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A unique, and ultra rare, Selmer Bass clarinet in A to low Db. This instrument has an impressive provenance: It was originally one of only three made by Selmer and was imported into the UK by Edward [Ted] Planas, who was the main agent for Selmer in the UK at that time. Confusingly Selmer Paris now deny ever having manufactured Bass clarinets in the key of A. The instrument was purchased by Ted Planas, and subsequently, on his death, was custom extended by John Coppen to low Db, and bought by Michael Huntriss. Clarinets Direct is fortunate to count the UK's finest professional players amongst its clientele: One such, is Mike, who was for many years Bass Clarinettist with the SNO, and has just retired as Bass clarinet with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We shall be listing several instruments from his collection over the next few days.
The extension to low D and Db provides two touchpieces beneath the rear thumb rest, for the lowest pitches, see photo 10. The instrument is in pristine order throughout. Mike is well known as a repairman, and the tan leather pads are in excellent condition, as are all touch and tenon corks. There are no cracks or damage to the wood whatsoever. The custom key work is unplated, but the original key work, crook, and bell, are in perfect Silver plate without mark or blemish. The matching serial numbers are D5496,which dates to 1985/6. This clarinet has been featured on many BSO recordings, notable amongst these are several recordings of the music of Arnold Bax.