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Can clarinets play like this?

BenG

Senior Member
This would be probably the limit of what a professional clarinetist can play. You can put staccato dots in but at this speed everything will be staccato by default. Also, this figure would not be sustainable for too long (breath/fatigue) and would need to be traded off between two clarinets.

- Tonging is the re-articulation of each note beginning with the tongue
- Staccato is similar but has a shorter length as well as a more aggressive attack.
 

sekkosiki

Senior Member
Yes that should be doable for clarinets, and the clarinetist would do that by tonguing. As BenG said you don't need put staccato dots in it.

Here's similar using tonguing.
 

HeliaVox

Active Member
Or instead of breaking it up rhymically like in the above example, have one seat play the first two groupings and the second seat play the second two groupings. Similar to what Prokofiev does in the Classical Symphony 4th movement, rehearsal mark 4.
 

BenG

Senior Member
Or instead of breaking it up rhymically like in the above example, have one seat play the first two groupings and the second seat play the second two groupings. Similar to what Prokofiev does in the Classical Symphony 4th movement, rehearsal mark 4.
Yup, exactly.
 

tonaliszt

Active Member
Or instead of breaking it up rhymically like in the above example, have one seat play the first two groupings and the second seat play the second two groupings. Similar to what Prokofiev does in the Classical Symphony 4th movement, rehearsal mark 4.
I would agree, but the example isn't exactly analogous. The issue in the op's example is that clarinets can't double tongue that fast. I know someone posted an example, but as far as I know, so-called "triple tonguing" (as it says in the video), is an extended technique on the clarinet that all players shouldn't be expected to know (even in the comments of that video, it seems most clarinetists were amazed at his technique). However, at a slower tempo, I would agree with you.

Both dovetailing and creating artificial lines are essential tools in the orchestrator's playbook. Imo in this case, creating artificial lines is the way to go.
 

josejherring

Senior Member
At that tempo it would be no problem for any reasonably skilled clarinetist to do for up to about 4 to 6 bars without a break. The solo clarinet literature is riddled with similar passages. If the player couldn't do it he couldn't call himself a professional.
 

josejherring

Senior Member
One more thing it's the repetition that makes it easy.

When you have repeated notes like that you can ricochet your tongue off the reed and make it a popping sound. It's really fun to do and sounds way more impressive that it actually is.

What I wouldn't do as a clarinetist is try to double or triple tongue that. Way too mushy of a sound is created and I would save the double or triple tongue for passages that are too difficult to do single tongue. But, for clarinet double and triple tonguing is no faster than a good single tongue it's just that you can do it for longer because single tongue gets tiresome when repeated for too long too fast. And, you've never felt pain like the muscle under your tongue when it cramps up. Well maybe rapping your shin against a truck hitch is worse. But, not by much.
 

josejherring

Senior Member
Lastly, sorry for the spam post. But, there is no need to put stacc. It couldn't be done any other way so you will get stacc no matter what you put as the articulation.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
I wouldn't necessarily have the clarinets do that figure though. Doesn't really sound good IMO. I'd rather have woodwinds play just the accents and leave the root note repetitions for violins or so. Or have them play in 8ths, so that there's always one root note in between the moving ones.
 
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erica-grace

Senior Member
At that tempo it would be no problem for any reasonably skilled clarinetist to do for up to about 4 to 6 bars without a break. The solo clarinet literature is riddled with similar passages. If the player couldn't do it he couldn't call himself a professional.
Thank you for your posts!
 

douggibson

Active Member
At that tempo it would be no problem for any reasonably skilled clarinetist to do for up to about 4 to 6 bars without a break. The solo clarinet literature is riddled with similar passages. If the player couldn't do it he couldn't call himself a professional.
Interesting. Two questions

1. Do you find his register ok ? Aren't we hanging out at the "break" here ? Crossing the break no big deal here ?

2. You mention solo clarinet repertoire, but this is a2. I generally try and avoid having two instruments doubling at unison as, unlike having three players, tuning issues can get exposed and make things harder than solo. You think this is ok a2 ? Wouldn't dovetailing every quarter make this much easier ?

Thanks !
 
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