Eddie and Mirabai. Big stars can be so human and modest... Yours Matthias