Bass clarinet in A in Ravel's Concerto for the left hand
On Sunday, March 1st, I'm playing the bass clarinet in the Ensemble Sable & Ciel, for the Ravel's Concerto pour la main gauche. I would like to invite you, but the concert is sold out.
Conductor Joël Doussard designed a concert of French Music, with Fauré's Pelléas et Mélisande orchestral suite, and both the Concerto en sol and the Concerto pour la main gauche by Maurice Ravel.
Pianist François Dumont will perform both piano concertos!
Bass clarinet in A
Ravel is calling for a bass clarinet in Bb and a bass clarinet in A. Given the cost/benefit ratio of the instruments, the bass clarinet in A has almost entirely disappeared. I am convinced that the timbre difference between an A and a Bb bass clarinet is less than the difference you have between bass clarinets from two manufacturers, or between two clarinetists playing the same instrument, or between 2 mouthpiece/reed combinations played by the same performer.
But the bass clarinet in A did exist. For more information, check out Keith Bowen's well-researched essay: The Rise and Fall of the Bass Clarinet in A, available for instance at the International Bass Clarinet Research Center.