CLARINETS IN A, B-FLAT OR C, FOUR OR FIVE KEYS – August Grenser (1720-1807) founded his workshop in Dresden in 1744 and became one of Europe’s leading wind instrument makers. The surviving August Grenser clarinets include very early classical clarinets with four keys, four key instruments that were converted to five keys and classical clarinets with five keys. In a sense this progression bridges the gap between the baroque and the classical. August Grenser instruments are slender with narrow bores and widely spaced finger holes. They do not have horn rings except on the barrel and bell, when present. The B-flat is modeled on a clarinet from the collection of Eric Hoeprich and is truly a classical clarinet. The originals upon which the A and C clarinets are based are relatively early four key originals by August Grenser. By blending the features from these three originals either early classical or mid classical clarinets can be built.
The August Grenser clarinets can be made with double holes for the left hand third finger and right hand fourth finger, double holes only for left hand third finger or with single holes throughout.