I got the following email from a reader, who is a classmate of mine from Peabody days though I haven't been in touch with him since then. He's now "Adjunct Faculty; Private Teacher-Musicologist-Critic at Averett University" from his LinkedIn profile.
I am very pleased you are making a project of these marvelous Jeanjean etudes.
When I studied with Rolf Legbandt --a formidable clarinetist and pedagogue-- I had the joy of learning these Etudes which, in some ways, are Chopinesque for the clarinet. During this time, while my major was musicology, these etudes inspired --and continue to inspire me-- to keep my practice consistent.
Oh, by the way, Rolf promised his Mother to play the first of these etudes at her funeral; he did, and told me that it was the most difficult thing he had done in his life. It is so beautiful and, yet, as you point out, one of the most demanding etudes in the repertoire.
J. Daniel Huband, D. Arts
Danny uses the word "Chopinesque" to describe the Jeanjean etudes. I have thought of them as being like Chopin solo piano pieces, from etudes to ballades to nocturns, though not necessarily Chopinesque in style or language. They are more modern in musical language, but I can see their style as a bit more Eastern European, at least Viennese.
But tonight as I worked on #3, one I haven't performed, I realized it has a lilting, almost waltz like feel, and I can see it as being a bit Chopinesque. The following music clip is the beginning of Etude 3. (Buffet R13, Legere Sig. 4)
copy this link to share- http://blog.davidhthomas.net/wp-content/uploads/Jeanjean-3-beginning.mp3
Below is a clip of the end of JJ 1, very slow. But for the "doh" moment just before the last note, I think this tempo works, as tired, emotionally drained recap sings its woe once again before falling asleep to, ironically, sweet dreams. (last note major instead of minor, soo corny) (Buffet R13, Legere Sig. 4)
(sorry all these clips are named "Track 1". I have not yet found the perfect WordPress plugin for my needs. working on it)
"Music. It's endlessly beautiful, mysterious and alluring, like the universe of the soul."