Among the best vintage soprano mouthpieces, perhaps the rarest are the ones made by Brilhart. According to those that know, so few were ever made that they rarely surface at all.
I was fortunate to have a marbled, unmarked Brilhart come through here a long time ago, and it was a joy to play on once the table was flattened and the facing curve cleaned up. But that was a LONG time ago and I’ve never seen another…until today.
This piece is marked PITT AMERICAN and it is, almost certainly, the rarest of the rare: a large chamber Brilhart soprano mouthpiece.
And, it looks almost new, too, and I know why: it was dull and almost unplayable because of a very uneven table. Whoever has had this piece put it in a drawer and forgot about it because it was awful to play. But a flat table and a restored original facing has made this blossom into the finest large chamber soprano piece I have ever played..
The tip is .049 and I played it with # 3 reeds. It plays effortlessly and with a golden, dark and warm sound. The intonation is impeccable, too.
I post this to reiterate what I’ve said many times: mouthpieces most often do not play well because they are poorly finished, not because of some design flaw or because “you don’t practice enough”.
Somebody sold this piece because it was “terrible”. Now I have a stunningly beautiful, rare and very valuable piece of history. This is the Picasso that somebody put out in the trash.
Think twice before you part with a mouthpiece that doesn’t play. Have it checked out before you do.
Here is a small clip of me playing this mouthpiece on my Selmer SA III soprano, using # 3 Marca Superieure reeds.