Every year, the winner of the International Music Competition Prague Spring receives not only the laureate title accompannied by the prize money, but also other awards. The same goes for the year of 2022. This time, the winner is going to be awarded a brand new clarinet BCXXI from the BUFFET CRAMPON company.

Louis-Auguste Buffet and Hyacinthe Klosé were the first great innovators in the history of the clarinet in the nineteenth century, adapting Boehm’s mobile rings and rethinking the sound concept with the groundwork of the first polycylindrical bore.

Robert Carrée, iconic figure of Buffet Crampon in the 20th century, in collaboration with Jacques Lancelot, perfected the fundamental acoustic techniques and refined the polycylindrical design concept of our bore families by creating the two legendary clarinets: the R13 and RC, released respectively in 1954 and 1975. These models still serve us today as a benchmark in Research and Development.

Our last three significant clarinet model introductions – Tosca, Divine and Légende – are from this lineage.

At the end of the 20th century, Buffet Crampon revolutionized the structure of base materials with Green-LinE: an ecologically responsible wood composite that reduces the risk of cracks while maintaining the acoustic and mechanical qualities of Grenadilla.

Today, we start a revolution for the 21st century, one our Research and Development team has dreamed of for a very long time: a longer B-flat clarinet that pushes all boundaries.

Eric Baret and our four testers, musicians Michel Arrignon, Nicolas Baldeyrou, Martin Fröst, and Paul Meyer, are proud to present the BCXXI. The lower joint of this B-flat clarinet is extended by several centimetres in which a strategically placed resonance vent makes it possible to produce low E with a full and vibrant sound. Overall, the entire chalumeau register is greatly improved thanks to its limited flare in favour of a longer cylinder.

It also has a shorter bell that no longer determines the accuracy of the fundamental notes E/B and F/C but serves as a resonator for the entire clarinet and a surprisingly stable and easy high register, thanks in part to the elongated bottom joint.

Another Innovation is a third fingering of Bv middle register that creates vibrations in the entire length of the instrument to produce a full and resonant sound. This new mechanism will also allow the musician to create new sequences without changing registers, or to revise certain fingerings used in the pieces of the repertoire.

The balance of the left hand, especially G♯ /C♯, D/A, have also been greatly improved. A slightly raised tone hole on D allows a more ergonomic positioning of the left-hand fingers by keeping them on the same horizontal plane.

With BCXXI, you can enjoy rediscovering the repertoire that includes a low Ev and composed in A to Bv. Finally, imagine a weight equivalent to a traditional clarinet thanks to its shorter bell and carbon fibre rings.

BCXXI: Two initials and a number, signifying the beginning of a new century and representing the architecture of a new acoustic paradigm.