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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000787.txt from 1999/01

From: dnaden <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Ridenour's ratings
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 13:15:25 -0500

I have been watching all of these posts with great interest, but now would like to
add my $0.02 worth. I have been a Buffet player since I began with an R-13 over
20 years ago. I remember when Buffet first introduced the Prestige
instruments--at that time with the RC bore--and was very impressed. However, I
was not able to obtain my set of Prestige RC instruments until June 1985, and I
find them to be absolutely great.

I also remember when Leblanc introduced the Opus and Concerto instruments several
years ago. I must admit, that I was very impressed by what I read about the Opus
series clarinets. Until the introduction of the Opus and Concerto clarinets, I
did not have a favorable impression of Leblanc clarinets--specifcally because the
trill keys made the instruments feel to "square" for me.

I look forward to the opportunity to try out a set of Opus clarinets, because I
believe that they are competative with the Buffet Prestige and Selmer Recital
series instruments. When I finally replace--or should I say augment--my current
set of instruments, I hope that my gut reaction is right, and that I do select a
set of Leblanc Opus instruments based on their quality.

David S. Naden, MMus
Cal State University Los Angeles


> >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
> anything."
> 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
> deluded.
> 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
> relief.
> 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".
> tom
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