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This is a unique and impressive Leblanc Basset Horn, LL model, in Grenadilla wood, to low C, which is a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. The instrument has an impressive provenance, having been owned from new by Hale Hambleton, and used by him, not only in most of the major Richard Strauss Operas Basset Horn parts, as a member of the English National Opera Orchestra, but also for the original sound track recording of the Gran Partita in the film Amadeus. It was also subsequently used for several recordings of Mozart's Serenade K361, including one for The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The Buffet and Leblanc Basset Horn designs are essentially modified Alto clarinets, the larger bore favours orchestral use.
This instrument has been customised as follows: An additional LH Ab/Eb lever has been added, by the late Ted Planas, to facillitate passage work in various Strauss Opera parts. A custom crook, in Grenadilla wood, has been made by Alan Andrews for improved tone. The original Leblanc crook has also been modified by being made sleeved and adjustable for tuning purposes. The original Leblanc m'piece has been re-layed by Peter Eaton to 1.75mm by 23mm. A custom Paxman case was commissioned by Hale. Some rubber patches have been glued to the bell to assist in the silent removal of the Basset Horn from a stand in recording sessions. A cork touchpiece has been glued to RH1.
This instrument is in excellent condition: NO cracks, or damage, with good nickel silver plated key work throughout. There is only one patch of wear to the rear LH thumb touchpiece. There are no scratches or dents to the crook or bell. The Basset Horn has tan leather pads throughout in very good condition. This instrument will play perfectly out of the box, & the matching serial nos. are 9659. It responds with a large even tone, ideal for Strauss Operas or, as it has often been used, in the Mozart Basset Horn repertoire. A comparable Buffet retails today new for £8300. The case is in very good condition, and the key is also included.