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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000139.txt from 1995/03

From: Thomas Labadorf <Labadorf@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Alto Clarinet
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 1995 23:39:02 -0500

William Turnidge
---Do people actually play on professional quality alto clarinets and does it
sound any better than a student model?

I play Bb clar in the Coast Guard Band. I can tell you that the Band owns
either a Selmer or LeBlanc. I will check on this to be sure. I never played
it (hardly does anyone else), but whenever it is played (usually Dan Lukens,
principal clarinettist), it's usually played with much difficulty.

We all know that alto clarinet players have been getting a bad rap probably
because this instrument is relegated to all the in-between harmonies of the
band repertoire besides being a bear to play in tune. I seems that no one
has been serious enough about it to warrant improving its idiosynchrasies.
Is this true? How serious are alto clarinets taken in foreign countries? A
question for our friends in England and Australia.

If the alto clarinet was used to play basset horn parts (eg, Mozart "Grand
Partita," "Trauermusik," "Magic Flute," Mendelssohn "Concertpieces 1 & 2"
etc., etc.) wouldn't that help to increase the challenge of this instrument
and thus its acceptability? How different are the tones of these two
instruments, anyhow. Has anyone on this list done this or know of anyone who
has? I'd be real interested in hearing comments from the Klarinet List's
resident scholar, Dan Leeson.

Tom Labadorf

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