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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000238.txt from 2001/07

Subj: Re: [kl] Speaking of mouthpieces...
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 02:23:29 -0400

At 01:54 PM 7/10/01 -0400, you wrote:
>[My "setup" consists of Borbeck 11-13 facings, strength 3.5-4 Vandoren V12
>reeds, Rovner ligatures (old ones) and Pine synthetic barrels (65-67mm)]


Borbeck #11:
Tip of 1.08 with a standard medium curve. Appears to be a French blank.

Borbeck #12:
Tip 1.13 with a standard medium curve until the final number - then it is
quite long for the tip opening.
Appears to be a Zinner - or similar - blank.

Borbeck #13:
Tip of 1.16 with almost the identical curve to #12. Appears to be a Zinner
or similar blank.

Considering the above measurements, when you say #11-13 facings - does this
mean you are switching back and forth? Do you also change reed
strengths? The #11 is considerably more closed than the #13.

Just curious.

>Overall, I thought, and till think, that the 2RV is a fine
>mouthpiece. Not too bright and gave a
>decent response in most registers.

I always liked that mouthpiece. I also like the 5RV Lyre - it faces up
very nicely.

>My next mouthpiece was a refaced Vandoren B45 (accidentally acquired from
>Dennis Zeisler when a I took a few lessons with him around the spring of
>1987). I was down to standard Vandoren #4 reeds, still with the Gigliotti
>ligature and standard Leblanc barrel. The B45 was a little "brighter" to
>me, but still with a generally good response throughout. I did notice
>that it had a BIG rsponse/sound compared to the 2RV and I'm not sure
>whether that had to do with Dr. Zeisler's work he had done to it or the
>general nature of the mouthpiece (I'm no expert!).

Dennis Zeisler - now there is a name that graces many a Michigan Band
program in 1970-71 - principal clarinetist under Revelli. He played with a
sound similar to what you describe - so that may be why he likes that type
of mouthpiece. Of course, he may play very differently now than he did as
a student.

I don't personally like the B45 - but I know a lot of high school students
and college students like them. I have my theories about why students like
that mouthpiece - but suffice to say, it remains a problematic mouthpiece
from my perspective. In my opinion, it doesn't even reface well compared
to other Vandoren models.

>Dr. Zeisler had introduced me to the Stubbins "Essentials of Technical
>Dexterity for the Clarinet", of which I am musically, eternally grateful.

One of the best books every written. Stubbins and Mohler used it - and of
course, Dr. Zeisler would too.

>It was the long-tone exercises and a lesson or two with the Virginia
>Symphony principal clarinetist (and her advice to practice in a corner
>with the bell against the wall) that really changed things for me! All of
>this together may have had a significant influence on why the B45 had such a
>"bigger" sound compared to the 2RV.

But the bigger sound is also, in part, from your approach. The B45 is not
the most open mouthpiece available - and it certainly won't give as big a
sound as other mouthpieces available on the market (if size of sound is
what you are looking at). It will, however, allow you to "edge out" or
"cut" through an ensemble - like a hot knife through
butter...........(cliche I know).

The Borbeck, depending on the era you purchased it in (!) is a very good
mouthpiece. It is thoughtfully and carefully made.

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Advisor, Recording Services
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
(309) 556-3268

"A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes
Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825)

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