'Verfolgt vom Klang der Klarinette seines Vaters': Über Blatt-Position, Ferruccio Busoni und die Klarinette im Italien des 19. Jahrhunderts ['Pursued by the sound of his father's clarinet': on reed position, Ferruccio Busoni, and the clarinet in 19th-century Italy]

Pearson, I. E. (1999) 'Verfolgt vom Klang der Klarinette seines Vaters': Über Blatt-Position, Ferruccio Busoni und die Klarinette im Italien des 19. Jahrhunderts ['Pursued by the sound of his father's clarinet': on reed position, Ferruccio Busoni, and the clarinet in 19th-century Italy]. Tibia: Magazin für Holzbläser, 24 (4). pp. 605-611. ISSN 0176-6511

Abstract

Traces evolving clarinet technique during the 19th c. with reference to opposing reed positions, 'reed above' (reed placed against the upper lip) and 'reed below' (reed placed against the lower lip). The latter approach, which maximizes technical brilliance, eventually became the standard. One of the later proponents of the 'reed over' position, however, was Ferdinando Busoni, father of the composer and an itinerant clarinet virtuoso. Ferruccio wrote of his father's sound that it combined the 'virtuousity of a violinist with the beauty and sensitiveness of an old Italian bel canto.' Ferdinando Busoni's commentary on reed position and embouchure appears in his Scuola di perfezionamento per il clarinetto, 1883, the last source to advocate the reed-above technique. Busoni's advocacy is pertinent to considerations of 19th-c. performance practice. This article is in German.

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