A Tale of Tarnish, a Sonata, and not of an R13

I appreciate your reply. I thought it odd that on a new instrument it would tarnish so easily. But I am very pleased with my Sonata all things considered. It is hard sometimes, because other players, and my teacher to a degree sort of looks down on my Sonata because it is not a Buffet R-13. I couldn’t afford the R-13, so I got the Sonata. But I kind of like being the only non-buffet in my honor orchestra section, why go the R-13 path like everyone else?
Again, I appreciate your colum, and keep up the good work.

Hi J:
I have owned a new Sonata and it was a very good instrument with good silver plating. If you continuously find the keys discolored, or tranished it is most probably the acid in your system that is doing it. While I do not have this, I have known many players who have.
My only suggestion is to keep a polishing or rouge cloth with you in your case in rehearsal and continuously wipe the keys even while you are awaiting an entrance. And carefully wipe the keys after playing, this is especially important. Good luck.
And do not worry about not having an R13
Buffet is an accident waiting to happen. Look at any one of those things and you will see the little left hand keys connected to the others with plastic dowels, and I have had a student whose plastic dowels broke! That is true.
Your Sonata is better intune than any Buffet.
The two best known clarinetists in the US and the world do not play Buffet. They play Leblanc. I do not play Buffet either and there are many many who do not. (Buffet is a myth created by several players of the past with a certain charisma, and of course they happened to be marvelous players, but not because they played a particular brand.) The Buffet instrument has a pleasant sound,(and if you can pick from 20 or so, then have it tuned,they are fine) however the tuning of the throat is sharp and it is flat always in the altissima, and the bottom of the horn always flat.
Just keep on playing your Sonata, because you have the best clarinet in your orchestra.
best regards for the holidays
sherman friedland—————————————————————-


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