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This pair of E J Albert clarinets are a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. They have not been used for some years as the last owner, who bought them whilst a student, is now working as a civil servant. He purchased the pair at the suggestion of the late Alan Hacker, and they are in extremely good condition for their age. E J Albert was one of the most respected makers of the early 20th Century. He was one of three sons of the founder of the firm: Eugene Albert. E J Albert was active from 1895 through to the 1920's with his workshop in Brussels. Jack Heyworth, of Liverpool and London, acted as his UK agent.
The Bb has German Silver keys in very good condition. The instrument was fully restored at Howarths of London a few years ago, as the owner had the intention of taking up playing again as an adult, though this proved impractical. The clarinet was completely re-padded in tan leather pads, all of which are in excellent condition. So, since the full restoration the clarinet, it has had no use. The wood is in overall good condition, for an instrument which is probably around 100 years old. There is a small indentation to the wood at the top of the upper joint, also a surface crack to the receiver tenon at the top of the lower joint. This tenon is metal lined so this crack has absolutely no effect on the response. There are also two further cracks to the bell, the largest of which has been filled [see photo 9]. Both clarinets have a hole drilled into the tenon of the bell, and this is designed to raise the pitch of the low E. If desired the tenon can be rotated to close off this vent. All main pieces are matching and stamped.
The A has matching serial nos. 11021, & has wood in overall excellent condition. The German Silver keywork throughout is in pristine condition. Unlike the Bb it does not feature metal reinforcement or lining to the middle tenon. We have just fully reconditioned this instrument in our workshop, with the key work being polished, as well as a complete re-pad in Pisoni Deluxe tan leather pads. The key work has been re-aligned and regulated. There is no play in the mechanism, and no joint wobble, the condition is superb. There are 2 barrels of 62.0mm, and 61.0mm. Albert barrels are short because the original m'pieces supplied by the firm were 2mm longer in the bore than contemporary m'pieces. The m'piece supplied is a Morgan RM06, which has been re-bored to 1010 dimensions. It tunes the pair very well indeed. The case is a brand new Leblanc of pouchette type.