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Topics - KenJarczyk

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All about Clarinets / New Ridenour Aurea Clarinets
« on: November 01, 2021, 08:34:58 PM »
On the Clarinet side of my world.

Ridenour Clarinet Products and Wm Thomas Ridenour picked out a matched set (A & Bb) of his Brand New Lyrique Aurea Clarinets.  Not only do they look beautiful, Silver Plated Keys with Gold Posts, they play like a dream!  Warm, Dark and Euro-Sounding, Without a doubt the best designed, playing clarinets on the market.  Sent in a beautiful custom logo ProTec double case, but seen here in my Marcus Bona Triple Case, sharing room with my Eb.

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All about Clarinets / Ridenour - the Real Deal!
« on: April 13, 2016, 07:27:48 PM »

Often I get calls for Theater Pit Gigs. Often the pits are exactly that - Pits! Environmentally horrid spaces of unguessable heat or cold, and humidity of Sahara-Desert to Rain-Forest quality. I was feeling very sorry for my clarinets. My main Bb horn was a "Brannenized" 1969 Buffet R13, also in circulation was a Leblanc Dynamic H, and 3 Selmers - a Centered Tone and 2 wonderful "Brannenized" Series 10 clarinets.

My initial introduction to Ridenour Clarinets was their C clarinet, and I found it delightful in every respect. Wonderful tone, accurate intonation to the extreme, and comfortable under the hands. I used in in several shows, covering oboe and flute parts, and the Music Directors all were enchanted by the sound of this clarinet.

So, I took the next step, and purchased their Bb - the Libertas Clarinet. I found this instrument resplendent in every way. In fact, in a wee bit over a year this has become my main "go-to" clarinet for every gig, including Wind Ensemble and Symphonic work. Spot-on intonation, and a gorgeous sound. So, all my other clarinets are in retirement!

Now - my A clarinet. I played an early Selmer 10G clarinet, with serial number and documented proof of being one of the few selected by the Selmer Factory to be sent to Moennig and Ralph Morgan for fine-tuning and regulation. It is a most fabulous instrument. The sound is to die for!

But, I've already found love for Ridenour Clarinets with the Libertas and their C clarinets. Trusting the fact that Tom Ridenour is one of the absolute best Clarinet Acousticians in the market today, I ordered the new Lyrique A Clarinet.

Side Story here - A very good Orchestra friend of mine recently purchased a pair of Buffet Prestige R13 clarinets, and immediately took them to Brannen Woodwinds in Evanston, to have them do their magic. He asked me to test drive his pair, so I did. Got to tell you - these are very beautiful looking horns, and they indeed played quite well, but - the Libertas Bb played circles around the Prestige R13 Bb. So, he has 2 clarinets and he's in around $6,500 each!

The day came (yesterday, in fact) that My Ridenour A arrived. This Clarinet makes that Prestige R13 sound like a toy! Anything from an earth-shaking FFF to a whisper ppp, totally even scale, great pop and ring. What a great clarinet, this one is! So fluid to play, very comfortable under the hands, absolute first-rate quality of manufacture. I lost the time of day playing it! It is THAT good. So - the Selmer 10G A is now in official retirement from me, and probably soon on the market.

Good timing, I'm scheduled to play Smetana's "Moldau" in a couple weeks, written for C, A and Bb, so it will be an all-Ridenour gig for me.

The Ridenour Clarinets are the "Real-Deal" truly Professional Clarinets. Regardless of price. Sorry, you couldn't give me a Prestige now. I am a very happy fellow!

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All about Clarinets / Getting the R13 Eb Battle Ready!
« on: January 25, 2016, 01:42:15 PM »
Recently received the Backun Tulipwood barrel and bell for my R13 Eeffer.  There is definitely a noticeable improvement in tone - very even timbre through all registers, more "muscular" sound too.  I am a happy guy!  Plus - its pretty!

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All about Clarinets / E11 & R13 Tale of two E-flats
« on: October 12, 2015, 02:52:57 PM »
A wee bit over a year ago, I came in need of an E-flat clarinet. After several "test drives" I purchased a new Buffet E11 (made by Schrieber in Germany). I found the horn quite pleasant to play, very in tune, and a nice ringing tone. I did convert to a Fobes mouthpiece, barrel and bell extension. It was smooth going. The E11 even gained me a position in an area Professional Wind Ensemble.

But....

Eventually, with enough practice, the chops have a tendency to get better and better! I really love the E-flat lifestyle. But I encountered some difficulties. The E11 would choke up on altissimo staccato passages. It would give me what I would describe as a shredded sound - almost a sub-multiphonic response. I couldn't get away from it. Otherwise, Mrs. Kennedy really enjoyed the parade...

I have some friends in a Chicago Suburb at a wonderful music store, owned by a fabulous flautist, also a monster flute tech, and she employs other monster techs, as well. They are a Buffet dealer, so I decided to give one of their R13s a rip. And, WOW, am I glad I did! The R13s I test drove when I chose the E11 a year ago must have been real dogs, because this new R13 wee beastie I blew - really blew! Totally mind-blowing! Powerful tone, very good intonation, comfortable on the hands (important to a chubby-fingered Hebrew boy) and I instantly fell in love!

I traded in the E11 (took a bit of a loss, but - such is life) and clutched onto my new best friend! Haven't stopped playing it since, except for eat & sleep periods! Yes, still using the Fobes mouthpiece and bell extension, though I've gone with a Backun barrel with the reed cut-out (I'm lazy, and don't hack-saw things very well)

So, there really is a big major difference in what they call an intermediate clarinet, and a professional instrument! -- At least for me!

And I am a happy man.


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All about Clarinets / 1960 LeBlanc Dynamic H "Big Bore" Clarinet
« on: August 16, 2015, 07:30:52 PM »
Just adopted another fine horn!  Got this wonderful 1960 LeBlanc Dynamic H "Big Bore" clarinet.  Looks and sounds beautiful!  I am a happy guy!

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