Leblanc Dynamic Clarinet

Dear Mr. Friedland:

My clarinet is a Leblanc Dynamic 2, and I believe the serial number is 598B. Can you give me any information on it, in regard to its age or worth? Not that I’m planning on selling it, of course, but after not being able to find anything out myself, my curiosity is piqued.

Thanks so much!

Hi Kelly:
thank you for your note about the Leblanc Dynamic 2 clarinet. After virtually a lifetime of playing and trying all manner and make of clarinets,one wonders just what is the difference between this Leblanc Dynamic Clarinet, than other Leblanc Dynamic 1 clarinet and then , well, just the whole rubric of clarinets, mostly those which have mainly interested players in the United State, and Canada and of course, Europe.

But here, we come upon the key word in an assessment of either a particular clarinet with its name and other characteristics. This word is rubric which is of course, used by the academy for instance, to discern between differences. If we distinguish between those clarinets with a common name like Leblanc, or Buffet, Selmer, and Yamaha, we are then asked to discern between each of them, and then we further separate them by what particular year in which they were made. And then, by any number of criteria concerning each manufacturer. As we begin to analyze, we realize that there are endless possibilities.

These are generally the considerations by many clarinetists. (Do they make any difference? No.) Leblanc is one of the best made highly regarded clarinets, specifically, all models made in France. The dynamic, both models or all models, including the so-called Pete Fountain model, which I consider the best has a slightly wider bore than other clarinets and is most similar to the Selmer Centered Tone clarinet, both of which are frequently called big bore,or clarinets made for jazz playing. No, not true. They were made for sale, made very well, made for a highly competitive market with a limited clientele. I played a set of Centered Tone clarinets when I played principal in the Milwaukee Symphony, and since then have played many if not most Leblanc clarinets which in my opinion, have a more compact scale and are in better tuning. These have included Opus, Sonata, Leblanc LL, L7, several other L models with numbers (which escape memory) It is a great instrument, a great deal of pleasure to play and as well made as any other fine French clarinet. Although I was a clinician for Selmer for many years, I still felt the Leblanc is better for reasons outlined above.

The major clarinet names are generally very consistent from one to another. Differences can be discerned of course, upon closer inspection, different playing styles, mouthpieces,and on and on. The Leblanc brand as such in the US ,suffered during the years because of very poor direction, a resulting in a terrible and undeserved reputation.
Because there were always Leblancs unsold in music stores, I was able to pick and choose from all available models and try them for as long as I desired. I played many concerts of chamber music with them, resulting in my opinion, probably as good as anyone elses.

We could go into the latest craze, the added bell and/or barrel made from hard rubber or another more beautiful looking wood. Weird. How does one discern between the result of one wood from another unless one can try all simultaneously? Like comparing orchestras, it cannot be done. Here comes the conclusion to this posting : it comes down to a matter of opinion, and then the advertising, the paid-off players who have been given free samples to try.
Kelly,I hope you like your Dynamic Leblanc,I think it is a fine instrument. Enjoy it always,
best ,


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