Jean-Michel Bertelli

Interview Jean-Michel Bertelli

Jean-Michel Bertelli, Principal Clarinet of Lyon’s National Opera Orchestra

For how long have you been playing a BG Ligature ?
I have been playing BG Ligatures for at least 15 years. I always have been impressed by the proficiency, professionalism, and the will of Maison BG for developing and creating new products. The variety of the different Ligatures makes possible to play in any place an any kind of music. This is exactly what a “field artist” needs.  

On which model did you began ?
I have been playing first on the Révélation, and from time to time on the Standard, but also on the Super Révélation. I particularly like the Tradition Gold. Finally, I also play on the new Duo. Each Ligature has his own particularities.  

Do you use various ligatures, according to the place where you’re playing, the country, the kind of music, if you are soloist or playing in an orchestra ?
In an orchestra, as well as in solo clarinet, I like to play on the Super Révélation. A great sound projection (important for big formation playing), a great comfort, with a nice twist in the sound. Not forgetting, and clarinet will understand what I mean, a special ease when it comes to quickly switch from one clarinet to another (Bb/ A Clarinet): the ligatures keeps it in place very well. It’s vital in a Symphonic Orchestra.   As a soloist or in an orchestra, but also in chamber music, my preference goes to the Tradition Gold. It is pretty much my favourite. She’s lightly, flexible, and has a really great sound projection. It’s true that for some time now, the new Duo impress me, I find that it gives a roundness to the sound, even if you use a reed that don’t share this particularity. And even not speaking of the design that I found very original.  

Speaking of the mouthpieces, how could you define those two BG models ?
The market provides a wide range of mouthpieces. BG provides, at this time, two models of clarinet’s mouthpieces, and of course, two different apertures, the B1 and B2. Every time a famous manufacturer comes out with new models, the world of clarinet has interest in it, and it is right to do it. With BG, it’s the same.  

The Reed Performers are reed savers. Every day comes with its whole bunch of new gadgets. Do you consider the Reed Performers as gadgets? As a helpful product?
The Reed Performers are part of the new products that you can see on the market. They are part of the kind of innovation that great manufacturers have to do nowadays. Yes, in the BG collection, it’s an interesting product. It’s definitely not a gadget. Actually, it’s designed to give, with respect to its position on the reed, a little more aperture, on a micrometer scale, and thus improve the quality of a quite old reed. Clarinet players will get it. So it’s up to everyone to try it and to make his mind. So we have an original product, useful, and anyways, which can’t affect the sound in a bad way, but on the contrary improve it. I use it when there is a reed that I like that starts to get old, and I don’t want to throw it away. It makes its life last a little bit longer. This is how I use the Reed Performer.  

And the Pad Dryer, is it necessary?
An essential BG product for all the reeds, the Pad Dryer. Small, very convenient, and most of all very efficient to remove water from the keys as a blotter paper. It’s right to say, when you’re on stage, that the Pad Dryer is almost unavoidable. You can use it again and again so I hope it soon will replace the ugly and inefficient Rolling Paper.   

Jean-Michel Bertelli
Principal clarinet at the Lyon National Opéra Orchestra
Artist information