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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000679.txt from 1999/01

Subj: [kl] Buffets, etc.
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 19:35:17 -0500

In a message dated 1/15/99 4:15:06 AM, writes:

<< There are lots of good clarinets out there. All I have encouraged
players here and elsewhere to do is think about the music and what they
want the clarinet to play, tune, feel and sound like and learn how to
actually test an instrument to clearly discover its' virtues and
weaknesses, and come to a clear understanding of what it actually has to
offer, rather than just look at its' lable or be just another sheep. >>

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that you prefer to point out the
various flaws of the R-13 clarinet relative to other models. I seem to
remember you listing them in a previous post without listing those of the
Leblancs you designed and the new Selmer you endorse. Surely those instruments
are not without flaws?

I remember your many visits to 'The Studio' in Evanston and I have great
respect for you as a clarinet and mouthpiece designer. God knows it is a
thankless job. However, when you say you have no axe to grind with anyone it
sometimes becomes hard to believe. I am sure you believed very strongly in
your Leblanc products, and it must have been very frustrating that many great
artists chose not to switch to them, and to hear many criticize them harshly.
But remember, music is more art than science, and artists are not rational
people by nature!

For several generations from the beginning of this century (this is as much as
we can judge from recordings), players (artists) found ways to play the
clarinet beautifully on equipment none of us could comprehend using today.
Some of us, despite great advances in technology, are still struggling to
emulate greatness that was produced on antiques!

What I am saying, basically, is that the flawed R-13 was good enough to
produce some, if not most, of the greatest clarinet playing of this half of
the century. No one denies that improvements are possible. But it has already
been proven that greatness on this instrument is more than possible.

-David Hattner, NYC

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