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 Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-11-26 20:37

It would seem to me that it would make for better blending and intonation if everybody in the clarinet section of the same orchestra played the same make of clarinet. Is this what is usually done? It would be great for an artisanal maker if he could get an order from and supply a whole section.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com


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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: clarinetwife 
Date:   2019-11-26 20:52

The thing is how the section plays and sounds together, not who made their instruments. Violins are very individual, yet sound as a section.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-11-26 21:25

I don't think it matters as long as the players listen and adjust.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-11-26 22:40

I agree with earlier answers, however, matching of equipment is sometimes done or even required.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Chris_C 2017
Date:   2019-11-27 00:52

...but since the main thing affecting sound is the player, perhaps sections should be composed entirely of clones?
Two players with identical instruments will usually sound completely different.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: kenb 
Date:   2019-11-27 02:02

I've played 2nd to a Wurlitzer Oehler player for 8 years. In that time I've switched from Reform Boehms to Yamaha CSGs to Buffet R13s. Never any problems blending once you get into the groove, though playing second good pitch is more important than slight differences in tone quality.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-27 03:00

It's sometimes done or required. I agree! Let's see what the Philadelphia Orchestra players do with Ricardo leaving Backun. He's made a lot of mouthpiece changes too recently.

Boston Sym is all Buffet. Chicago is mixed to Yamaha's Selmer's and Buffet's. They sound really good! Yes most orchestras remain Buffet but it's not as strict and we are seeing some really beautiful clarinets being made, not just Buffets.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2019-11-27 03:55

Bit behind on that one Bob, if you look you’ll see they are all on Uebels.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Juanzen 
Date:   2019-11-27 05:07

I think the maker's themselves are promoting that stuff, I mean just how many instruments do you go through yourself to pick one of the same brand and model. How many R13s do people run through to get a good one, specially nowadays.

On the clarinet each player has a lot of control over their color and intonation, and most of the intonation characteristics of a clarinet are intrinsic of its design.

I think if you got a section of competent players they will be able to blend when need be, even if you have a section of people that are learning, giving them all the same instrument won't change a thing.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: ACCA 
Date:   2019-11-27 20:10

Surely the part of the equipment having the greatest impact on the sound/style would be the mouthpiece and reed. I can't imagine that being stipulated as this is so individual. Also, I can't imagine that in a blind test a discerning listener could tell the difference in "blend" between say 2 CSG's and a CSG and a Tosca.
YMMV.

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-11-27 22:14

ACCA wrote:

> Surely the part of the equipment having the greatest impact on
> the sound/style would be the mouthpiece and reed. I can't
> imagine that being stipulated as this is so individual.

I guess the point is that, whether or not you can imagine it or I find the importance of using the same instruments compelling, it is the case in some sections of some major orchestras that the principal player insists that the players in his section play what he or she is using.

I don't think that American orchestras have any such contractual requirement or that any principal player in the American orchestras I know anything about can (again contractually) force the dismissal of a section member contingent on a particular choice of instrument. And in the cases in big orchestras of co-principals or principal/associate-principal they rarely if ever even play together.

IMO and experience, playing style depends much more on what result the player wants than on the equipment the player uses to produce it. The second player has to be able to complement the principal's approach when they're exposed together, but that can be done without buying the same setup, and (as someone else has already said) even that doesn't guarantee matching tone (and has nothing to do with matching articulation styles, rhythmic precision or tuning). So, IMO, a principal's pressuring section mates to buy equipment that matches his own is misguided (I'm assuming that the principal isn't getting any kind of sales commission or other kick-back from the manufacturer, which I think would be reprehensible).

Karl



Post Edited (2019-11-27 22:57)

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-11-27 23:53

Didn't the Berlin Phil offer Ricardo Morales, playing his Moba, a position in their otherwise all-Oehler by decree clarinet section?

Morales, ever a perfectionist, has switched equipment numerous times during his professional career. To my ears the changes in his sound have been negligible: he always retained his great Ricardo Morales sound.

UNTIL he switched from Moba to Uebel. His sound, again to my ears, changed with that switch. He still sounds totally great, but his sound is noticeably different, less dark, perhaps more complex. I believe Morales also changed other components at that time, including mouthpiece, so the difference I hear may be due to multiple factors, including, possibly, his own concept of sound.

Did Morales influence the other clarinetists in his section to play Uebels? Wouldn't the conductor's wishes be a big factor in such as that?

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-27 23:54

There was a brief time the clarinet section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was asked to play Wurlitzer Oehler system clarinets for various Mahler, Bruckner, Mozart pieces. They felt up to the challenge and the Orchestra bought the instruments. It worked to a point but the upside was not worth the work and downside so the effort was given up.



There are a number of examples that I've witnessed in schools either with band directors asking for a certain mouthpiece or reed strength to be used by ALL clarinets. It is always a brass playing director and the results are always negative.





.............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-11-28 01:28

When Karajan took over the Orchestre de Paris, he HATED the sound of the French clarinet, though the people that made up the section were the best in the business (in France, at any rate). Karajan wanted them to sound like Leister. They switched to Wurlitzer boem-reformed, and this didn't work for them. All went back to their old gear.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com


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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2019-11-28 02:59

"Didn't the Berlin Phil offer Ricardo Morales, playing his Moba, a position in their otherwise all-Oehler by decree clarinet section?"

I believe that to be "fake news". There was a period when they invited some Boehm-system players to play as guests with the orchestra, including Morales, Carbonare and others. But they never had an audition in which they allowed applicants to play on Boehm system.

Ruben- I believe that the player is far, far more important than the instrument. Every player has to know their instrument and its sound and intonation tendencies. Imagine 2 players on Buffet RCs playing octaves of E4 (flat on most Buffets) and E5 (sharp on most Buffets). Unless the players make the necessary adjustments, playing the same model would in this example make intonation worse!



Post Edited (2019-11-28 11:49)

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: michele zukovsky 
Date:   2019-11-30 10:46

i always liked playing with other wurlitzer players.
it must have been a drag to match me in the LAPO!

micheleLiquorice wrote:

> "Didn't the Berlin Phil offer Ricardo Morales, playing his
> Moba, a position in their otherwise all-Oehler by decree
> clarinet section?"
>
> I believe that to be "fake news". There was a period when they
> invited some Boehm-system players to play as guests with the
> orchestra, including Morales, Carbonare and others. But they
> never had an audition in which they allowed applicants to play
> on Boehm system.
>
> Ruben- I believe that the player is far, far more important
> than the instrument. Every player has to know their instrument
> and its sound and intonation tendencies. Imagine 2 players on
> Buffet RCs playing octaves of E4 (flat on most Buffets) and E5
> (sharp on most Buffets). Unless the players make the necessary
> adjustments, playing the same model would in this example make
> intonation worse!
>

>
> Post Edited (2019-11-28 11:49)

michelezukovsky@gmail.com

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-01 20:30

cigleris - Please read what I wrote carefully. I didn't say Ricardo was using Backun now! I'm not behind at all! Thanks though for your post. Cheers!


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-12-01 20:34

However, I did not know the whole clarinet section switched. I'm kinda surprised. Is this true?


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2019-12-02 04:41

There is no doubt that at least three of the four regular current members of the Philadelphia orchestra clarinet section play Uebel instruments: Ricardo Morales, Socrates Villegas, and Paul R. Demers. They are all listed as Uebel artists on the most recent page for Vienna Music Co.: https://www.viennamusicus.com/. (Click on "Artists" to see the list). The remaining member of the section, Samuel Caviezel, is not listed there but he may have switched as well.

Many people enjoyed the performance by Socrates Villegas at the ICA in Knoxville, and he was playing a Uebel Zenit clarinet there.



Post Edited (2019-12-02 05:19)

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 Re: Is it better for people of the same section to play the same make of clarinet?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2019-12-02 18:54

I don't see the need if the players have a good sense of pitch and blend. My own experience was this. I switched from a Buffet Bb to a Selmer a while back when i was still in the BSO and our principal was playing Chadach clarinets. I played second to him in a Brahms serenade and he never noticed that I had a new clarinet. We sometimes rotated so I played second sometimes with him. About 8 months later while swabing out he noticed I had the Selmer and asked when I got it. When I told him a few weeks before we did the Brahms together he just said, Oh.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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