Steuer reeds – a must-try for any serious clarinettist
Four years of care and attention are essential for a Steuer reed to be born. Subjected to the breath of the wind for two years, the wood of the reed will become strong and flexible at the same time. Twenty-four more months will see the succession of various stages such as cutting, exposure to sunlight, storage and choice of tubes.
Only then, the best of them will be selected to enter the Steuer workshop. This results in a rigorously chosen raw material. The harvesting, sun drying and storage stages are monitored with the greatest attention. The Steuer reed takes the time to mature to deliver its full potential. After this, a new phase begins: the careful manufacturing of the reed to a end product that rivals the best reeds on the market.
As the soul of any woodwind instrument, thanks to its intimate communion with the artist who has chosen it, the reed is the key which unlocks all the performer’s potential…
In Germany, near Lake Constance in the late 1940s, a reed maker, Gebhart Steuer, called on Honorat Donati, a producer of music reed cane. This cane, Arundo donax, known for its exceptional vibratory qualities, grows along the shores of the Mediterranean, in the Var area of France.
The Donati family in Carqueiranne knows the secrets of good reed cane production. Simultaneously fragile, flexible, and strong (it bends but does not break), this long stem, from which the delicate little musical reeds will be produced, requires a great deal of care.