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This matched pair of Leblanc pre-LL clarinets are a commission sale for Clarinets Direct. Leon Leblanc, along with Charles Houvenaghel, the great Belgian acoustician, took the manufacturing of clarinets with scientific principles even further. Leblanc were the first major maker to set up an acoustic laboratory. Leon was a gifted clarinetist who took the top prize at the Paris Conservatoire as a young man. Although he could have had a great career as a performer, Leon chose to stay with the family business and apply himself to instrument manufacture, and bring acoustical, mechanical, and musical improvements to woodwind instruments. Although Leblanc's instruments were almost entirely handmade, Leon Leblanc insisted that the craftsmen follow careful measurements. "Music is an art, but it is still governed by the laws of science," he declared (Music Trades, July 1996). As a result, Leblanc instruments were more consistent than those that had come before. The company continued to strive for consistent quality, ease of playability, and mechanical innovation, throughout its history.
These are a professional quality pair, and date from the mid-1950's. The intonation and response is the equal of the most expensive French instruments sold today. The Bb has matching serial nos. 10456 and has German Silver key work in fair condition. There are surface scratches to some of the key work. In addition, both F/C RH touchpieces on the clarinets have been shortened for fingering convenience. Perhaps the same previous owner intended adding some keys, but got no further than drilling holes for the pillars. These don't go through to the bore and have been neatly filled in. [ see photo 11] Apart from this the wood is in overall good condition . There are some thread and tape repairs to the tenons, but there is no joint wobble. All pads are leather, which despite their age are sealing well.
The A, serial nos. 10243, has no cracks or repairs. The key work throughout is in good shape. Like the Bb, the pads are elderly but sealing well. There are some tape and thread repairs to the tenon corks. The m'piece is a Weinberg M1 Gold, in excellent condition. The case is of 1950's vintage in good condition.