November 16, 2015

G clarinet.

This is really a historic tale.  sixty to 80 years ago there was an almost fierce competition beween Selmer and Buffet

Most clarinetists playing in symphony orchestras in the US played the Buffet clarinet, almost specifically the R13 model.

Gigliotti, principal in Philadelphia played the Buffet as did all others playing in virtually all US orchestras. This was when I first began to learn to play, and of course, what I wound up with was the Selmer. Why?

Because , living in Boston, where all the setion played Selmer, this was my sspration, tp play Selmer, which I finally did, after much searching.

But, as a young man, I knew of the Buffet and its use in most other US orchestras.

Of course, this has all changed now, starting with the arrival of the Selmer 10G, refering to Gigliotti in Philadelphia. Selmer, it is said, actually produced a Buffet copy, or one that was fairly close in response, to his Buffet.

The production at first, quite successful, and some played and responded very well. Others did not. I had two sets of these and frankly, didnt play well well enough to discrn the difference. At that time, we all played in university=conservatory orchestras, and frankly, unless hearing the horn played in an orchestra, a professional ensemble, your guess was as good as mine.

What has transpired since the has or have been vast improvements in all instruments, prices rising accordingly until now and including all manufacturers all clarinets have improvd exponentially , and many different orchestral players perform on both or wither of the different bore, producing a more mellow sound with better resonance. Comparison, these days is simply a matter of ones opinion, and it is all of that, nothing more.

Of course, mouthpieces and reeds have also changed exponentially, and of course, reeds made of artifical material, not cane, but a mixture of cane and plastics of all kinds. Literally everything has changed, especially all materials, wooden instruments are still favored, but many are made fromhard rubber, whichis much easier to,machine nd finshe and stands the rigors of tempeature changes much better than wood. What mouthpiece doyou play? Instrument, and reeds ae the question. Everyone learns to play very well, but the diminished number of professional orchestras are all mitigating factors. that is the whole story of SELMER AND BUFFET


sherman friedland

All Saints Day, Is it over? Promise?

November 1, 2015

imagesIf I neverI see Jamie Lee Curtis scream and Donald Pleasance murder Michael Myers , haunting the streets of Haddonfield, cloaked in darkness and blood, it will be too soon!!

Here, in Heartwood and Cornwall, and indeed all of Canada, this calm Catholic All saints day is celebrated with an endless bloody fear fest that is truly frightening. There is a ghostly lady, walking rhtythmically, in short steps throughout the halls, intoning a kind of mantra and looking for an elevator, pressing the code button, never getting the right numbers, and trying to get out. She goes from one elevator to another mumbling continuously.

Someone else likes to pilfer through my toilet articles, sometimes taking and or dropping a bottle. I will not see the person for a few days after. She is boh present and totally absent. So, in several aspects, Mickael Meyers is on the premises, especially at Halloween.

Last night, I went to bed late . There came two wiches, dressed as psw personal service workers. Have a happy Halloween, one said,(her tail seductively twitching) and I replied that I do not celerbrate this day of days. It has been disturbubgly  unsettling, especially being in this long term care center. Now, it is November 1st . And perfectly coordinated with the changing of the time. Of course, everyone forgot and the morning was endless.

Nobodyhad had their coffee and seemed very kind, though uncoordinated.

Even when a younger person, I had no care for this holiday, which has been turned into a festival of blood and gore.

We turned our lights out and kept no light in the window for these poor kids, dragging their parents from door to door.

And now, thanks to walmart and the other department stores, it has become a huge moneymaker, leading up to, but not separated from Christmas, celebrated with long lines of inflatable toys, and snowmen.

The personal service workers, incredibly kind, and you know who you are, wlike to talked about, and are richly deserving of praise and gratitude/   But, dont mention my name.

That would be uncanadian, or unforgivable.

Read my lips. Read my blog.

I love you.

sherman , Heartwood

I Have a Leblanc Clarinet

September 28, 2015

Dear Professor Friedland ;

I have a Leblanc B flat clarinet that I would like to sell. It is an L7 model and is in excellent condition. I had the horn refurbished for my daughter when she was in high school.

I have not played the horn in a number of years, but tried it recently and the sound is excellent. I had the horn appraised at one of our local music stores and they said I could expect to perhaps get $1,000 – $1,200.

However, I just found your site and feel that you will know more about the value of my horn. The silver keys look like new and there are no cracks in the wood. The cork looks to be in great condition and I have recently greased the corks. The pads are in good condition also. Please let me know what you think a good value would be and if you know of anyone that would like to make this purchase. G V

First and foremost, the clarinet has no sound, per se. none whatever.The sound is made by the player, using a reed and a mouthpiece.

The Leblanc has always had the best built clarinet made in France.Far better in tune than any other, the L7 was one of their very best, of which I have owned several sets, one of which had been made with rollers between the little finger keys, perhaps a conversion from another fingering system, but these and other L7 were simply superior.

The Leblanc which was most successful was the Opus, designed by the brilliant William Ridenour whil he was with Leblanc , also the Sonata and several other models.

The intonation being almost perfect, was the factor for which they stand alone.

Hope this has been of some help.

stay well, sherman

The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth

September 28, 2015

With them in hand, I took handitransit downtown to go to the dentist

With traffic stopped on Pitt St, I took myself in my power chair aross the street, but the office had a stair over which my chair would not go, so, finally, against all city regulations, the dentist came out and lifted me over the stair, and I was in.

I held them in a little plastic cup and he looked on wih coniderable disdain, and said I can do nothing with these, they are useless, and then took an Xray, told me of the decay underone prior root canal, while I held them up and said,

But they have been to Carnegie Hall, adding , many times, plus literally hundreds of performing spaces all over the world. a blank, slightly scornful mouth, turning down at the corners,looked back at me.

When we were little children, my mther used to scream, , you kids took all my calcium, which I why I have no teeth, may she RIP.

We all know people who go through with no dental problems, literally none whatsoever, but the rest suffer with drilling and the rest of the that other expensive and ultimately useless procedure after procedure , while the perpetrator of this painful procedure buys another boat or plane , or whatever..

That first tooth reolacement was only one of very msny, some failed, some successful, but none lasting. Still, I loved the clarinet, went rapidly through the development of the necessary, loved music even more, and have had more then 60 years of music, which s better, much better.

So, keep practicing and take good care of your tooths

Stay well.

sherman friedland, at Heartwood

RIDENOUR C clarinet and Esperanza

September 17, 2015

Hi Mr Friedland

I have just ordered a ridenour C clarinet and Bb Speranza (a discontinued model similiar to the 576bc at a very good price). My main music interests are klezmer, jazz, band and pop tunes. Would having a C and Bb clarinet cover all my bases, or would it be worthwhile to purchase an A clarinet sometime down the line even though (at least at the moment) have no interest in orchestral playing? In other words, should my next clarinet be another Bb with different characteristics, or an A clarinet. Can a C clarinet play the A clarinets parts? Also, are you familiar with the Speranza clarinet at all and if so what’s your opinion. Thanks in advance, Eli

It is very interesting, but it is a very simple recommendation to make. Tom has solved the problem, actually a long time past. I have played all of the many models he has produced and/or designed, including the Opus, my best clarinets. THE best clarinet.

William Ridenour is the best designer of clarinets in the surrent era.

The material he uses in all his intruments is more stable in all ways, than any other used to make clarinets. Of course, it is hard rubber, or ebonite, which is as stable, and will not crack, will not crack or shatter in any way, and is virtually impervious to temperature changes.

Take all of that to the bank, as they say. Enjoy them.

All good wishes.


A letter from A student from UMASS

August 24, 2015

Hi Sherman,

My name is Steve and you were my clarinet teacher MANY YEARS AGO at UMASS (1965?) and I played 2nd clarinet with you that year in the UMASS orchestra before I transferred to MIT. I have continued to play the clarinet – and still practice almost every day – and still take lessons (now with Tom Hill in Boston). I have enjoyed your blog for years but have never written. I wish you well

I recall the incident that they decided to take a photo of the UMASS orchestra and you suggested we hold our clarinets with hands reversed. What a lark.You gave a recital at UMASS that (my freshman) year and you played the Schumann fantasy pieces. I had never heard the clarinet played that well before (by leaps and bounds). I was ready to give up, but I am glad I did not. I play much better now (at age 67).

Dear Steve:

Thank you for your kind letter, deeply appreciated. I remember 1965 as it was our first year of marriage, (and we are still adjusting)

I still play with my hands reversed, which is of course, more fun, but am considering no hands at all.

Have been quite ill with varia, a new valve. a few heart attacks, am in a long term care facility, and feel much better.

Thank you again

Keep practicing.

Stay well.




August 19, 2015

imagesThe 140z. bottle of merlot sat on my dresser in plain sight, undisturbed and not even a taste  of it gone. I have never been a drinker, save when I was very young and used to be invited to every gathering of musicians and others. I drank socially and frankly, to get high, or whatever the expression was then. Years ago in Colorado, I had this same single glass o wine prior to going on stage, not realizing we were a mile above sea level.I never repeated the mile high experience, perhaps …half that amount

This is a long term care facility, a euphemism for rest home, or nursing home. There are about 120 of us here, or every conceivable stripe or condition. The first floor is generally for well people, with their senses. I was placed here, on the 2nd floor,  even though I am supposed to have all my marbles, so to speak.After 30 years of playing the clarinet, conducting the orchestra, and teaching every course  within a music curriculum, my heart valve has been replaced, my blood count is low and I am in wheelchair, given to me by my wife. there are a few with these chairs, but they whisk me around quickly and without a fuss. As I was saying the first floor is for those with marbles. Not so, mine the 2nd floor which is inhabitied by the rest. For instance there is constant screaming, 24/7. I call it the endless choir rehearsal. They are both spontaneous and hardly silent, and they sing as loud as can be defined by screaming. There are those who intone in some kind of unknown repititious sound, certainly connected at one time, to a functioning mind,and speaking or intoning with a certain rhythm, sounding like dialect, but totally indiscernible. There ae PSWs (personal service workers).mostly women, who tend to my every need, as well as dressing, as I cannot walk Something to do with low hemoglobin and chronic anemia. at my age, I am delighted and fortunate to be here. I love baseball and my son and  I watch together, whenever the Blue Jays are playing, and, and we discuss baseball via the telephone., .  I have every piece of camber music I have every played, plus the goodies of several good music places and subscribe to manyservices, including movies, and as much baseball as anyone could possibly want. So, back to that bottle of merlot, very good , especially when I was able to make spaghetti with meat sauce, and kept on my dresser because I moved here with it. One day, a nurse same in and told me No wine< not good to be laying out there for anyone, most of whom should not drink wine. The doctor came one week and told the nurse to keep it in her locker, and that I was permitted two glasses a day. That is more  than I have ever consumEd. So, she took the bottle, putting ny name on it and stashed it.She then brought me two glasses of it the next day,. Impossible When my doctor came the next week, he told the nurse to put the bottle back in my room. And there it stood, my name having been written in the label. I believe in wine, it has frequently settled my stomach or my nerves It is a wonderful gift to all who consume it. 

As mentioned,years ago, in a first job in Colorado located a mile above sea level, I had a concert, and consumed my usual glass,I was drunk, playing Von Weber I never repeated, maybe a half glass A few day ago, my wife and I were called to a progress meeting. I told them what I thought, highly complimentary. But, I mentioned the wine, which had been broken the day before by someone putting clothes away. I got a rather turgid lecture about the dangers of wine and that it is strictly forbidden in this facility. AfTer the lecture, one of the ladies told me she had been commissioned to replace the wine. It is in her locker, where it stays. I have a brand new bottle in the bottom drawer of my beareau. If Lisa ever gives me the new wine, I will stash in the same drawer. keep practicing , and stay well. sherman


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