So, I have been in the process of trying to move back into a bigger mouthpiece lately, something more along the lines of what I used during my orchestra career (I guess I have missed some of the fatness of sound, soft control, and low register sharpness. It turns out that, at least for me, some of those things get to be a little more of a struggle on smaller equipment). This attempt to go into a bigger mouthpiece, though, has proven more difficult than one would think.
I played the mouthpiece that I won the principal job in Chicago on (a Mt. Vernon 1 1/4C if you are curious), but all I was left with is wondering how I ever managed to win that job playing on that mouthpiece (it tends to ride a bit high… yeah, just a bit). Anyway, I am going through my collection of larger mouthpieces — not finding what I want — when I get a voicemail from my good friend Rod Mathews. On this mesage Rod mentioned to me that he finally got a copy of the recording of me playing the Furtwangler Symphony No. 2 with the CSO, and he mentioned how much he enjoyed my playing on that recording (How nice is that, anyway? To call up your buddy and tell him how much you enjoyed something he did, just because. Very classy.) So I am listening to this voicemail and remembering the CD, when I suddenly remember the mouthpiece I used for that recording, a mouthpiece that I have left inexplicably untried in this process. After hearing the message I promptly dig out the mouthpiece, play a couple of hours on it, and wonder why anyone would ever look for a mouthpiece different from the one in my hands. Now I am no fool; I know that this is only the first practice session on this mouthpiece and that there are bound to be things I won’t like about it after playing on it for a while. However, if it weren’t for a good friend who took the time to send a considerate message, just because, I wouldn’t even have thought of digging it out in the first place.
Yeah, that is what good friends are for, to help you out when they don’t even know you need it. Thanks Rod.