Interview: Lloyd Van’t Hoff

Lloyd Van’t Hoff is performing in Clarinet Heaven in Mt Beauty, towns in the city of Bendigo, and St Kilda; and Wine Food Music Narkoojee, in Glengarry.


What instruments are you playing on this tour?

I need two different clarinets for this program: I’ve got a Clarinet in A and a Clarinet in B flat. The Clarinet in A is slightly longer and better suited to playing in keys with lots of sharps, whilst the Clarinet in B flat makes playing in keys with lots of flats much more simple. Changing between the two instruments really makes my life a lot easier in the sense that I have to practice far fewer scales!

The Mozart Clarinet Quintet was written for an instrument called a basset clarinet, which has a few extra notes at the bottom of its range. You can buy these still, but they only make a handful of them every year, so most people play using a modern instrument, using an adapted version.

My clarinets are French-system; there are also German-system clarinets which have a key system with different capabilities. For a piece like the Weber Quintet that’s on this program, I’m quite fortunate to have the French-system innovations to get around the virtuosic writing.

Tell us a bit about the music you’re performing on this tour.

The Mozart Clarinet Quintet is among the first works for a modern type of clarinet. Mozart fell in love with instrument after he heard the virtuoso clarinettist Anton Stadler. Of Stadler’s playing, Mozart wrote: “Never should I have thought that a clarinet could be capable of imitating the human voice as it was imitated by you”. This quintet and the Clarinet Concerto, despite being early works for the clarinet, are still among the most important and loved works for the instrument.

I’ve been playing this quintet since I was 19. It’s a piece I always enjoy coming back to and one that I will always jump to get the chance to play. Each group I play with brings something new to the performance of the work. I feel that you are always learning new things from your colleagues and the musicians of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra are no exception to this. I’m really enjoying working with such opened minded and warmly generous musicians. This is what really makes the experience for me.

The Weber Quintet was written for Heinrich Baermann, a renowned clarinettist. Baermann was quite a personality – his reputation is that he was a bit stuck up and a complete show off. Weber’s writing is pure Baermann – extroverted and entertaining.

Clarinet Heaven

MOUNT BEAUTY Thu 20/10/16, 07:30PM Mount Beauty Community Centre
PYRAMID HILL Fri 21/10/16, 07:00PM Pyramid Hill Memorial Hall
BENDIGO Sat 22/10/16, 02:00PM The Engine Room
ELMORE Sat 22/10/16, 07:00pm Athenaeum Hall
HEATHCOTE Sun 23/10/16, 02:00PM Sanguine Estate
ST KILDA Sat 29/10/16, 4:15PM Linden New Art
ST KILDA Sat 29/10/16, 6:00PM Linden New Art


Wine Food Music Narkoojee

GLENGARRY Sun 30/10/16, 11:30AM Narkoojee Winery