This question concerns the range of the orchestralclarinet. This is almost always the Bb clarinet, even though much classicalmusic calls for the A clarinet. The Bb clarinet’s lowest note is the D onthe bass clef, while the A clarinet gets down one note lower, to the C#. I'venever seen an A clarinet in any sound library, and I have occasionally beenstymied by not having this note available to me in my orchestral writing. SometimesI have had to give a line to the bass clarinet instead. But this could be aproblem if the line goes up high, where the timbre will bedifferent.
I just happened tohave purchased the Vienna Strings Special Edition 1, a very basic library. Iwanted to see if it could supply me with a few better sounds than I alreadyhave. (For the record, I use GPO, EWSO Gold, plus a few sounds that come withSonar. I like EW, but find I still use mostly Garritan. Especially thewoodwinds, they are simply exquisite. I have found the Vienna basses to be verygood, also the bassoons and trumpets. I'm still experimenting with it. It demandsa lot more work to get it to sound right, and to blend with other libraries).
Anyway, the Bb clarinet in Vienna library goes down, notjust to C#, but all the way to C! No clarinet in A or Bb does this, as far as Iknow. I have posed this question on the Vienna forum, but so far have notgotten a reply. I'm hoping that perhaps a clarinet player on this forum mightbe able to inform me as to the actual lowest note of these two instruments. In any case, I can now use the Vienna clarinet as if it were an A clarinet, even though it's actually a Bb. It will go down to the C#. I won't use C however, unless someone can assure me that real clarinets can actually play this note.