Different clarinets, tones, mouthpieces

Dear Sherman,
thank you for answering my question about the selmer series 9 which I am playing. The tuning on the Noblet I had previously (still have) is actually better, which is maybe why I have begun to query my tuning now, your setting me off. I heard a Welsh flautist say that when she got a job with the Royal Gevanthaus she had to get a flute with a slightly higher pitch, since the orchestra played with a higher pitch than the English. Also same I believe with Bavaria, maybe more places in Europe.. Do you think this might have something to do with the two barrels. The internal tuning on my selmer is best with the longer barrel, and with the shorter barrel internal tuning is best with a an A at 243 (herz is it) .How much improvement do you think emboucher retraining can effect? I am suddenly starting from scratch, and full of doubt about how sensitive my ear is , since I have discovered some fingerings and intervals hitherto habitual (carefully worked out) accepted , not right. However, the series 9 has a good tone and it articulates well, tonguing is easier, pianissimo too, more sensitive. I have been listening to your tone, with a basset horn mellowness, each tone a slightly different flavour from the next, more than usual. Are you aware of how you got there.? Do you think I could improve the Noblet by repadding? Why is one instrument better than another, tone wise, articulation? I have begun to feel very stupid, since I have played the clarinet (on and off) all my life. My reaction to playing Stravinsky’s 3 pieces on different instruments, quite upset, what about the different pitches, tone colours? Do you know Chagrin’s 2 pieces for solo clarinet? The high register of the Bflat slightly mad, not like the Eflat.

Andrew:
Many thanks for your note concerning basically as I see it
the basic timbre and pitch you are making.
I know that whatever my sound is , I derived it mostly from listening, a lot of listening. I started studying with a fellow who had one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard on the clarinet. It was not only lovely, it was effortless as well. I have always thought of that sound whenever I have played the instrument , probably subliminally now. But I have also learned through a certain amount of experimenting with mouthpieces, and they have a lot to do with the sound you make, certainly they do with me.
And with mouthpieces I also go by the feel of the sound as I am making it. It must be rather free blowing and relatively easy to make the sound as I see it, or rather hear it.
In the last couple of years or so, I have decided thatI would prefer less (what I call) high frequencies in the sound, or less brightness of quality, or more mellow if you will, or darker, whatever word that sensitizes you to my meaning.
I think I have achieved that through almost luck, because I chanced to pick up an old mouthpiece, called Gennusa. P played on it, just by chance and found the sound had less high frequncy, or was darker or less strident.Still it took me weeks before I started playing on this mouthpiece on a daily basis.
What I found was that the particular blank, the actual rubber has a different quality of sond, and of response, and here is the important thing, the response being one I began to prefer.
I then found the maker of this Gennusa mouthpiece, a fellow who is knowledgable and who studied with Mr. Gennusa, who was the principal clarinetist of the Baltmore Symphony.
His name is Ben Redwine. I wrote to him and asked him to copy this mouthpiece I had found. He did, on the same blank as the original, and that is what I play currently.
As far as the Stravinsky Pieces are concerned, the article I last wrote is one version (Bb, Bass and Eb) and I actually think that would be a circu act, but Stravincky himself might enjoy it.
The Pieces are to be played on A, Bb, and Bb clarinet. That is the way it is done, and it works.
But not if you think that repadding a clarinet will change the sound, it won’t, period.
Different horns have different qualities, qualities you hear in your head as well as in your mouth.
I happen to play Selmer 10S, a very well tuned instrument and the sound is acceptable to me, at least with the mouthpiece I play and the reeds that I use.
This has taken many many years, and I am reasonably happy.
I do hope that I have helped you in some way.

sherman

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