(This is a side blog. Visit my original blog here).
I am not impressed.
I told the conductor I wanted to do the Mozart all the way back in September. He knew I didn’t have access to a good A clarinet, and he knew I had practised it on by Bb clarinet. He said he would arrange it so I could play it on my Bb in the right key.
So why, now, am I stuck trying to get the same expressive and dynamic range on an ancient, loose, temperamental A clarinet that they’ve pulled out of the store cupboard, just so he can use the parts he’s printed off the internet?
I wouldn’t complain but the cork is so worn that it feels like the joints are going to fall off any second and with every note comes this weird hissing sound, like when you blow down your clarinet without making a note. It’s only really noticeable when I play quietly but for the Mozart I need to play quietly. I know the cork could be fixed with a service but I don’t even know what’s causing the hissing sound and I have no idea if it’s a fixable problem or just a really crummy instrument. I would put it down to an embouchure problem but i am using the SAME BLOODY MOUTHPIECE. I don’t think there’s air escaping anywhere but I could be wrong. I am just so frustrated with it, and my mum is insisting that it will get better if I just persevere which is making me even more frustrated. I’m sorry, mother, but I think I know a little bit more about clarinets than you do.
Does anybody have any ideas about what’s wrong with it? I might need to get hold of a better A clarinet sometime if it can’t be fixed because there’s a pretty tiny chance the conductor’s actually going to arrange it for my Bb. I wish I was in a position to buy one, that would make life so much easier…