Thank you for you wonderful site. I am a retread clarinet player, having just picked it up again after over 40 years. (a very interesting experience.) I have my old Leblanc symphony which is a full Boehm model. I have always like how it played, but the years have taken a toll and it required new pads and cork, which I replaced. It is also out a adjustment and I find it is very difficult to get adjusted. I recently ran across a clarinet player who has a Leblanc symphony that is not a full Boehm that he is interested in trading. I am tempted because of the ongoing issues
with mine, but am concerned about the relative value. He also has an R13 he is looking to sell and that is another possibility although I am reluctant to spend that kind of money. He has indicated that I can try both instruments. Any advise you can give would be appreciated.
Dear Mr D:
I full well understand the dilemma you are experiencing for there is nothing
like a Full Boehm which is out of adjustment. The facts are that there are not many repairpersons out there who can tweak them in exactly the right way, and even more even get the articulating arrangement to work correctly.
Usually these are inevitably permanently slightly out of wack, as are some of our acquaintences, and so develops the old “be careful of clarinets with
extra keys”When I played these clarinets which were full boehm Mazzeo
System clarinets, I do not think I ever had a mishap. Of course, one
develops a fair technic at these problems and I was always in a large city and I had some great repairpeople working for me.
So, that seems to be the story.My advice would be to trade for the Leblanc Symphonie, which has or had a great reputation.
Because he is getting so much more, perhaps it can be an even trade.
However the market is low now for the clarinets with articulated keys and nobody uses the low Bb-Eb because they don’t transpose.
I do not know if you are acquainted with symphonic repertoire, but one time we were playing The Pines of Rome by Respighi. It has a long lovely clarinet
solo for A clarinet and I played it on the Bb because I had the Mazzeo System and everything was in 5 or six flats and that is easy on those clarinets. It really worked well, but I doubt if it has ever been done before, or after, because the Mazzeo System is currently not in vogue. But I still remember the security of those keys.
To make a too long story short, trade for the Symphonie. The R13 will cost you because people put value on those even if they are flat in the high and sharp in the throat.
Good luck, and thanks for reading the site.
as ever, sherman
“The Pines of Rome” clarinet solo on Bb clarinet?