With malice toward none

With malice toward none:
I have tried for more than 45 years to find a reed to use instead of cane. I had heard early in my study that George Bundy had been working on a reed of sterling silver for the clarinet just before he passed away and I was intrigued. Then, while in Milwaulee(Principal), I tried the Fibrecane reed,played it for three months without mentioning it, then told the first cellist and I became an almost instant pariah.(“oh may god, he plays plastic!”). I abandoned them, went back to Bonades or one of the others and am still looking. Now, Legeres aren’t bad. I was attracted to Richard Hawkins website because all of the excerpts are played on Legere and they are (except for a slightly diffuse quality) excellent, or better. Now, I find this of interest and I obtained a Hawkins “R” facing, a lovely mouthpiece, but I couldn’t find a Legere that would sound like anything but a popsicle stick. Awful.
Then I put one of my cane reeds on it and it absolutely came to a beautiful vibrance and what I consider great beauty and I have not looked back. So, there you go, we’re all different and so are mouthpieces. I find the thick rails and tip of my(2) Gennusa mouthpieces play Legere OK, but still not well, so for 19 bucks a pop, I will buy two boxes of Zonda Classicos and off I will go. My second best mouthpiece is a Gregory Smith, which I couldn’t play, sent it to Hawkins and I now have it back and etched into it are the words, “Refaced by Richard Hawkins”. It plays terrific. (and I will not sell it.)

Sherman Friedland


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