Monday, July 8, 2013

The clarinet cadenza

Next week, Lesley-Anne will step down from the band, her CCA for four years of secondary school. During that time, she learnt the clarinet and became the assistant section leader.

To be perfectly honest, she's not unhappy to leave the band, even though she has made great friends there. She's relieved because the entire process of being part of a performing arts group in school is so intensive and taken so seriously that it has become more stressful than fun (previously mentioned in this post). Which I find a real pity because it's so great to be able to play music as part of a group.

Nevertheless, she can't deny that joining the band has brought about immeasurable benefits, not least of them, the opportunity to learn how to play a new instrument. Thanks to all the extensive practices, Lesley-Anne has grown to be quite adept at the clarinet.

In fact, the clarinet coach was sufficiently confident in her section's abilities to suggest that they try out for a clarinet exam last year. Lesley-Anne formed a group with three of her batch mates and entered the University of West London Music Performance (LCM) Ensemble Level 3 exam (there are five levels in total).  The group managed to score a Distinction, which I felt was such a nice reward to show for the four years of hard work.

Anyway, before Lesley-Anne stepped down, I decided to record her playing as a keepsake, since I'm almost certain that she'll never be able to play at this level again, once the practices stop.  I also made her take some photos of the clarinet (the instrument belongs to the school and she's not interested in getting one of her own).  It's a gorgeous instrument.

And here's the recording.  It's quite difficult to find a concert piece where the clarinet has the melody line but this one, "Concerto D'Amore" by Jacob De Haan, comes pretty close.  In this piece, the same theme repeated throughout piece in three styles - baroque, pop and jazz.  The first video shows Lesley-Anne playing the baroque part and the second video shows the jazz.

Maybe in the far future, she might look back at these and decide that she'll want to take up in the clarinet again.  If not, at least she'll have something to remember this chapter of her music journey.

"No birdcall is the musical equal of a clarinet blown with panache." - Edward Hoagland


Karmeleon said...

She wants to change CCA in her JC years?

monlim said...

Karmeleon: Yeah, she wants to try something new.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a pity that LA is giving up on learning the instrument. After all, so much effort has gone into learning and her skills are good!

I guess the most important thing is that she has enjoyed the process of learning. After all, learning should be enjoyable and not a torture to the individual. All the best!


monlim said...

Teamaniac: Definitely, learning an instrument and playing it should be fun, not a chore.

Thanks for the good wishes!

Anonymous said...

That was awesome, LA!

I played the clarinet during my for 4 years in secondary school too. But I don't play as well as you do.


monlim said...

Aww... thanks, Nutella! I'm sure that's only because rehearsal schedules were not so crazy back in our time :)

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