The Clarinet

My favourite instrument has to be the clarinet.  I seem to have made quite a habit of collecting them over the years.

I first started playing at around the age of 9 and still have my first instrument - in pristine condition!  I certainly knew how to look after my things.  My first clarinet was an Artley Prelude 18S  Serial number 5xxxx.

My next clarinet I bought in 1995 when I first came back to England to live.  It is a Leblanc Infinite and I still play it.  

An A Clarinet came next - this time a Leblanc Concerto.  A beautiful instrument.

On one of my trips back to New Zealand my old clarinet/saxophone teacher Arthur Cameron told me he was giving up playing and would l like his old clarinet - well how could I say no!  This is also a Leblanc but unusual in that it has an articulated G sharp key and with an extra Bb venting mechanism - probably a Stubbins mechanism.  Serial number: 5xxx 

See photo below - click on the photo for a larger picture.

clarinetoldleblanc1.jpg (182555 bytes)    clarinetoldleblanc2.jpg (182733 bytes)

Back view             Front view

For quite a few years I played Eb clarinet in what was then called Hatfield Concert Band.  The Eb I had was a lovely little wooden clarinet with a plastic Boosey & Hawkes LaFleur bell so I can only presume that this is the make of it.  

My next clarinet purchase was from Ebay - once found an addiction as you could tell from my doll pages.  This clarinet is a very old Selmer Bundy Alto Clarinet with open ring keys.  I simply love this instrument as old as it is!  I play this in the Phoenix Concert Band, occasionally in the Ionian Clarinet Choir and also in the BBC Concert Band.

Well once you have an alto - what else do you need?  Well along came a bass, again from Ebay.  I was slightly disappointed with this purchase as it wasn't as straight forward as it should have been but problems were eventually resolved to a satisfactory conclusion.  This bass is again a Selmer Bundy but a more modern version.  It plays very sharp and I thought it was me, but after having the opportunity of playing a couple of bass's on the Liverpool Clarinet Summer School, I discover it wasn't!  I now have my eye on a Buffet RC Prestige - what a beautiful instrument!  It will probably take me years to save up for one!

I have upgraded my E flat for a Leblanc Noblet 40, a delightful little instrument so am now trying to sell my first.  (I can put this towards my bass savings!)

I was also lucky to find a fantastic old, probably rosewood simple system clarinet made by Hawkes & Son in 1875 or 1876.  It is in amazing condition and at some stage I will get it re-padded in order to be able to play it although it is in old pitch and probably a C instrument.



Copyright 2005 by Lorraine Tyler.  All rights reserved.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, 01 April 2008 .