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JACQUES ALBERT FILS, DEGREZ SYSTEM, Bb CLARINET, 1695

A unique and exceptional "Degrez" system Boehm clarinet made by the last maker of the legendary Albert family, Jacques Fils. So rare in fact, that even the Nicholas Shackleton collection does not possess an instrument of this type. This instrument can be dated to 1937-39 with some certainty: Langwill gives the Degrez patent as 1936, and Jacques Fils ceased making in 1939, dying in 1950.
The German Silver keywork is good, very solid, and with an excellent shine. The wood is in amazing condition for its age, with no cracks or repairs, only light surface marks. The instrument has been recently re-padded in Pisoni Premium Deluxe Tan Leather, and the seal of the pads is excellent. This clarinet is stamped "Made in Belgium". The makers stamp, " Syst. A Degrez Brevete, Jacques Albert Fils Bruxelles" is clearly visible on all sections, excepting the barrel which is a G Leblanc. The bore of the barrel is an exact match to that of the clarinet at 14.9mm. The intonation of this instrument is superb, with a third register which is uniquely secure and solid in response. Once the LH index finger is off the ring, the Degrez "booster" register key opens, actuated from thumb C on upwards. The instrument works well with B&H 926 bore m'pieces, and I have supplied a good example recently relayed by Ramon Wodkowski. The case is a Boosey and Hawkes in excellent condition.