Jeanjean, Étude 2

The book of 18 Études, by early 20th century French clarinetist Paul Jeanjean, has always been in my repertoire. I began studying these while in high school, continuing through the first two years of college, discontinuing my study of them when I transfered to Northwestern, where the emphasis was on orchestral repertoire, not solo performing. Though the move ended up being a productive one for me, as it helped me get the orchestral job which carried me through my career, I never gave up on learning all 18 Jeanjean études someday.

A few years ago I started a project to perform them all, over a period of time. (I doubt anyone wants to hear solo clarinet études for an hour and a half) One of the first ones I tackled was #2, which has eluded me for years with its sea of notes in the second part. The awkward technical passages, built on augmented triads, forced me to revisit hand position, finger accuracy, quality of air (to create flowing legato) and steadiness, both physical and mental. The hardest part of this étude is staying free while playing the blur of notes in the second part (second video)

For the record, I recorded this with a Canon Power Shot camera, not intended for long video recordings. I had to record this étude in two parts because the whole 4 minute work wouldn't record seamlessly on my Canon. I intend to get a better recorder soon.

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8 comments for “Jeanjean, Étude 2

  1. Fabian
    April 7, 2009 at

    Hey David, great playing! I am working on getting you some more info on Jeanjean and I came across your own blog.

    • April 10, 2009 at

      Hi Fabian- Thanks for helping me out with researching Mr. Jeanjean!

  2. March 19, 2009 at

    Thank you. I’m working on 3 new ones for a performance April 5. I will record them for (hopefully) here!

  3. Gretchen
    March 19, 2009 at


    This sounds beautiful! Thank you for posting this. Please post more! 🙂

    Gretchen Roper

  4. January 14, 2009 at

    This should fit your needs quite nicely – our orchestra PR guy just got one of these, and it works very well.

    • January 14, 2009 at

      Thanks Charles. I got one a few months ago, and I love it. I only wish it could record longer. But an hour serves most of my needs.

  5. October 10, 2008 at

    I don’t use camcorders anymore. I purchased a FujiFilm S6000sd and it takes the finest pictures and movies of any camera, some more expensive and camcorder I’ve ever owned. I paid $300 for it.

    I sit in awe of your clarinet chops David. If I were to consider not playing publicly till I could approach your expertise, I’d never play publicly. Thanks for sharing.

  6. October 10, 2008 at

    Nice suggestion, Bruce. And good timing. I’ll look into this one. I just bought (still in the box) a Panasonic flash video recorder and paid $350. I resisted paying that much but figured there was little choice.


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