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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000268.txt from 2004/12

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Question on tone...
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 13:04:07 -0500

On 16 Dec, "Vann Joe Turner" <> wrote:

> Hi Robert,
> I'd agree with you about the etherial tone quality of Leister, and you
> don't need a German clarinet or a German mouthpiece to achieve it.

I agree with this. But...

My experience of playing on German clarinets had up to a few days ago been
limited to not specially well set-up modern instruments, plus the
Ottensteiner (Muehlfeld's instruments) originals and copies -- which I do
think have a different and worthwhile character, even if they're more
difficult to play.

However, I just got back from a week in Israel, teaching and playing at the
Jerusalem Music Centre in the Clarinet Days with the Trio di Clarone (Sabine
and Wolfgang Meyer, and Reiner Wehle.) It was my first opportunity to try
the (modern) Wurlitzer clarinets of players who have spent their careers
playing at the highest level, and who therefore have refined and optimized
their setups.

I have to say that the upshot of this encounter (which was delightful to me
in lots of ways that aren't relevant to this topic) is that I now want to own
a 'proper' pair of Wurlitzers, because the sort of sound that you're talking
about is much easier to achieve on the German system. It's where the
instrument itself 'sits'.

I don't say that that sound is optimal for all music, and it may be that I
still think it's advantageous to choose the Boehm system for most of our
repertoire, because different instruments do different things more or less
easily. But, just as I like to play some sorts of music on the early
clarinet, I'm looking forward to investigating the results of inhabiting the
different 'personality' of the German instrument for those pieces that I
think it suits.

(Michelle Zukovsky obviously thought it was worthwhile investigating that,

I also found that Wolfgang Meyer plays, as I do, the Mozart concerto with
modern orchestras on a clarinet modelled on a much earlier instrument --
there's a particularly interesting recording he made of it with Harnoncourt
(who incidentally finds things in the orchestra I'd never thought of) -- but
in addition, he plays later repertoire sometimes on German and sometimes on
Boehm system clarinets. I know too that the Chicago players use Wurlitzers
for some German repertoire.

Perhaps more players will begin to play on both as time goes on.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

... A single fact can spoil a good argument.

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