Performers and performances

The silent bass clarinet

During a rehearsal of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony:

Stokowski had inserted a gratuitous part for bass clarinet. “It so happens,” wrote O’Connell, “that the player of this instrument was a quite temperamental gentleman as well as a composer, and when he saw Stokowski’s addition to Schubert’s score, he was possessed by fury.”  When he expressed his feelings resonantly, Manager Skinner saved the day by persuading him to sit through the symphony pretending to play, but sounding nothing.  “The compromise was effected.  Stokowski didn’t notice,” O’Connell concluded.

Chasins, Abram (1979) Leopold Stokowski: A Profile.  London: Robert Hale, p.208.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist