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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: CSO

Larry Combs and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

Larry Combs was the principal clarinetist for the Chicago Symphony for three decades and is considered one of the all-time greats.  He was appointed principal clarinet by Sir Georg Solti in 1978 and stepped down in 2008.

Here he is a recording of him performing Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra" with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Erich Leinsdorf.  This recording is from 1979, his second year in the orchestra.

The two things that jump out at me about his playing are his sound and his dynamic range.  The consistency of both offer me examples to strive for in my own playing.

Enjoy!

Chicago Symphony with Leonard Bernstein/Shostakovich 7: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

This is my absolute favorite orchestral recording of all time.  Leonard Bernstein was known as a virtuosic interpreter of a number of composers and Shostakovich was one of them.  This recording of Shostakovich 7 is as fine an example of the great brass tradition of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as exists. There is something about this piece, this orchestra, this conductor. It's just perfect.

This YouTube clip actually has the score of the symphony scrolling by in real time with the music.  If you've never heard this before, I would encourage you to get a pair of headphones, ignore the score, close your eyes, and prepare to be taken on a journey.

I'm pretty sure Bernstein is smiling somewhere every time someone hears this recording for the first time and does a fist pump.

Enjoy!