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A Playlist of Inspiration and Entertainment

listening Apr 16, 2020

I hope all is well in your world! If you need a little pick me up, this post is for you! Whenever, I am feeling down or in a rut, one of the best ways that I find to get me up and going again is to listen to some really great, inspiring music.

I put together a playlist of some of my favorite videos for doing just that, and below you will find a little insight into why I like these so much!

Click here to checkout the playlist of great clarinet playing and other fun stuff!

So what (and who) will you find on this playlist?

Stanley Drucker
He isn't the start of the playlist, but he is the start of my clarinet inspiration. When I was a sophomore in high school, I had no idea the potential of the clarinet and figured I was doing really well. Then I started working on the Weber Concertino that my teacher recommended and I came across Drucker's recording. WOW!! My world was opened wide up. At that moment, this was by far the best clarinet playing I had ever heard. He has so much spirit and technical virtuosity. It was just amazing!
There is also a bit of a masterclass in one of the videos that is so fun to see how much knowledge he has, as truly one of the greatest American clarinetists still living and ever!

Benny Goodman
Speaking of greatest American clarinetists, I had to include some Benny Goodman. He makes up a nice little jazz interlude to the playlist, and as the person who has probably done the most to popularize the clarinet he had to be on here! Also, my grandparents bought my first clarinet because my grandpa was a big fan of Benny Goodman's style of music, so who knows if I would have even started the clarinet without Benny Goodman!

Sabine Meyer, Anthony McGill, and David Shifrin
These are some of the big names in the clarinet world. By no means all of them, but they are definitely on the list of must knows! Anthony McGill's recording of Debussy is so elegant and just right. The Mozart Quintet that Sabine Meyer plays is such an important piece in the history of the clarinet, and her execution of it is stunning. And, David Shifrin has the most beautiful Brahms! I saw him play both the Brahms Trio and Quintet in a concert during my undergraduate at the University of Denver, and that was one of the most memorable performances I have seen. The way the sound and emotions washed through the audience was sublime. It was the first time I really felt the emotional power of music as an audience member.

Martin Frost
Hands down my favorite clarinetist. When I started college, I came across his Dances to Black Pipe album, and just like Drucker's video of Concertino, it opened up my mind to the possibilities of the clarinet, and blew me away. Martin Frost has absurd technical virtuosity, but the way he controls it and is willing to explore the possibilities of the instrument is such an inspiration to me. There have been many times in my life where I felt like just by watching a video of him playing my playing instantly improved!

How They Do It
One of the final videos in this playlist is actually from a saxophone channel (I know, how treasonous)! It is an interview with saxophonist Derek Brown who does some very unconventional, but very cool stuff! In this interview he reveals some of his practice methods that are so spot on, and honestly exactly the same process that all of these great clarinet players have gone through to sound as good as they do. Incidentally, it is probably the same process that you should be doing to constantly improve your playing too ;-)

I hope you have fun listening to this stuff, and feel free to come back to it whenever you need some inspiration!

Now, I want to hear your favorite/most inspiring clarinet videos! Post them in the comments because I love seeing new awesome clarinet playing!

Happy Listening,
Josh

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I can't wait to see where your clarinet journey takes you!