Naturally this sudden change in resistant shocked me, but I was able to recover decently enough to finish out the phrase with some dignity.
Why I should have seen it coming...
1. I had two coachings and an etude jury this very day in which I warmed up before-hand with a decent playing reed only to play minutes later feeling like I had never gotten it wet.
2. Moments before taking the stage for the Renk duets I frantically changed the reed I had been using because it suddenly responded scratchily and horridly resistant to my soft open-G test notes.
Open G... No response... Red flag.
All this having happened, I should have been on the lookout for the aforementioned catastrophe, but my replacement reed had a nice easy response so I figured I was in the clear...
No reed is safe!
What to do?
Keeping a reed from drying out while you're performing (like, the clarinet is physically in your face and you're blowing some serious sexy tunes) and can't do anything about it?
Well, grasshoppers, when I figure it out I'll let you know.
In the meantime, here's an awesome picture of Francisco and me playing Chris's duet!