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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000118.txt from 2002/02

From: "stewart piddocke" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bassett clarinet
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 04:00:07 -0500

Hello Klarinet,

I'm a student in Australia, and have been away for four weeks. I haven't
caught up on all the posts yet, but these last few about the documentary on
the Mozart Concerto grabbed my attention. I saw it as well, and absolutely
loved it, not least for the wonderful instruments and beautiful places on
it. I have a particular interest in the early instruments (and have just
received my own Lotz copy!) and found this program fascinating. The maker's
name was Giles Thome. I have heard some of his instruments on recordings by
Jean Claude Veilhan (correct spelling?). I am certainly no expert, and so
could not comment on any errors in the program. I would be very interested
to know what they are.
I have been fortunate enough to spend the last four weeks in Europe. I
managed to see a few musical instrument museums over there (but the Nurnberg
one was closed while I was there!), and thought of this program when I saw
several clarinet d'amour in G. Would these instruments have any bearing on
the research done by Thome, or is it in a completely different category?
Looking forward to hearing everyones comments,
Best wishes,
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Leeson <>
Date: Sunday, 10 February 2002 2:01
Subject: Re: [kl] Bassett clarinet

>I know the documentary well. In fact I had a copy made for me by a
>friend in Australia where it was first shown. Unfortunately I lent the
>tape to a friend and have not gotten it back.
>The player was a Frenchman who wanted to have a basset horn in G made so
>that he could play the Mozart concerto on it. It was very interesting
>but full of technical errors. There was an interesting conversation
>between the clarinetist (whose name escapes me) and H.C. Robbins Landon.
>Landon speaks no French and the clarinetist spoke no English, but they
>chatted on about the problems for some time. The player finally made a
>G basset horn for himself and played the concerto, properly transposed
>to G major. It was very interesting but hardly accurate.
>Magnus Borjesson wrote:
>> Has anyone heard of a TV-documentary about the "missing clarinet" that
>> Mozart had in mind when he wrote the concerto. I saw it a couple of years
>> ago. It was a man in Switzerland (I believe he was a historical
>> craftsman) and he had done some researching. He found some old
>> in a castle in Hungary. There was some great musical perfomances too ...
>> Do anyone know if that documentary is on video somewhere to purchase?
>> Magnus
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "David Glenn" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 10:41 PM
>> Subject: Re: [kl] Bassett clarinet
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > I recently heard a very prominent clarinetist (for whom I have the
>> greatest respect) perform Mozart on a bassett clarinet with a major
>> orchestra.
>> > >
>> > > My admiration for the performer notwithstanding, I was left cold by
>> performance. Among other issues, not related tom this topic, I found the
>> of the bassett clarinet disturbing.
>> > >
>> > > Two things bothered me. One was that the tone of the lowest "bassett"
>> notes were "different", not in the same "character", as the tone of the
>> on the chalumeau register. Secondly, they were sharp.
>> > >
>> > > I kept wishing that the artist was playing on his/her normal A
>> > >
>> > > Lest Dan Leeson jump all over me, I will say that I love to hear the
>> arpeggios played starting at "the bottom of the staircase". However, I do
>> expect the bottom three steps to have the same character as the others
>> above.
>> > >
>> > > Walter Grabner
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> > +++++++++++++++++++++++
>> >
>> > Walter,
>> >
>> > The basset tones are the greatest tones on the instrument! And that's
>> it's tempting at first to really let them boom out. But at some point,
>> clarinetist must realize that they are normal notes that just belong
>> > (as far as we can surmise since they MS is lost). Maybe your basset
>> clarinetist was still (overly) fascinated by these new low notes??
>> >
>> > In fact, the Mozart was not written for a basset clarinet with a normal
>> bell and that might also be part of the problem. Stadler's bell was not
>> shaped but bulbuous. There is a picture at klarinet/clarinet but I don't
>> > remember the URL. In fact, I'm having such a bell made for my modern
>> basset A and am planning to do this performance on it. I tried a
>> already and was thrilled with it. I was inspired to do this by Eric
>> who
>> > has made such a bell for his own copy of the Stadler clarinet. I am
>> waiting with baited breath for his new CD of the Mozart with this new
>> >
>> > As for the pitch, it is difficult. My basset tones are tuned fairly
>> But when I overblow the low F to get a C, it's very sharp unless I let it
>> down. I think the problem is more difficult than with the normal-short
>> > clarinet. In fact, I'm toying with the idea of adding an E-F mechanic
>> the A-basset.
>> >
>> > Hope you hear a nice Mozart performance soon!
>> >
>> > David
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>** Dan Leeson **
>** **


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