Octocontrabass & Octocontralto Clarinets



Leblanc also made an octocontrabass clarinet, pitched an octave below the contrabass (three octaves below the Bb soprano): I've yet to find even a recording of one. The image here is shown with a contrabass clarinet, for scale.  The octocontrabass was made with range to low (really low) C, sounding Bb below the lowest note of the piano.

 There was apparently only one BBBb octocontrabass ever built, and it is now in the personal collection of Mr. Leblanc himself. Nevertheless, there are a few works written for it:

  • Triosonata Op. 28 (1982) by Terje Lerstad, for subbass recorder, octocontrabass clarinet, bongos and harmonium.
  • De profundis Op. 139 by Terje Lerstad, for contralto voice, clarinet (octocontraalto/ octocontrabass w/electronic effects), strings and tape; and
  • Mirrors in ebony by Terje Lerstad, for clarinet choir. Apparently this latter piece includes parts for both octocontralto and octocontrabass clarinets and they have important solos. this choir with these instruments should sound fantastic.



    contrabass and octobass clarinets

    Mr. Leblanc playing theoctocontralto clarinet

    There was also an EEEb "octocontralto" clarinet, only three of which were built. Haven't run across any of those, either. Let me know if you find one, OK? The image at left is Mr. Leblanc (many years ago) playing one of the Eb octocontralto clarinets (picture courtesy G. Leblanc Co.). If only we had a sound clip!
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