Dear Mr. Friedland:
I sent you a recent query about purchasing a new clarinet. After reading a large number of your postings,I have a clearer idea about the playing characteristics of different models. I was a strong clarinetist in high school,and I played one year in college. I spent 37 years as a history teacher,and I scarcely touched the clarinet. I retired two years ago, and I began playing in a large wind ensemble at a local college. I am thoroughly enjoying the experience, but I have some minor problems with my clarinet. I am playing a Leblanc Symphonie III from the early sixties. It has been overhauled by a reliable repairman but I am experiencing resistance with the upper clarion register and the altissimo above the high F. I don’t change my embochure, nor do I decrease my air flow. I
don’t think there is an inherent problem with the clarinet. It was
evidently one of Leblanc’s better clarinets at the time it was produced.
My mouthpiece is a Vandoren M13. It is the only mouthpiece that maintains a tonal focus. I have used a B45, a Morgan R10 and a Blayman E facing. All of these play sharp. The M13 is the exception. If you have the time, I would appreciate your insights into the problem.
Yes, I am conversant with both the Leblanc Clarinets of that period and I played the M13 mouthpiece for many years.
I am assuming that the clarinet is tight and well adjusted. Many times, it will need adjustment even after a professional overhaul, or something could be amiss (hopefully) temporarily.
You could also check for any blockage in the register key vent itself by removing the key and passing a pipe cleaner through the vent. Even a small amount of dust or dirt can cause difficulty.
There is always a possibility that you are tensing up in that part of the instrument, always a possibility after not playing for a long while.
The mouthpiece sounds like it is OK and as a mouthpiece I think it is one of the better Van Dorens, especially for tuning.
Those are three possibilities. I hope that one of them nets you some relief.