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Classical 101

Ricardo Morales, Philadelphia Orch Principal Clarinet, in Studio with Boyce

Ricardo Morales
Ricardo Morales joined Boyce Lancaster in the Classical 101 studios to talk Clarinet and music.

For all of us who (attempted to) play the clarinet, there is nothing more enjoyable than spending time with someone who really can play the clarinet. I wasn't bad, but let's face it - I am in radio for a reason.

Ricardo Morales is the principal clarinet in the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Before that, he was in the same position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He is talented, outgoing, has an easy laugh, and makes great conversation.

He is in town this weekend for two performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with the Columbus Symphony. Even if you've heard the concerto, you've probably never heard it like this.  

Morales will play an instrument designed after the basset clarinet for which Mozart wrote the piece.  It is longer and has more keys, which gives it a lower range. When the concerto is played on modern clarinets, the passages requiring those lower notes are modified to fit the limitation of the instrument.

Morales and Columbus Symphony's Music Director Rossen Milanov came to the Classical 101 studios this morning to discuss the performance, which gave us an opportunity to find out more and hear some of the great music from Ricardo Morales.

Not all clarinets are the same, and Ricardo Morales demonstrates that in the Classical 101 studios. The modern clarinet and the clarinet for which Mozart wrote his Clarinet Concerto are very different.

Morales performs the Clarinet Concerto with the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra below. He will be on stage this weekend, performing the Clarinet Concerto with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.


When it comes to playing the clarinet, there are several options in which reeds you can use. Below,  Milanov and Morales discuss synthetic reeds.

Rossen and Ricardo discuss synthetic reeds, after which Ricardo demonstrates how good it sounds with Gershwin's most famous clarinet moment.

Milanov talked with Boyce about the upcoming performance of Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony, which is being perfromed this weekend at the Southern Theatre.

Rossen Milanov and Boyce Lancaster talk about Benjamin Britten's Simple Symphony

Listen to a recording of Britten's Simple Symphony below:  


Morales also got a chance to talk about the Backun line of Clarinets, generally regarded as the world's finest clarinets. 

Ricardo Morales talks about what goes into the Backun line of clarinets. Each set, (a Bb and an A clarinet),is made from a single piece of Cocobolo wood

The final piece to be performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra this weekend is Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. Milanov talks about that piece and more about Beethoven's symphonies.

Rossen Milanov talks about Beethoven's Symphony No. 4

Ensemble Symphonique Neuchâtel plays the Menuetto from Beethoven's Symphony No. 4:  


More information is available at columbussymphony.com