If you are a fan of woodwind instruments, you probably know that the clarinet is one of the most versatile and popular ones. It can produce beautiful sounds in different genres, from classical to jazz, and it has a rich history and evolution. But did you also know that some clarinets are worth a fortune? Yes, you heard that right. Some clarinets are so rare, unique, and exquisite that they can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In this article, we will take a look at the 10 most expensive clarinets in the world and what makes them so special.
1. Selmer Paris Model 41 Contrabass Clarinet – $35,775
The Selmer Paris Model 41 Contrabass Clarinet is the most expensive clarinet in the world and for a good reason. This beast of an instrument is the lowest-pitched member of the clarinet family, and it can produce deep and powerful tones that fill the room. It is made of rosewood, which is a very rare and durable material, and it has silver-plated keys and an adjustable bell neck. It is a favorite among professional musicians who play in wind ensembles or military bands, and it requires a lot of skill and strength to play. If you want to own this clarinet, you will have to shell out a whopping $35,775.
2. Benny Goodman’s Clarinet – $25,000
Benny Goodman was one of the most famous and influential clarinetists of all time. He was known as the “King of Swing” and he revolutionized jazz music with his style and charisma. He played many clarinets throughout his career, but one of them was sold for $25,000 in 2005. It was a Selmer Paris B-flat clarinet that he used in the 1940s and 1950s, and it had his signature engraved on the barrel. It also came with a letter of authenticity from his daughter. This clarinet is a piece of musical history and a treasure for any jazz lover.
3. Buffet Crampon 1553 Prestige Eb Contra Alto Clarinet – $23,204
The Buffet Crampon 1553 Prestige Eb Contra Alto Clarinet is another impressive instrument that belongs to the low-pitched clarinet family. It is designed with grenadilla wood, which is a very hard and dense wood that takes more than 80 years to grow and mature. It also has undercut tone holes, which improve the intonation and response of the instrument, and silver-plated keys and bell. It has a warm and rich sound that blends well with other instruments, and it is ideal for orchestral or chamber music. It costs $23,204, which is a lot of money, but also a lot of quality.
Yamaha YCL-622II Low C Professional Bass Clarinet – $12,559
The Yamaha YCL-622II Low C Professional Bass Clarinet is a high-end instrument that offers great performance and durability. It is made of grenadilla wood, which gives it a beautiful appearance and a resonant sound, and it has a two-piece body that makes it easier to transport and store. It also has a low C extension, which allows it to play the lowest notes of the bass clarinet range, and a metal inner tenon sleeve, which prevents air leaks and improves the tone. It has a smooth and balanced action, thanks to its leather pads and needle springs, and it has a clear and focused sound, thanks to its 24.4 mm bore and 65 mm barrel. It is a professional instrument that costs $12,559, and it is worth every penny.
Backun MoBa A Clarinet Cocobolo Gold Keys – $11,995
The Backun MoBa A Clarinet Cocobolo Gold Keys is a stunning instrument that combines beauty and functionality. It is made of cocobolo wood, which is a tropical hardwood that has a striking grain and a warm sound, and it has gold-plated keys that contrast with the dark wood. It also has a carbon fiber middle joint ring, which adds strength and stability to the instrument, and a MoBa barrel and bell, which enhance the projection and response of the sound. It has a refined and elegant sound that suits classical music, and it is a masterpiece of craftsmanship that costs $11,995.
L. Rossi Cenit Clarinet – $10,000
The L. Rossi Cenit Clarinet is a custom-made instrument that is handcrafted by Luis Rossi, a renowned clarinet maker from Chile. He uses only the finest materials and techniques to create his clarinets, and he tailors them to the preferences and needs of each customer. The Cenit Clarinet is his flagship model, and it is made of grenadilla wood, silver-plated keys, and synthetic pads. It has a 14.9 mm bore and a 66 mm barrel, which give it a balanced and flexible sound, and it has a unique design that features a double register key and a left-hand Eb lever. It is a superb instrument that costs $10,000, and it is a dream come true for any clarinetist.
Peter Eaton – The International Clarinet – $9,500
The Peter Eaton – The International Clarinet is a top-of-the-line instrument that is made by Peter Eaton, a famous clarinet maker from England. He has been making clarinets since 1974, and he has developed his style and system that are based on the principles of acoustics and ergonomics. The International Clarinet is his most popular model, and it is made of grenadilla wood, silver-plated keys, and cork pads. It has a 15.2 mm bore and a 64 mm barrel, which give it a powerful and expressive sound, and it has a comfortable and ergonomic keywork that allows for easy and fast playing. It is a professional instrument that costs $9,500, and it is a favorite among many world-class musicians.
LeBlanc Model 60 Bass Clarinet – $9,079
The LeBlanc Model 60 Bass Clarinet is a reliable and versatile instrument that is suitable for advanced and intermediate players. It is made of grenadilla wood, which gives it a natural and resonant sound, and it has nickel-plated keys and a bell. It has a range to low Eb, which covers most of the bass clarinet repertoire, and it has a 24.5 mm bore and a 66 mm barrel, which give it a consistent and even sound. It also has an adjustable floor peg, which makes it easy to adjust the height and angle of the instrument, and a leather case, which protects it from damage. It is a solid instrument that costs $9,079, and it is a great choice for anyone who wants to play the bass clarinet.
Fratelli Patricola CL.4 Clarinet – $8,995
The Fratelli Patricola CL.4 Clarinet is a beautiful and elegant instrument that is made by Fratelli Patricola, a family-owned company from Italy. They have been making clarinets since 1979, and they use only the best materials and craftsmanship to create their instruments. The CL.4 Clarinet is their most advanced model, and it is made of grenadilla wood, silver-plated keys, and leather pads. It has a 14.6 mm bore and a 66 mm barrel, which give it a smooth and warm sound, and it has a refined and sophisticated design that features a double register key and a left-hand Eb lever. It is a premium instrument that costs $8,995, and it is a delight to play and look at.
P. Mauriat PCL821 Professional Bb Clarinet – $8,495
The P. Mauriat PCL821 Professional Bb Clarinet is a modern and innovative instrument that is made by P. Mauriat, a company from Taiwan that specializes in saxophones and clarinets. They use cutting-edge technology and traditional craftsmanship to create their instruments, and they aim to provide the best quality and value for their customers. The PCL821 Professional Bb Clarinet is their flagship model, and it is made of grenadilla wood, silver-plated keys, and Valentino pads. It has a 14.5 mm bore and a 65 mm barrel, which give it a bright and clear sound, and it has a sleek and ergonomic design that features a double register key and a left-hand Eb lever. It is a contemporary instrument that costs $8,495, and it is a great option for anyone who wants to play the clarinet.
As you can see, the clarinet is not just a simple instrument, but a complex and diverse one that has many variations and features. Some clarinets are so rare and exquisite that they can cost a fortune, and they are only available to the most dedicated and passionate musicians. These clarinets are not only instruments but also works of art and history that reflect the skill and creativity of their makers and players. If you ever have the chance to see or play one of these clarinets, you will surely appreciate the beauty and value of this amazing instrument.