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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000531.txt from 1999/06

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Larry combs
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 19:04:36 -0400

At 12:17 PM 6/17/99 -0400, you wrote:
> I had a great honor to hear Larry Combs perform chamber music tonight.
>He played Debussy's Premiere Rhapsodie and Brahms Trio in A minor with his
>Daughter Jennifer Combs. I was really please with his sound. To hear it in
>person was so awesome. I feel really inspired after hearing him. I could not
>believe the control that he had when he played soft. And his technique was
>awesome, he plays the clarinet so effortlessly.

He really is a fantastic player isn't he!? I have heard him many times in
chamber music settings - once with David Shifrin at Chamber Music Northwest
- you often couldn't tell them apart in the pieces they played.

>I never viewed myself as
>being a Buffet guy but I can say now that the next time I buy a clarinet I
>will consider looking at other lines of clarinets. I really enjoyed the
>sound that Mr. Combs got from his Opus LeBlanc. It was very consistent. I
>really don't know if it is the clarinet or his superb playing, but there
>were many times in his playing that you could not hear any register breaks.

It isn't the tool, it's the player you are hearing. The discussions
regarding which brand to use really centers on the performer's view of how
it plays for him - how it tunes for him, how it centers for him, etc. My
guess is that Combs could have played on a Selmer Signature and still have
sounded the same - he just would have had to work harder to do it.

Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director, Concert Band/Symphonic Winds/Titan Band
Advisor, Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University
Office: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3411

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