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About the combination of clarinet mouthpiece and reed

many a word has been written, but ultimate truth remains to be uncovered yet. One thing, however, is certain:
 
Every clarinet player makes a choice about the specific material with which he or she is able to play unhindered and joyfully. In plain language this means that all varieties should be played easily through all dynamic regions ( that is if you master a good onset and are trained adequately ).
Choosing a combination of material is consequently a very very personal matter. For this reason advice is quite difficult to give.
 
Some ways to finding solutions are described for you in the following. Surely the easiest way is to take a mouthpiece recommended by many people, professionals as well as hobby players, and look for a suitable clarinet reed. At least this is the way how many famous people think.
 

Maybe some basic points first...


With every possible choice among different clarinet reeds or mouthpieces you should test if your instrument responds well in every register. Certainly, your combination of choice should also work in all dynamic variations.
In addition, your material should let you play a healthy staccato just as well as a charming, elegant, and round legato which, after all, enables a pearling finger technique.
Moreover, it is of course wonderful to bring out all the different sound qualities of your clarinet and the flexible and smooth colour passages. Only the combination of both conveys the full richness of musical sensation, the dramatic elements of which are particularly in demand in the clarinet literature.

 

Prof. Ewald Koch

recommends a Wurlitzer mouthpiece to his students, with an M 3 + facing, of course in combination with the Foglietta type A developed by himself.
 

Mr Viotto

formerly made his facings above all for those clarinet players who followed the opposite course and choose the mouthpiece to match their Vandoren reed, which is also a possibility.
Do try a Viotto mouthpiece with our new type C* reed !
 

We

also had to do some thinking about testing which reed with which mouthpiece.
For this reason we have already tried a range of facings and mouthpieces and thought very intensively about the interactivity of reeds and mouthpiece faces. The result is a particular mouthpiece available with different openings and facings ( also for Boehm clarinets ), as well as the corresponding reed, namely model C*.
Although this combination is based on theoretical consideration, some clarinet players have already been convinced of it. Peter Przybylla, solo clarinettist of the SWR-Rundfunkorchester, ( orchestra of the south-west German broadcasting station ), has been praising this combination for some years already. Jörg Fadle of the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin ( German symphonic orchestra Berlin ) was also very taken with it. Moreover numerous instrument makers have voiced their content.
 

François Benda

plays model F on his Charles Bay mouthpiece and his students, at least those who play Boehm clarinets, use the same reed and fasten it on a Vandoren  B 40.
 

Sabine Meyer and Reiner Wehle

told us they play just a normal mouthpiece, which is quite similar to the old Wurlitzer M 3 or the Zinner model 3 M or a facing of Johann Berger wth a tip opening of 90 - 95 hundredth of a millimetere and a length of approx. 25 millimeteres between table and tip. The clarinet reed is Foglietta type E*.
 
For all those who haven't finished their search for a combination yet we would like to remark that, if possible, length of the reeds wind cut should not be shorter than the mouthpiece facing. Therefore, keep your fingers off a long mouthpiece facing combined with a short cut reed. It only means trouble !
In addition, you should check the mouthpiece for no gross faults. Look for detail on how to do that under mouthpiece recommendations.
 

 
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