Every time I type the word etude, I realize it should have an accent on the first e, but Windows doesn't have an easy way to type a french e, so I hope you can imagine one there from now on. I've put a few in previous posts about these etudes.
I'm beginning to practice #2, which is one of the harder ones in the book. I admit I've performed this one a few years ago, and there's a YouTube video of me doing it. But it can use another try. This time with feeling!!
The second part of this etude is very fast 32 notes all over the clarinet. The tempo is Assez Vite, meaning fairly fast. I just played it through at 126. Lot's of work to do! I'd like to get it to 132 at least.
After the run through, I played it again, softening my air/throat, especially over the break, which is almost all the time. I also noted where my hands tighten up, causing tension and less flexibility. There's no way to play this piece with tense hands or air. But I also checked the integrity of my embouchure, particularly my lower lip, which helps control the reed over breaks. (I think of the lower lip pulling up and into the reed)
I realized how right handed I am with the clarinet, favoring the right hand fingerings for all the pinky notes. So to balance and challenge my coordination, I played the entire etude using all left pinky fingerings. Though I won't perform the piece that way, it helps me better master the instrument. Juggling 4 balls will certainly help you to better juggle 3!
The last line of the piece is a killer. I wish to play it a bit faster than the rest, to give a bravura ending. But I have a habit of locking up there. Jeanjean writes the first lick of the piece an octave down, which challenges the left hand in particular. So I went through the steps I noted above. I also made a little exercise out of those four bars, repeating the difficult transitions 4 times (fast), then 2 times, then 1 each alternating notes.
I post the manuscript of the part here for your perusal. Click on the thumbnail for a much larger photo in another window.