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 Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: doctoxin51 
Date:   2020-11-22 05:49

I have been reading some posts and there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about what mouthpiece Marcellus used and the tip opening. I was a student of his, perhaps his youngest student. In 1968 I was still high school and he took me as a student. I was playing on a Selmer Signet with an HS** mouthpiece. During my first lesson he stopped me from playing, took my clarinet, pulled the mouthpiece off and threw it in the trash. He then put his mouthpiece on my clarinet and had me play again. He grabbed my clarinet took his mouthpiece off, threw my clarinet on to his couch and put his mouthpiece back on his clarinet, handed it to me and told me to play again. It was incredible. At the end of the lesson he told me to keep the his clarinet and mouthpiece and calmly said I owed him $350.
I am still playing on that same clarinet and mouthpiece today...Buffet R13 and Kaspar 13. The tip opening is 1.13, not 1.09 like I have read somewhere on this web site. The assistant 1st at the time was Ted Johnson. Ted played on a Kaspar 11, which had a tip opening of....1.10. I bought one of those as well for $25 but is never played as good as the 13. I sold the 11 20 years later for $500.
I did get a new mouthpiece recently because I'm actually playing more at almost 70 years old than I did when I left professional music 30 years ago. The mouthpiece I have plays very close to the Kaspar. The Kaspar 13 is very bright and new one is darker. What is it?
I bought a Backun Vocalise CG. Backun says it is between a BD4 and B40 Vandoren (115.5 and 117.5). I really like it. No, I am not retiring my Kaspar 13, just giving it a long deserved rest. I am playing Legere Signature European 2.5.
Marcellus played solely on Morre' Facon. When I still used cane reeds I did the same until I couldn't find them anywhere. The Legere is as close to the Morre' as I have found. I think Marcellus would have like Backun mouthpiece and the Legere reeds.

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-11-22 07:07

That's a bold statement.

One thing that was obvious in master classes at Northwestern was that even though he still was sighted and played only a nominal amount he was extraordinarily discerning regarding the reed performance. He'd stop, adjust the reed and play again, repeat if necessary. I'm pretty sure that during one of those "delay of games" he said, "Life is too short to play on a bad reed."

And when he did play, he sounded remarkable.

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

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-11-22 18:48

I took a lesson with him way back a year or two after I was already in the Baltimore Symphony as the bass clarinetist. He tried my Wells mouthpiece I was using at the time and he said, that's a pretty good mouthpiece. After a while he suggested I hold the clarinet out a little bit more and said, "you play pretty well for a bass clarinet player". I said, I'm a clarinet player that specializes on the bass, he laughed. After our lesson we ended up at the Carnegie Taven quite by accident. Clevland was playing in NY and I came in for a lesson, my family still lived there than. By the way, years later when he came out with "his" mouthpiece I bought a few but never used one. Some were good enough for some of my students though.


Post Edited (2020-11-23 17:30)

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: Ed 
Date:   2020-11-22 19:13

Often a mouthpiece may need some tweaking due to wear. Brad Behn would do a great job restoring it to original specs

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2020-11-22 21:13

Extrapolating universal statements about a player from one mouthpiece specimen is absurd. While I’m totally inclined to believe that more of his mouthpiece openings were 1.13, I’m not going to base that off a mouthpiece he so easily gave you. I’m putting no more stock in that than another character on this board who makes similar assertions after examining cast off mouthpieces.

Regarding the idea that he would play Legere and Backun... I’ll let that speak for itself.

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-11-22 22:46

J.J, sounds like you want to stop different opinions here. Not good, your superior knowledge 'might' be appreciated elsewhere.

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 Re: Robert Marcellus's mouthpiece
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2020-11-23 09:18

Opinions can live or die on their merits, balanced against scrutiny. This is hardly the biggest pushback we’ve seen on here.

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