Hofinger - Langenus / F. Hofinger - G. Langenus
Thanks very much to Alon Aharoni entering the contest for free reconditioning at clarinetpages.info. This clarinet is a worthy winner! It is marked
G. Langenus Inc
Pictures of Gustav Langenus from 1915 and 1940.
The clarinet has these special points:
- forked left Eb/Bb
- metal lined center tenon
- might be very early poly-cylindrical bore
Bore LH joint top: 14.7mm
Bore LH joint at bottom: 14.4mm poly-cylindrical?
The distinguished Belgian-American clarinetist Gustave Langenus was born in Milines, Belgium, where he received his first instruction in music. At the age of twelve he was admitted to the Royal Brussels Conservatory in the clarinet class of Gustave Poncelet, where he remained for five years, graduating in 1900 with first prize in clarinet. Soon after graduating the eighteen year old Langenus toured in Europe with the Sousa Band and in 1902, emigrated to England, becoming well known as both a soloist and orchestra player, was engaged in Henry Wood’s Queens Hall Orchestra in London and as solo clarinetist with the Duke of Devonshire’s Orchestra. With the latter ensemble he performed as soloist on several occasions, receiving high praise from the English critics.
Walter Damrosch, always on the look out for players to improve his New York Symphony, recruited Langenus to come to America in 1910 as the orchestras solo clarinetist. Langenus remained in this position until the fall of 1920 when he moved to the New York Philharmonic, also as solo clarinetist. Langenus tenure with this orchestra was short lived, as he resigned in 1923 to devote himself to solo playing and his true passion-chamber music.
In 1915 he co-founded, along with pianist Carolyn Bebe, the New York Chamber Music Society.
Gustave Langenus was a highly regarded teacher, a publisher and editor of numerous works for clarinet, the author of one of the standard clarinet method books, and , in his day, the foremost authority on woodwind instruments. He also began the first ever correspondence school for young clarinetists who had no access to a clarinet teacher. The school consisted of a series of 10 inch 78 recording of Langenus and another clarinetist playing from the Langenus study books. There would also be sent with the recordings questionnaires the students could fill out documenting their progress and difficulties, to which Langenus would respond. Examples of his recordings for the school are included below. Langenus was also a teacher and friend of Benny Goodman who played second clarinet to Langenus in New York early in Goodmans' career. Goodman referred to Langenus as "Gus". Langenus used the double lip embouchure.
Gustave Langenus died in his home on Long Island on January 30, 1957.
(Source: David Ross)
From clarinetperfection.com, I take it that Langenus was, through his published teaching methods, influential in the transition from the Albert system to the Boehm system.
Intonation summary: Very nice. This would have been professional intonation in its day. By today’s standards, good solid intermediate intonation.
Note from Alon:
btw i just tested the hofinger with a AccuRated Arlie Richardson mouthpiece I have
and the intonation improved dramatically. Amazing what a mouthpiece can do.
Key work quality: Good. The keys also shine up nicely. This is not the Hofinger model that had soft keys.
This clarinet is most appropriate for: Anyone, especially players who would like to use the forked Eb/Bb.
Condition issues noted: none.