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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000714.txt from 1999/01

Subj: Re: [kl] Ridenour's ratings
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 14:14:30 -0500

>On Sat, 16 Jan 1999, TOM RIDENOUR wrote:
>> After all, Ricardo Morales won his Met job
>> with an Opus clarinet. And many other players have proven it to be a
>> worthy instrument.
>Tom, I really enjoy the way the Opus plays. But I hope you also
>recognize that the Buffet R-13 has produced many successful major symphony
>audtition results as well. I'm not sure that Ricardo's success is because
>of the Leblanc - frankly, he could have won it on a Selmer, a Buffet, a
>Leblanc or a Yamaha. John Yeh - same thing.
>But I know what you are trying to say - that it is a good measure of the
>instrument. I wonder - how many orchestral auditions (big auditions) have
>been won with a Leblanc clarinet?
>Roger Garrett
What I am saying, Roger, is that Ricardo's winning with the Leblanc proves
that the instrument is no handicap; that is was an equal and viable
instrument, and many, many very fine players agree. Larry Combs told me
the Opus he had made his old Buffet "feel like an unfinished instrument".
Further, to think that someone with Ricardo's skill and command of the
instrument would be stupid enough to play something inferior on such an
important occasion doesn't stack up with reason; he played it because he
thought it was the best; he even had to buy his first Opus clarinets.
I don't accept this old rationalization, "Oh, well, he could have won on
It may be true he could win on a variety of instrument, but he didn't; he
won on a Leblanc and it was his free, unfettered choice to do so.
But why do people bring up such a statement? What is the psychology behind it?
When a Buffet players hears someone wins with a Buffet do they say ..."
Oh, he could have won on anything". Or course not. He just silently
reflects, "This is a confirmation that I am playing the best instrument."
Saying it about a Leblanc player is just a rationalization to excuse them
from not thinking seriously about their art and hanging with the status quo
as if its' the unimpeachable sine qua non. They try to confirm this
notion and fend off any insecurity by saying such non-sense. They are self
Such a statement is just like the one is Francois' note when he gives the
"argument from the majority".
Examine it and you see it holds no water. It does not mean what one want
you to think it means.
The fact that so many Buffet players have won auditions and hold positions
is only logical due to the simple fact that so many have been brought up in
that tradition; most players play them. But that is breaking down; there
are many many fine players playing other instruments to their delight and
So please, let's get away from the subjective and look at instruments for
their objective attributes. The "sheep" argument is equivalent to the
"lemming" argument.
Let's do what's right and best, not what evey body does. Let's use our
minds to really think and understand, our ears to really hear and stop
caving into the "argument from the masses".

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