Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back on Topic, Now Without So Many Damn's

I'm getting back into the pattern of the school year already. I started teaching a few of my students this morning. Specifically, three had requested lessons already. It's nice to get them going back to work so early. It means that they will have all pistons firing by the time they have to play in school.

I actually got some quality time in on my own practicing too. Holy crap. How did that happen? Rather than rushing to get repertoire crammed in my head, I just went about my business in a leisurely manner. Nice. Hopefully, with certain developments in the works, I'll have more of that kind of time available for clarinet goodness in the future. It'd be nice to be able to grow as a musician while I pay the bills. So often, I get caught in the viscious cycle of just barely getting ready for that next concert. We'll see if I can't nix that.

Oh yeah, a movie I saw tonight: The Descent. Ha ha...Bloody fun...Nope, not "bloody" in the British sense, but "bloody" in the Stephen King's "Carrie" sense. Bloody everywhere (okay okay, in both senses in this case). I knew I was in for the schlock when a pole skewered a skull in the first 7 minutes. Not going to win any awards, but it was fun.

So, a review: Stanley Hasty's transcription of the Bach Chromatic Fantasy has come out, finally. I say finally because I saw this thing dozens of times while I was still in school. Tom Martin (a Hasty student) was always practicing/messing around with it when he had a spare moment between lessons. (A note: Martin's version of messing around is vastly superior to my own hard-fought practicing. Shameful, I know.)

Well, the transcription is quite nice. It seems to fit well on the clarinet, although I haven't tried to play through it yet. Here's the real kicker: The edition comes with a cd of Tom Martin playing the piece. The recording is an outstanding performance. Frankly, it's outstanding clarinet playing and music making. (I'm not a huge fan of the sound quality of the recording. The Temple where he recorded adds too much reverb, I think. Of course, I'm a whiner, so ignore me.) This is a rare recording from a clarinetist who should be recording a great deal more. It's outstanding. I'd recommend it to anyone. (Is the recording up on ITunes yet? That'd be a good idea. Clarinetists would certainly pay for this even without the music.)

Oh yeah, a disclaimer: I did study with Tom Martin for 6 years. As many authors say, any mistakes I make are entirely mine. He shouldn't be blamed for my heresey in any way. I'm debating on whether or not to blame him for my lack of a full head of hair, though.


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