Home clarinet What Clarinet Does Sabine Meyer Play? [Revealed!]

What Clarinet Does Sabine Meyer Play? [Revealed!]

by Madonna

Sabine Meyer stands as one of the most eminent clarinetists of our time, renowned for her exceptional virtuosity, profound musicality, and captivating performances. Born in Crailsheim, Germany, in 1959, Meyer began her musical journey at a young age, studying clarinet at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. Her talent quickly garnered recognition, leading to numerous awards and accolades, including first prize at the International Music Competition of the ARD Munich in 1982.

Throughout her illustrious career, Sabine Meyer has captivated audiences worldwide with her mastery of the clarinet across a diverse repertoire, spanning from classical masterpieces to contemporary works. Her performances are characterized by exquisite tone, flawless technique, and an unparalleled depth of expression, earning her a place among the most celebrated musicians in the classical music sphere.

Types of Clarinets Played by Sabine Meyer

Sabine Meyer is renowned for her proficiency across various types of clarinets, each prized for its unique characteristics and suitability for different musical contexts.

B♭ Clarinet: The B♭ clarinet is the most commonly used clarinet in orchestral and solo repertoire. Meyer’s mastery of this instrument is evident in her seamless technique and expressive phrasing, allowing her to interpret a wide range of musical styles with finesse and nuance.

A Clarinet: The A clarinet, slightly longer than the B♭ clarinet, is favored by many clarinetists for its darker, richer tone and improved intonation in certain keys. Meyer’s mastery of the A clarinet showcases her versatility as a musician, enabling her to navigate the intricacies of chamber music and solo repertoire with precision and elegance.

Basset Horn in F1: The basset horn, a member of the clarinet family with a distinctive curved shape and lower pitch than the B♭ and A clarinets, holds a special place in Meyer’s repertoire. She demonstrates her mastery of this instrument in performances of Mozart’s clarinet concerto arrangements for basset horn, showcasing its warm, mellifluous tone and expressive capabilities.

Clarinet Manufacturers

The choice of clarinet manufacturer can significantly impact a musician’s sound and playing experience. Sabine Meyer’s clarinet choices reflect her discerning taste and dedication to quality craftsmanship.

Herbert Wurlitzer: Known for their exceptional grenadilla wood clarinets, Herbert Wurlitzer instruments are prized for their rich, resonant tone and precise intonation. Meyer has long been associated with Wurlitzer clarinets, relying on their superior craftsmanship and reliability for her performances on the concert stage.

Schwenk & Seggelke (now Seggelke Klarinetten): For her performances in chamber music settings, Meyer often turns to clarinets crafted by Schwenk & Seggelke, renowned for their exquisite boxwood instruments. These clarinets, characterized by their warm, vibrant tone and refined craftsmanship, complement Meyer’s musicality and blend seamlessly with other instruments in ensemble settings.

Clarinet Characteristics

The A clarinet possesses distinct characteristics that set it apart from its B♭ counterpart, influencing the sound and performance capabilities of the instrument.

Tonal Characteristics: The A clarinet is prized for its darker, richer tone compared to the brighter, more focused sound of the B♭ clarinet. This tonal quality lends itself well to lyrical passages and expressive phrasing, making it a preferred choice for certain repertoire and musical contexts.

Intonation: Due to its slightly longer length, the A clarinet offers improved intonation in keys with many flats, such as E♭ and A♭. This makes it particularly well-suited for chamber music and orchestral repertoire where precise intonation is essential for seamless ensemble playing.

SEE ALSO: Is Clarinet Good for a Beginner?

Meyer’s Musical Preferences

Sabine Meyer’s choice of clarinet is informed by the musical style and context of each performance, allowing her to adapt seamlessly to a diverse range of repertoire and ensemble settings.

Orchestral Performances: In orchestral settings, Meyer often opts for the B♭ clarinet, prized for its versatility and projection. Whether performing solo passages or blending seamlessly with the ensemble, Meyer’s mastery of the B♭ clarinet shines through in her expressive interpretations and impeccable technique.

Chamber Music: For chamber music performances, Meyer may choose the A clarinet or basset horn, depending on the repertoire and ensemble configuration. The darker, richer tone of the A clarinet lends itself well to intimate chamber music settings, while the basset horn adds a unique color and timbre to ensemble textures, enriching the musical experience for both performers and audiences alike.

Notable Performances and Recordings

Sabine Meyer’s discography boasts a wealth of acclaimed recordings, showcasing her mastery of the clarinet across a diverse range of repertoire and musical styles.

Mozart Clarinet Concerto: Meyer’s interpretations of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, both on the B♭ clarinet and basset horn, are hailed for their elegance, sensitivity, and technical brilliance. Her performances breathe new life into this beloved masterpiece, revealing the depth of emotion and musical nuance inherent in Mozart’s writing.

Chamber Music Collaborations: Meyer’s collaborations with renowned chamber ensembles such as the Trio di Clarone and the Sabine Meyer Ensemble demonstrate her versatility and musicianship. Whether performing classic chamber works or contemporary compositions, Meyer’s clarinet playing adds a layer of sophistication and artistry to each performance, earning critical acclaim and adoration from audiences worldwide.

Meyer’s Influence on Clarinet Music

Sabine Meyer’s influence extends beyond her extraordinary performances to her contributions to the clarinet repertoire itself. Through her collaborations with composers, dedication to commissioning new works, and advocacy for lesser-known repertoire, Meyer has played a significant role in expanding the clarinet’s musical horizons.

Commissioned Works: Meyer has commissioned and premiered numerous works for clarinet, collaborating with composers to explore new sonic possibilities and push the boundaries of the instrument. These compositions, tailored to Meyer’s unique musical voice and technical prowess, contribute to the ongoing evolution of the clarinet repertoire and inspire future generations of clarinetists.

Advocacy for Underrepresented Repertoire: Meyer’s commitment to championing underrepresented composers and repertoire has led her to unearth hidden gems and bring them to the forefront of the clarinet literature. By recording and performing these lesser-known works, Meyer sheds light on overlooked composers and expands the canon of clarinet music, enriching the musical landscape for performers and audiences alike.


In conclusion, Sabine Meyer’s clarinet choices reflect her artistry, versatility, and commitment to musical excellence. Whether performing on the B♭ clarinet in orchestral settings, exploring the rich tonal palette of the A clarinet in chamber music, or showcasing the expressive capabilities of the basset horn, Meyer’s mastery of the clarinet continues to captivate audiences and inspire generations of musicians. Through her performances, recordings, and advocacy for the clarinet repertoire, Meyer leaves an indelible mark on the world of classical music, solidifying her legacy as one of the greatest clarinetists of our time.

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