Double Reed 70 cover - British Double Reed Society



Double Reed 70 cover - British Double Reed Society
Winter 2008
Karl Jenkins
Photo: Mitch Jenkins registered charity number 1080461
Double Reed News
The magazine of the British Double Reed Society
Oboe Joint
Words from
our Chairman
Robert Codd
In this Issue...
3 Chairman’s Comments
Robert Codd
4 Editorial
Clive Fairbairn
5 Happy 20th Birthday, BDRS!
Anthony Allcock, Peta MacRae
As I write, one season slips imperceptibly into the next and the torrential
downpours of ‘Summer’ are giving way to the persistent drizzle of Autumn, so it is
time to take stock of the events of the past three months. We begin with some very
positive news. We now have both of our Presidents in place. Representing the
bassoon is Roger Bernstingl, one of the really great players of all time and a hero
of my student days. I was able to hear him play again, about three years ago, in a
vast, cavernous church in the South Wales valleys. The playing was as immaculate
as ever; the tone beautiful and centred, the phrasing full of subtlety and the spirit
of the pieces effortlessly conveyed. Roger has said how honoured he is to be our
President, and we are fortunate indeed to have him.
7 Presidential Acceptance Message
Our oboe President may come as a surprise to some people; Karl Jenkins,
composer of Adiemus and The Armed Man, among many other pieces. Karl was
elected democratically by the Committee from a list of eight candidates and, like
Roger, was surprised and pleased to be approached. I am particularly delighted,
because he is an old friend, going back to student days in Cardiff University when,
as a small group of instrumentals – players rather than ‘musicians’ (they were the
pianists and organists) – we used to sit together in the Professor’s room to discuss
all aspects of music.
19 The Oboe Band
“How many editions of Palestrina are there in the Library?”
“Um, two, Professor?”
“Very good. Which are they?” Long pause.
“The red ones and the green ones.”
This was musicology of the highest order. Karl was an oboist and went on to study
at the Royal Academy of Music. A sensitive and thoughtful musician, his career led
him to jazz – on oboe, piano and saxophones, especially baritone – which he
played in a highly personal and expressive way, before his skills in improvisation,
arranging and composing led him into the field that has now made him renowned
throughout the world. Although he has parted company with most of his
instruments, he still has his oboe, his true musical soul.
I am looking forward to renewing acquaintances with both Roger and Karl and I
feel that their influence will be highly stimulating and beneficial to the Society.
I had four weeks with the National Children’s Orchestra during which we had
spring and autumn in Yorkshire, freezing rain in Derbyshire, and intense heat in
Italy. I was able to work with most of the oboes and bassoons (approximately
twenty of each) currently playing in the six age-related orchestras. These are, of
course, talented and motivated children, but I was very impressed by how well
they had been taught, and by the superb instruments they were using!
(I surreptitiously moved my ancient Heckel, all rubber bands and fag papers,
into a dark corner.)
Karl Jenkins
10 Reports and News
Geoffrey Bridge, Marjorie Downward
Lucy Jurd, Shea Lolin, John Waite
14 Arias with Obbligato Bassoon
Jim Stockigt
Sarah Humphrys
21 Milde has a face!
David McGill
26 Facsimilies by Fuzeau
Geoffrey Burgess
34 Bassonicus
Jefferey Cox
36 Under Foreign Skies:
Havana and Australia
Aimara Magana Soler, Celia Craig
39 Reviews
Emily Askew, Geoffrey Bridge,
Richard Moore, Graham Sheen
43 Noticeboard
44 Classified
45 Advertising, Membership, etc
Highlights of the month included
a heart-rending performance of Home
Sweet Home from the Henry Wood Sea
Songs, by a 12-year old girl, and some
magnificent contra playing in the
Sorcerer’s Apprentice from a 12-year old
boy who was completely obscured by
the instrument which appeared to have
eaten him.
The final word must go to the great
bustards mentioned in last edition.
Great news: two were spotted by a
BDRS member on the River Severn in
Gloucestershire! Let’s hope that both they
and the NCO young double readers will
continue to flourish.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
The Editor’s Comment
British Double Reed Society
[email protected]
Joint Presidents
Roger Birnstingl, Karl Jenkins
Robert Codd
[email protected]
Maxine Moody
5 North Avenue,
Stoke Park, Coventry CV2 4DH
0247 665 0322
[email protected]
Geoffrey Bridge
House of Cardean
Meigle, Perthshire PH12 8RB
[email protected]
Jenny Caws, Jefferey Cox, Ian Finn
Sarah Francis, Christine Griggs
Anthony McColl, John Myatt
Dr Christopher Rosevear
[email protected]
Please raise a glass or two as soon as you receive this magazine
(it’s always good to have an excuse) to the BDRS, because it will
be 20 years to the month – possibly even the day – since that first
official meeting set the aims and objectives for the Society we
know today. Read a little more about it in this issue and spare a
thought for the hard-working committee that will have to consume
copious amounts of birthday cake being baked for the anniversary
committee meeting!
Now that you have a glass in hand and can relax with your
favourite magazine, take a look at Karl Jenkins’ presidential
acceptance message, or Jim Stockigt’s cornucopia of bassoon
obbligati with which you can contemplate delighting your
soprano/tenor friend in harmonious duet; or admire the energy and
determination of Aimara Magana Soler to run her reed-making
courses in Cuba despite all the difficulties; perhaps gaze for the
first time at the face of Ludvík Milde whose studies are so well
known but whose life is a mystery.
You will also be able to read about other pioneers who have
formed The Oboe Band, modelled on the baroque bands in Europe
three centuries ago; and Bassonicus considers Beethoven, whilst
Burgess reviews the Fuzeau Facsimiles. Top all that up (and your
glass if necessary) with reports, reviews and other sundries: you
may even need another bottle!
As usual at this point in the year, and while contemplating joyful
celebrations, we at BDRS and DRN would like to wish all our
many members and readers a very happy Christmas followed by a
fruitful and prosperous New Year.
Clive Fairbairn
[email protected]
Legal Services Co-ordinator
Nigel Salmon
4 Portelet Place, Hedge End
Southampton, Hants SO30 0LZ
BDRS Web Manager
[email protected]
Double Reed News
Clive Fairbairn, Editor
Editorial Office DRN, P.O. Box 713
High Wycombe HP13 5XE
Editorial enquiries only:
Tel/Fax: 01494 520359
[email protected]
Advertising, Membership and other
BDRS/DRN details – see page 45
ISSN 1460-5686
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Chandos Records Ltd and the British Double Reed Society
are delighted to be collaborating on a Reader Offer which
will allow members of BDRS to purchase its new recording
of the BBC2 Classical Star Karen Geoghegan playing
concertos and other works with the Orchestra of Opera
North at a special price. Please see page 32 for details.
Happy 20th Birthday, BDRS!
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the conception of the British Double Reed Society, we reprint
Anthony Allcock’s article from issue 5 of DRN. During the inaugural committee meeting to which he refers
(changed from 16th to 15th November 1988) he was elected Chairman, and a brief report of that occasion
follows reprinted from issue 6.
Warwick University, 17th September 1988
A personal view by Anthony Allcock. A series of meetings or seminars for double reed players, organised by
George Caird under the auspices of the Radcliffe Trust, has been held over the past two years or so at several
venues up and down the country. I attended the most recent, in the Arts Centre at Warwick University.
But the Double Reed Seminar was
independent of BASBWE. Attended rather
thinly, possibly due to the affects of the
postal strike, it nevertheless seemed to me
particularly successful. There were several
components, only some of which, of
course, I could attend and I regretted
missing most of those aimed principally
at bassoonists. First, a session for teachers
of the oboe, run by Irene Pragnell and
Anna Evans, whose joint approach
covered a wide range of teaching points
which in turn led to highly beneficial
discussion. For me, and I suspect for
many others, this was an excellent
session; I have been teaching the oboe
now for… rather a long time and I found
myself learning. The whole was assisted
by some fine demonstrations by pupils
and by a relatively relaxed atmosphere
throughout. Teachers need this kind of
meeting. Moreover, such an event can
encourage us all to break the barriers
which can put limitations on our use of
the best teaching methods. I spoke later
to several young pupils and students,
and I found a uniformly high opinion of
the session.
The event was held alongside the annual
conference of BASBWE (the British
Association of Symphonic Bands and
Wind Ensembles) by whose courtesy the
facilities at Warwick were made
available. Indeed, the distant sounds of
practising and performing groups and
bands, to say nothing of the more
immediate music of the saxophone
quartet during our lunch break, showed
us something of the lively proceedings
forming just a part of the BASBWE
conference. The trade fair was also well
supported, extensive and interesting – a
view enhanced only partially by my free
glass of wine!
Before lunch, and therefore before we
were regaled elsewhere by the saxophone
quartet, William Waterhouse, John
Orford, George Caird, Robin Canter and
Graham Salter played a short programme
ranging from Fasch and Beethoven to
Berio and I940s jazz – superb! Several
people said they believed that to be a
very important part of the event: high
standards, fine music-making, a brand
new piece, something for everyone and
the whole thing hugely enjoyable. I felt
that the morning had fully recharged my
A short session on reed-making was one
option after lunch. I preferred to use one
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
of my miserable existing reeds and join a
group of goodness-knows-how-many
oboes and cors to play a series of
arrangements in umpteen parts for oboe
wind-band. I regretted having left my
d’amore at home for I found myself,
along with George Caird, transposing the
d’amore parts back on to the oboe; of
course, I should find transposing easier
than I do. The event, or rather the people
attending it, encouraged that kind of
whole involvement: an occasion on
which the professional players, the
teachers, the students and the younger
pupils all played together – just for the
fun of it. It sounded good too.
What may be the most important part of
the day at Warwick, however, formed the
final session. After an initial attempt a
year or so ago, the first positive steps
were taken to form a British Double Reed
Society. The commitment was there;
establishing it was felt to be important. As
a result the first exploratory meeting of a
small committee is to be held on I6th
November at which the aims, the
objectives and the constitution of the
incipient Society will no doubt be
discussed – in time for the Double
Reed event to be held in Glasgow on
Sunday 27th November. One function
of the Society must certainly be to
ensure the success of events for
bassoonists and oboists such as that
held at Warwick.
Did I leave Warwick feeling totally
uncritical? No. I believed that, despite the
postal strike, more may have attended if
the full programme had been made clear
in the basic publicity. Such a programme
ought to be seen to cater for all
potentially interested groups. Experience
will have revealed areas of success and of
shortcomings, and these should certainly
influence future content – at least as far
as the funding allows. The cost to the
participants has to be kept down too, so
that even the youngest interested pupils
feel that they can join these worthwhile
events. As an outsider unaware of the
inner machinations, I wondered whether
some form of association within the
BASBWE framework might be one aspect
that the new ‘steering committee’ of the
British Double Reed Society might
usefully explore.
At the end of the day I felt the need to
thank the organisers and the contributors
for a highly successful and encouraging
Membership Secretary’s First Report
by Peta MacRae, February 1989
Imagine the scene on a rather grey
November day in 1988: a well-known
bassoonist, a group of professional and
amateur oboists and one teacher, all
sitting around a table in Islington, North
London, trying to form the British Double
Reed Society. Many promising and
exciting ideas were bandied about that
day, aided maybe by supplies of red
wine and biscuits. Offers of support had
obviously flooded in and it was agreed
that the Society should exist… but would
anyone actually join? I expected to return
home from work to find evidence of an
overworked postman; but initially things
seemed very quiet. This, however, was the
calm before a storm, for ever since the
Double Reed Day in Glasgow on 27th
November there has been a steady stream
of letters from budding BDRS members.
At the time of writing, our most northerly
member lives up in Thurso (North
Scotland); however the whole country is
well represented and we even have
correspondents in Norway and
West Germany. The ever-increasing
membership list currently has a ratio of
about three oboists to two bassoonists,
with a small number of members playing
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
both instruments. However, and this must
underline the attractions of the idea of
joining the BDRS, we have one flautist!
We must ensure that we serve his double
reed interests at least as well as the Flute
Society serves those of the flute. The
overwhelming impression I have gained
from the correspondence so far is one of
tremendous support, and that this is a
very worthwhile endeavour.
I am waiting to hear from many more
double reed players, so please spread
the word! At this stage of the Society’s
growth, bigger would mean better!
President’s Acceptance Message
Oboe President of the British Double Reed Society
Photo: Mitch Jenkins
Acceptance Message
“My oboe playing began when I was at school, at Gowerton
Grammar School, in South Wales. John Anderson later went there!
I quickly progressed through the ranks of school, West Glamorgan
and Glamorgan Youth Orchestras eventually to become a very
nervous Principal in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. As is
often the case in these conglomerations there were about seven
oboes. Down the line was a youngster called David Theodore. I
wonder what became of him! I then went on to Cardiff University
where I read music followed by a post-graduate year at the Royal
Academy of Music, where I studied with Leonard Brain.
“During my teenage years I had developed a keen interest in jazz
and eventually became one of the few jazz oboists in captivity, also playing sax and piano in bands
like Ronnie Scott’s, Nucleus and Soft Machine. There were about three of us ‘globally’ who attempted
this difficult task: a guy called Bob Cooper who was primarily a sax player in the Stan Kenton Band
and another sax player called Yusef Lateef. I remember us warming up in adjacent dressing rooms at
the Montreux Jazz Festival – what a racket!
“I played a Marigaux by the way. Once I got into composition, the oboe stayed in the case so it is
therefore with great embarrassment that I have accepted this position. Anyway, I did play one once.”
Karl Jenkins was born in Wales and
educated at Gowerton Grammar School
before reading music at the University of
Wales, Cardiff. He then commenced
postgraduate studies at the Royal
Academy of Music, London.
It was in jazz that he initially made his
mark. In those days of ‘Jazz Polls’ he
was a prolific poll winner, playing at
London’s famous Ronnie Scott’s club
before co-forming Nucleus, which won
first prize at the Montreux jazz festival
and appeared at the Newport Jazz
Festival, Rhode Island.
This was followed by a period with Soft
Machine, one of the seminal bands of the
70s. Through many incarnations, ‘Softs’
defied categorisation, playing venues as
diverse as Carnegie Hall, The Proms at
the Royal Albert Hall and the Reading
Rock Festival.
In the field of advertising music he
has won the prestigious D&AD award
for best music [twice], the ‘Creative
Circle Gold’ and several ‘Clios’ (New
York) and ‘Golden Lions’ (Cannes).
Credits include Levi’s, British Airways,
Renault, Volvo, C&G, Tag Heuer, Pepsi
as well as US/global campaigns for
De Beers and Delta Airlines and
Bafta ‘gongs’ for his scores for the
documentaries The Celts and
After this period as a media composer,
his return to the music mainstream was
initially marked by the success of the
Adiemus project. Adiemus, combining a
classical base with ethnic vocal sounds,
ethnic percussion and an invented
language, topped classical and pop charts
around the world, gaining 17 gold or
platinum album awards while performing
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
in Tokyo, Madrid, London, Helsinki,
Munich, etc.
The Armed Man; A Mass For Peace,
commissioned by the Royal Armouries
for the millennium and premiered at the
Royal Albert Hall, London has had over
four hundred performances in recent
years, while the CD, featuring the
National Youth Choir of Great Britain and
the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has
gained Gold Disc status in the UK.
Works include the harp concerto Over
The Stone commissioned by HRH the
Prince of Wales for the Royal Harpist,
Catrin Finch, the concertante, Quirk,
commissioned by the London Symphony
Orchestra and conducted by Sir Colin
Davies as part of its 2005 centenary
season, Tlep written for virtuoso violinist
Marat Bisengaliev and based on Kazak
themes, and In These Stones Horizons
Sing, featuring Bryn Terfel and Catrin
Finch with the Welsh National Opera
Orchestra and Chorus, which was
premiered at the Royal Gala opening of
the Welsh Millennium Centre in the
presence of HM The Queen.
In the summer of 2005 he scored the
feature film, River Queen starring Kiefer
Sutherland and Samantha Morton, the
soundtrack of which won the Golden
Goblet award for best score at the
Shanghai Film Festival.
Recent CD releases include Requiem,
which went to No.1 in the UK classical
charts, Kiri Sings Karl with Dame Kiri Te
Kanawa, and This Land Of Ours, a
musical celebration of Welsh culture
featuring the Cory Band (winners of the
2007 British Open Championship) and
the male choir, Only Men Aloud. Stabat
Mater was released by EMI Classics on
March 9th prior to the premier at
Liverpool Cathedral on March 15th,
while Quirk, a collection of concertos,
was released on Oct 4th.
Karl has been the subject of the ITV
South Bank Show with Melvyn Bragg,
as well as a castaway on Desert
Island Discs.
In 2004 he entered Classic FM’s ‘Hall of
Fame’ at No.8, the highest position for a
living composer, and has been the highest
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
placed living composer since, as
well as in 2006 No.4 amongst
British composers.
Karl holds a D.Mus from the University of
Wales, has been made both a Fellow and
an Associate of the Royal Academy of
Music, where a room has been named in
his honour, and has fellowships at Cardiff
University, the Royal Welsh College of
Music and Drama, Trinity College
Carmarthen, Swansea Institute, and
was presented by Classic FM with the
‘Red f’ award for ‘outstanding service to
classical music’.
He was recently awarded an honorary
doctorate from the University of Leicester,
the Chancellor’s Medal from the
University of Glamorgan and two
Honorary visiting Professorships,
one at Thames Valley University/London
College of Music and the other at the
ATriUM, Cardiff.
Karl Jenkins was made an OBE by
HM The Queen in the 2005 New Years
Honours List ‘for services to music’.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Reports and News
ARD Munich Competition results
Geoffrey Bridge bemoans the continuing apparent lack of interest from British players.
Continuing my show of disappointment
that no Brits appear in these competitions,
here are the results of the German
Broadcasting Union Bassoon Competition
(Munich 13th September 2008)
announced on the 17th September.
A joint second prize and the audience
prize was awarded to Italian bassoonist
Philipp Tutzer. He is also 25 years old
and from 2007 has been the Principal
Bassoon for the Salzburg Mozarteum
The first prize, which was awarded for the
very first time in the 57 years of the
competition, went to 29-year old Marc
Trénel from France. He had already
played as Solo Bassoon in the Orchestre
de Paris and is about to join the Tonhalle
Orchestra in Zurich as Principal Solo
Bassoon. He has CDs to his credit of
music by Skalkottas, Dutilleux and
other French composers and is a
Professor at the Paris Conservatoire.
He is an ex-pupil of Pascal Gallois and
Sergio Azzolini.
The third prize went to 28-year old
Vaclav Vonáek from the Czech Republic.
He is currently a member of the Czech
The second prize was awarded to
Christian Kunert, a German player who
has been a guest Principal Bassoon with
the NDR Orchestra in Hamburg and from
2004 has been Principal Bassoon for the
Hamburg State Opera. He is 25 years old.
As in the previous double reed
competition held last year for oboe
there were no British entries who
successfully made the final rounds. The
oboe competition in 2007 had 60
players in the finals and this year there
were 40 bassoonists who successfully
made the ‘cut’. Those players – from
both double reed competitions in 2007
and 2008 – came from many parts of
the globe: USA, Korea, China, Japan,
most of the European countries
amongst them.
Alas no Brits.
Are we therefore to conclude that our
young players just do not cut the
mustard? Witness the fact that recent
principal oboe positions have gone
foreign. To name a few, City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to
Rainer Gibbons from New Zealand,
London Symphony Orchestra to
Emmanuel Abuhl from Switzerland, Hallé
Orchestra to Stephane Rancourt from
Canada, Royal Scottish National
Orchestra (replacing Stephane Rancourt)
to Emmanuel Laville from France.
Where are the new players from these
shores to replace previous incumbents
such as Neil Black, Richard Weigall,
Roger Winfield, Tom Ratter, John Williams
and the like? Do we not train them well
in the Conservatoires? Are the current
crop of young players trying to be clones
of others to the extent that they have no
individuality? Do they not work hard
Answers on a postcard (or an email) to
me or the Editor…
Woodwind Orchestra Playday
from Shea Lolin, a playing day with a difference – and a discount!
Set in a magnificent central London
venue, the East London Clarinet
Choir will be presenting its second
Woodwind Orchestra Playday at the
Regent Hall on 31st January 2009.
Open to all orchestral woodwind
instrumentalists, the day will
encompass original repertoire and
popular arrangements lead by some
of the country’s leading specialists
including Richard Dickins,
Caroline Franklyn, Paul Harris and
James Rae.
Oboists and bassoonists are invited to
come along for a chance to meet other
woodwind players, make music and
browse the great selection of trade stands
including Clarinet Classics and Rosetti;
also Wood, Wind & Reed (Cambridge)
will be selling printed music, CDs,
instruments, accessories and offering
instrument repairs by its in-house
technician and director Daniel Bangham.
Artistic Director Shea Lolin is
particularly keen to entice double
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
reed players to come along and
experience this event that he is able to
announce a 50% discount for oboe and
bassoon players, only £15 therefore for
the day.
For further information and to download an application form, log on to or
call 01708 750 786 to request an
application form.
Wind & Fire
The inspiration and influence of the oboe teacher, Margaret Rennie Moncrieff, ignited an idea from two of her
ex-pupils, Chris Crosby and Caroline Snell which came to fruition first in 2007 and was repeated this year on
Sunday 31st August at the Stewart’s Melville Performing Arts Centre in Edinburgh, reports Marjorie Downward.
whilst holding a treasured stuffed animal
in one hand and sucking the thumb of
the other. This smaller double reed
ensemble made quite an impact with
this moving piece and it was suitably
followed with the Popular Song
from Walton’s outrageous cabaret
entertainment, Façade. Both
arrangements gave an opportunity to
highlight all four members of the oboe
family and, who knows, perhaps in years
to come that little girl on the stairs will
exchange sucking her thumb with
crowing a double reed!
Photo: Catriona Crosby
As well as being a very refined
bassoonist, Simon Rennard clearly has a
talent and the energy for arranging music.
His skills were evident as demonstrated
in a spectacular arrangement of Widor’s
Toccata from the 5th Organ Symphony.
It conjured up all the ingredients of a
whirlwind, fast moving with a curious
feel for excitement!
Due to the success of the 2007 event, the
2008 Wind & Fire Gathering made up an
impressive score list of 17 oboes, 6 cor
anglais, 11 bassoons, 4 contrabassoons,
9 trumpets, 8 French horns, 3 trombones,
1 tuba, 4 percussionists and 1 serpent, to
perform an intriguing programme of
music conducted by John Grundy. Players
travelled from as far north as Thurso in
the Highlands and as far south as
Hampshire in England.
To a keen and well-populated audience,
the concert was detonated by the
conductor, John Grundy with a strong
rendition from the brass and percussion
of Copland’s stirring Fanfare for the
Common Man. This was followed by
exquisite arrangements from Geoffrey
Emerson of some of Debussy’s well
known piano works: the Arabesque from
Suite Bergamasque and from Children’s
Corner, The Cakewalk. As in all of his
arrangements, Emerson makes good use
of all forces to create a wide range of
unique sensitive timbres.
During the performance of Simon
Rennard’s skilful arrangement of the film
theme to Schindler’s List, I noticed
directly straight ahead of me, a young
child sitting on the stairs truly transfixed
With a sense of high celebration and a
sparkle at the end of the baton, John
Grundy propelled the ensemble through
the Music for the Royal Fireworks by
Handel. This was fun and a wonderful
way to round off this unique gathering of
64 musicians who took part in what
could be called ‘a flaming good event!’
I am sure many BDRS members were
present and would gladly raise a glass to
the organisers and of course, to their
initial inspiration, Margaret Rennie
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Gloucestershire Double Reed Day
Two reports by participants
John Waite, 15 years:
perfect it with help from one of the teachers.
The Day started at around 10.00am with
a quick greeting from Graeme Adams and
then the Massed Band. We played three
pieces: Tango, Blaze Away and Suite in
E minor. There was a good mix of oboes
and bassoons, with a few cors anglais in
the band and a contra bassoon. All in all
it sounded very good.
After another session of masterclasses and
tea, we all came together for the concert,
which started with a performance from
the Massed Band. Then all the separate
groups from the chamber music session
played the piece that they had been
working on. After all the groups had
performed, Gareth Hulse and Roger
Birnstingl performed a piece together as
well as some solos.
After a short break, we started the
masterclass where Roger Birnstingl
listened to people play; he gave his
personal views and some very useful
advice on how to improve. Surprisingly,
he always started by correcting a player’s
posture and how they held the bassoon,
rather than their actual playing technique.
However, the difference in most people’s
playing was immediate and very
There were stalls open throughout the day
from Crowthers, Reed Angel and Fox. As
well as bassoons and reeds, the Fox stall
was demonstrating an extension which
can be added to the bassoon to balance
the weight better on a strap or harness.
After lunch, we began working in small
groups on the chamber music that the
teachers had provided. Our group (a
bassoon quartet) worked well. We chose
Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart as our piece
and spent an hour and a half trying to
At the end of the day I only had one
regret. There is only one Gloucestershire
double reed day a year!
Lucy Jurd:
We arrived nice and early at Cheltenham
Ladies’ College and the day kicked off
with an introduction and safety talk.
Opening the day’s activities was a Big
Band session where everyone (oboes and
bassoons) came together for a lungclearing blast.
We then divided into groups, all the
bassoons going off for their activities and
the oboes into three groups depending on
ability. The first activity for my group was
a masterclass taken by Gareth Hulse, who
demonstrated how to improve tonguing
techniques by making more use of the
diaphragm, and how to give a convincing
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
performance by engaging the audience
rather than playing into the music stand.
This was then followed by a rather
delicious lunch of pork stroganov, and
strawberries and cream!
The next session was chamber music,
where the group was divided into smaller
units and joined by some of the bassoons
to rehearse various pieces in preparation
for the evening concert. Next was reedmaking. There were quite a few
successful attempts at making reeds, the
majority of the group producing reeds
that squawked and some talented
individuals even produced ones that
made a good sound in the oboe!
As we groaned under the weight of the
quality catering, there was some free time
to practise the chamber music or to take a
look at the trade stalls selling all sorts of
music for bassoons and oboes, along with
reed-making tools and other accessories.
The evening concert started with the Big
Band pieces. The various chamber groups
then performed the pieces they had
been rehearsing earlier in the day, to
an impressive standard. To give us all
something to aspire to, this was followed
by Gareth Hulse playing two of Britten’s
Metamorphoses after Ovid: Pan and
Bacchus. The event closed with Gareth,
Roger Birnstingl and John Kane playing
Milde’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and
Piano, bringing the day to a great close.
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Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Arias with Obbligato Bassoon:
some highlights from a hidden repertoire
by Jim Stockigt. This repertoire summary is respectfully dedicated to the late William Waterhouse in deep
appreciation of his unique contributions to bassoon literature, scholarship and organology. Without his stimulating
and generous encouragement, this project would not have progressed.
Bill Waterhouse and the author, examining recent additions to this repertoire.
(Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire, September 2007)
My interest in vocal works with obbligato
bassoon began about 30 years ago. On
the car radio in Melbourne, I heard a
tenor aria with two wonderful bassoons
– pungent French bassons of the sort
that are now a threatened species – and
more similar arias followed. The work
was part of Laudate Nomen Domini, a
motet from psalm 135 of Jean Gilles
(1668-1705); a couple of months later
the vinyl 33rpm of the abbreviated JeanLoius Petit version arrived. The complete
motet is now on CD (see below).
Several years later, I heard a tenor aria
accompanied by a duo obbligato of cello
and bassoon in an ‘authentic instruments’
broadcast from Vienna of Fux’ Orpheo ed
Euridice; the Garland publication of that
opera showed that Fux had actually
written for two bassoons. An incipit of the
aria in a paper on Fux obbligati for bass
wind instruments identifies a library
source that leads to a volume in the
Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek,
Vienna that contains twelve virtually
unknown arias with obbligati for one or
two bassoons, written between 1710 and
1730 by various composers, including
Fux and Caldara. The material is so well
preserved (see illustration page 15) that
paste-ups from microfilm are easily
legible after almost 300 years!
The 200 or so arias include works from
several sources that deserve more
detailed study. For example, the 1400
cantatas of Christoph Graupner (16831760), accessible at the Hessische
Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek,
Darmstadt, contain at least 30 arias with
challenging obbligato bassoon parts.
Many of these are elaborate ostinato
continuo parts that require great facility
and stamina. Of one of the Graupner
arias listed here, Gross sind des Herren
Werke from Wie wunderbar ist Gottes
Güt (1717) for bass, oboe d’amore,
bassoon and continuo, Bruce Haynes in
The Eloquent Oboe (p.369) writes: “The
‘Hautbois’ part is very simple. The real
soloist in this aria is the bassoon”. (That
cantata has been recorded by Accademia
Daniel, with the Australian bassoonist
Simon Rickard). A further fourteen
Graupner arias together with links to the
solo bassoon parts are now included on
the website. The cantatas of Georg Gebel
(1709-1753) held in the Thüringisches
Staatsarchiv, Rudolstadt, contain many
cantatas with challenging bassoon
obbligati, often with oboe. Twelve more
of his arias with links to the solo bassoon
parts have now also been included on
the website. As far as I know, the oboe
obbligati in the Gebel works still
remain unexplored.
A collection of almost 200 arias with
obbligato bassoon, alone or together with
other instruments as part of a concertante
group, has now been put together from
vocal works written between 1700 and
1850. Since submission of the original
article in The Double Reed magazine,
over fifty more works have been added;
details of the collection are available on a
website that
also includes some on-line scores and
parts suitable for performance.
The church cantatas of Telemann,
still not completely catalogued, include
about thirty works with bassono or
fagotto obbligato! Some of these works
are gradually being published by
Habsburger Verlag, Frankfurt
The abbreviated summary that follows
draws together some of the more
interesting works, together with their
sources either published or unpublished,
with some information about available
recordings. Details of better known
published and recorded sources, such
as the JS Bach cantatas BWV 143, 149,
155, 173a, 177, 197 and 202 are not
given here.
The selection that follows highlights some
of the main works that could extend the
bassoon repertoire, for performance and
for further research. Librarians and
archivists from European libraries are
helpful in making this material available;
they are as keen as anyone to publicise
little-known repertoire from their
collections. Many libraries now have
catalogues available on-line.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
[Adapted by the author from his recent
article in The Double Reed, Journal of the
International Double Reed Society. Jim
Stockigt’s email is [email protected]]
Arias with obbligato bassoon
(1700-1850): selections from a
little-known repertoire.
Instrumental designations from original
sources are underlined
Voice, bassoon(s), continuo
Caldara Antonio (1670-1736)
Missa dolorosa Gloria, No.6 Domine Fili
for tenor, bass, fagotto solo, continuo
Denkmäler der Tonkunst in
Österreich 1906; 26: 78-81
and Carus Verlag 40.680, 1980
Gionata, Aria del Oratorio: Occhi, che vi
fissate nel sole for bass, fagotti, continuo
Il due Dittatori, Aria dell’Opera:
Non dovria chi impera e regge for bass,
fagotti concertati, continuo
The second and third arias are in
Sammelband Mus. Hs. 17051,
(Livero Terzo), Musiksammlung der
Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Wien.
(The first is an elaborated continuo, the
second and third are challenging dual
obbligato parts.)
Fux Johann Joseph (1660-1741)
La Desposizione dalla Croce di Jesu
Cristo Salvator Nostro Aria del Sepulcro
No.14: Se pura piu nel core for bass,
fagotto solo, continuo
CD Haselböck Novalis 150 089-2 AVC
Switzerland 1992
Orfeo ed Euridice, Componimento da
Camera No.1: Per Regnar con piu di
Gloria for tenor, fagotto 1º, fagotto 2º,
The obbligato bassoon part, a paste-up from the manuscript score of the aria Scocca
dall’alto il fulmine from the opera Mitridate by Antonio Caldara, performed in Vienna in
1728. The setting is for tenor, solo fagotto with unfigured bass, with only a few bars for
two violins and viola. (Reproduced with permission, from Sammelband Mus. Hs. 17051,
(Livero Terzo), Musiksammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Wien.)
Both arias are in Sammelband Mus. Hs.
17051, (Livero Terzo), Musiksammlung
der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek,
Wien. The second aria is published by
Garland Publ. 1978, and Akademische
Druck- und Verlageanstalt, Graz, 2004,
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
pp109-116. (Both arias have wonderful
obbligato bassoon parts!)
Gebel Georg (1709-1753)
Cantata, Ihr Tränen geht Ich will länger
nicht verweilen for soprano, bassono solo,
continuo Thüringisches Staatsarchiv,
Rudolstadt; HKR 849, 52a,b
(This is one of 20 or so obbligato parts
from this unknown master. There are also
numerous oboe obbligati.)
Graupner Christoph (1683-1760)
Cantata, Liebster Gott vergisstu mich
(1711) Aria: Es ist genug. Herr Jesu lass
mich sterben for oprano, bassono solo,
continuo Hessische Universitätsund Landesbibliothek, Darmstadt (D-DS)
Mm 419/13
(Melodic solo writing from 1711 that
seems well ahead of its time.)
Heinichen Johann David (1683-1729)
Litaniae pro Festo Corporis Domini Aria:
Peccatores te rogamus for tenor, bass,
three bassoni, continuo Sächsische
Landesbibliothek-Staats-undUniversitätsbibliothek Dresden.
D-Dl Mus. 2398-D-30
Keiser Reinhard (1674-1739)
Opera, Octavia (1705) Aria: Geloso
sospetto tormenta for soprano,
bassoons 1,2,3,4 and continuo
Editions Viento (
Phylloscopus (
CD: Camerata 30CM-545 Turkovic et al
(As a showpiece it belies the sombre text;
two virtuoso and two simpler parts.)
Steffani Agostino (1654-1728)
Opera, Tassilone (Hannover, 1709)
Aria No.35: Sinor foste il mio tormento
for soprano, fagotto solo, continuo
Denkmäler Rheinischer Musik, vol 8.
Musikverlag Schwann, Düsseldorf 1958.
pp 18-20, 62-64, 158-160, 163-168.
(Elaborated bass line)
Vivaldi Antonio (1675-1741)
Serenata a tre, RV 690
Aria: Dell alma superba for tenor,
bassoon, continuo
Score on-line: http://www.mutopia
(Elaborated bass and colla voce line,
similar to an aria from L’Incoronazione
di Dario.)
Voice, bassoon(s), strings, continuo
Caldara Antonio (1670-1736)
Mitridate, Aria dell’Opera: Scocca
dall’alto il fumine for tenor, 2 vlns, vla,
fagotto, continuo
Eighteenth-century transcription in
Sammelband Mus. Hs. 17051,
(Livero Terzo),
Musiksammlung der Österreichischen
Nationalbibliothek, Wien.
(Virtuosity and stamina required, see
illustration; possibly not yet performed
in modern times.)
Gilles Jean (1668-1705)
Motet Psalm 135: Laudate Nomen
Domini for alto, tenor, bass, SATB, two
solo bassoons, solo ‘cello/gamba, continuo
MS score, Bibliothèque nationale
Record: Arion AR 38186, Ensemble
Vocal d’Avignon, J-L Petit, 1973
CD: Les Festes d’Orphée,
Grand et petit motets,
(French baroque; multiple movements
with major parts for obbligato bassoons.)
Handel George Frederick (1685-1759)
Ariodante HWV 33: Scherza
infida for soprano, bassoon, strings
Chrysander, 1881, Kalmus New York
pp 70-73.
Hiller Johann Adam (1728-1804)
Handel’s Messiah, Aria: If God be for us
(Ist Gott für uns, wer kann uns schaden)
for soprano, bassoon, strings, continuo
Hiller altered this aria in 1786 by
addition of bassoon as obbligato
instrument. The aria was later replaced
by a recitative by Mozart in 1789, but
the Hiller version was retained by
Breitkopf and Härtel in 1803 in Der
Messias, nach Bearbeitung von
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
W.A.Mozart; Stadtbibliothek zu Leipzig
III, I, 31.
(Some nineteenth-century scores include
two versions: eg Novello c.1850, strings
only pp 253-256, with bassoon pp 257260. Could be a surprise twist in a
routine Messiah performance. There
appear to be no known published
orchestral parts.)
Naumann Johann Gottlieb (1741-1801)
La passione di Gesu Cristo (1767 Padua
Aria: Se a librarsi in mezzo all’onde
incomincia il fanciulletto for tenor
fagotto obligato, strings
Sächsische Landesbibliothek-Staatsund-Universitätsbibliothek Dresden.
Mus 3480-D-7 (Bd1-2) and The Italian
Oratorio vol 27 Garland Publishing, 1986
Ed Howard E Smither pp 123-167.
CD, 2008, cpo 777 365-2, 2008,
La Stagio Armonica, Balestracci.
(An obbligato of concerto proportions,
with simple string parts. There is
a version, in Padua’s Archivio
Musicale della Capella Antoniana
Padova D IV n.1465, with added
bassoon cadenzas, without the upper
string parts.)
Telemann Georg Philipp (1681-1767)
Die Donnerode TWV 6:3a No.2: Bringt
her, Ihr Helden for soprano, fagotto,
strings, continuo Bärenreiter, BA 2947
pp 27-31. CD Collegium Musicum 90
Chandos CHAN 0548
Das befreite Israel TWV 6:5 No.10: Du
hast Dein Volk geleitet for tenor, fagotto,
strings, continuo Bärenreiter, BA 2947
pp 156-159. CD Das Kleine Konzert
cpo 999 673-2
(Wonderful colla voce writing for bassoon
up to a’; full string group required.)
Motet, Deus judicium tuum (Psalm 71)
TWV 7:7
Aria: Descendit sicit for tenor, 2 fagotti,
strings, continuo Telemann Gesellschaft,
Magdeburg, 1967, Mus 203a
CD Brilliant Classics 99996/3.
Rheinische Kantorei
(Technical workout for both players)
Trauerserenata, für August den Starken
(1733) TWV 4:7
Aria: Beströme dein gerechtes Klagen for
soprano, fagotto, strings, continuo
Telemann Gesellschaft, Magdeburg, 1999,
This aria has two alternative original
CD Rheinische Kantorei Capriccio 67 004/5
(Little known major aria that would be an
excellent recital piece, with string group,
or in reduction with continuo.)
organ are available from [email protected]
CD: Arts Archives 43012-2 63m,
Unbekannte Arien für Sopran
(The original source of these two
adaptations remains a secret. Excellent
keyboard (organ) versions were prepared
without access to the original sources.
These may be available from Wolfgang
Kleber and Gabor Meszaros:
[email protected])
Voice, bassoon, other obbligato
instrument(s), continuo
Hasse Johann Adolf (1699-1783)
Mass in g (Terza nuova Messe, 1783): Qui
tollis peccata mundi for soprano, chorus
SATB, oboe, bassoon, (2 hns), strings.
Sächsische Landesbibliothek- Staats-undUniversitätsbibliothek Dresden.
Mus 2477-D-504 pp 92-113
CD, Berlin Classics CD BC 1006 2
(1990), Virtuosi Saxoniae, Güttler
(Apparently unpublished. Wonderful
writing for interwoven solo oboe and
bassoon. The conclusion would need to
be revised, if performed as a single work.
Keyboard reduction awaited!)
Voice, bassoon, orchestra
Cherubini Luigi (1760-1842)
Medea, Neris’ aria: Ah! nos peines
for soprano, bassoon, strings
Gregg International Publishers Ltd.
England 1971
Piano reduction in preparation. Editions
Viento (
(A wonderful late eighteenth century
paradox, with little distraction from
soprano and obbligato bassoon. In
the 1959 La Scala version (Callas,
Serafin), EMI CD CMS 763625-2, the
obbligato is played by the legendary
Enzo Muccetti. Various performances
have been given in piano reduction;
publication awaited.)
Mozart adaptations
Requiem K626: Tuba mirum for bass with
fagotto solo, trombone, strings
Version published 1800 by Breitkopf and
Härtel Leipzig. (Trombone plays only the
introductory chords.) Stadtbibliothek zu
Leipzig PM 6981
(Apparently there was a trombone
problem in Leipzig. A critic in 1801
was unimpressed by this version!)
Aria: Mens sancto Deo, soprano, solo
bassoon, orch
Aria: Plasmator Deus, soprano, solo
bassoon, orch; this is a resetting with
obbl. bn of Se il padre perdei from
Idomeneo). Sources of the latter two
adaptations have not yet been identified;
settings for soprano, with bassoon and
Caldara Antonio (1670-1736)
Joaz, Part 2: Cosi a fiume, cui rigido
ghiaccio for alto, alto trombone, fagotto,
Facsimile, Garland Publishing 1986,
vol 12, pp 122-135.
Ed Howard E Smither from Mus Hs 17129,
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Wien
(Virtuoso writing for both instruments.
Excellent facsimile from the same copyist
as the Caldara and Fux arias.)
Graupner Christoph (1683-1760)
Cantata, Wie wunderbar ist Gottes Güt
Aria: Gross sind des Herren Werke for
bass, oboe d’amore, bassono, continuo
Hessische Universitäts- und
Landesbibliothek, Darmstadt
D-DS Mm 425/3
CD Accad Daniel, 2000, GEMA disc
hrmk 005-01
(One of many Graupner arias that require
great facility and stamina.)
Handel George Frederick (1685-1759)
Rinaldo HWV 7 A/B No.17: Venti, venti,
turbini (1711 version in G, 1731 version
in F) for alto, obbl violin, obbl bassoon,
oboes, strings, continuo
Bärenreiter 4059 pp 77-84
L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
HWV 55, Duet No.39: As steals the morn
upon the night for soprano, tenor, solo
oboe, solo bassoon, strings, continuo
Bärenreiter, BA 4023 pp 168-178.
Haydn Joseph (1732-1809)
Opera, Armida Act 3 No.2: Torna pure
al caro bene for soprano, solo flute,
solo bassoon, strings
G Henle Verlag, München 1965,
pp 269-276.
(Beautiful writing for flute and bassoon
Ryba Jakub Jan (1765-1815)
Missa pastoralis in C: In Nativitate
Domini in nocte for SATB soli and coro,
fagotto solo, clarino solo, 2 vln, continuo
Carus Verlag 40.683 (2006); CD
Multisonic 31 0200-2 Belohlavek, Legat
(A short – 16 min – uncomplicated Mass
with obbligato bassoon throughout,
with clarino for punctuation. Ready for
performance in the Carus version,
after a few corrections.)
Telemann Georg Philipp (1681-1767)
Tag des Gerichts, TWV 6:8 Vierte
Betrachtung No.7: Ich bin erwacht nach
Gottes Bilde for Soprano, oboe d’amore,
fagotto, continuo Denkmäler Deutscher
Tonkunst 1 Folge vol 28, 1907,
CD Telefunken 2CD 9031 77621-2
Concentus Musicus, 1966
(A very early use of oboe d’amore;
elaborate tenor register bassoon
part in A.)
Cantata, Wo soll ich fliehen hin? TWV
1:1724 Ergib dich, mein Herze for bass,
traverso, oboe, fagotto, continuo
Habsburger Verlag, Frankfurt, Telemann
No.40. CD Mertens, Accent ACC 24167
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
(Wonderful ensemble obbligato writing;
bassoon colla voce.)
Zelenka Jan Dismas (1679-1745)
Lamentationes Jeremiae ZWV 203
Lamentation 2, Easter Eve, No.6 soprano,
tenor, obbl. violin, oboe and bassoon,
continuo.Three arias (two recits) (D-Dl
Mus. 2358-D4); Carus Verlag 40.762/60
Voice, bassoon, piano
Kreutzer Conradin (1780-1849)
Aria: Der tote Fagott
For bass, bassoon, piano
Pub. R. Schottstädt, Köln:
[email protected]
CD Camerata CM-15036-7
Turkovic et al 2004
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
(A lighthearted Schubertian aria that is
either derived from The shepherd on the
rock – with clarinet obbligato – or is a
send-up of that work.)
The Oboe Band
Oboe bands flourished in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Three oboists and one bassoonist
have come together to revive that tradition and one of its members, Sarah Humphrys, explains more.
year, with concerts planned at Les
Musicales de Normandie, Leeds
University, the East Cork Early Music
Festival and the London Handel Festival.
We will shortly record our first full length
CD, War and Peace.
In July we were fortunate to receive a
grant from the Performing Rights Society
to pay for a new commission for the
group. The Catalan composer Blai Soler
has written a five-movement piece
entitled Oboes, which makes use of all
the possible combinations of oboes,
oboes d’amore, oboes da caccia and
bassoon to explore the sound world
of our instruments. The premiere*
was given at St George’s Hanover Square
in September.
(L–R: Sarah Humphrys, Frances Norbury, Rebecca Stockwell, Joel Raymond)
Blai Soler introduces his composition for
The Oboe Band
The Oboe Band was founded in 2005 on
an old barge moored at Canary Wharf,
which was my home at the time. The four
of us all went to different universities
and music colleges: Frances to St. John’s
College, Cambridge and the Royal
Academy of Music, Sarah to the Royal
College of Music and then to the
Schola Cantorum in Basel, Joel to the
Birmingham Conservatoire and then to
the RAM, and Rebecca to Trinity College
of Music and then to the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama, and Paris. Joel and
I met later on the Britten-Pears course
in Suffolk and had the idea of forming
the band.
Oboe bands were enormously popular in
the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth
centuries, employed both by courts and
in the military, and in theatres or for
private functions. Louis XIV had one as
part of the royal musical household and,
when French musicians brought the oboe
to England in 1673, Charles II soon
followed suit as did his successors James
II and William of Orange. They played for
ceremonies and parades, balls, dinners,
concerts, coronations, birthdays and
funerals, and a large body of repertoire
developed over the years. Much of the
simpler march music, for example, was
probably learned and played from
memory, but plenty was written down.
Louis XIV had Philidor compile a volume
of music specifically for court musicians
to draw on; this is one of the most useful
sources for us today.
It was with the aim of reviving this once
ubiquitous ensemble that we formed The
Oboe Band. The sound of three baroque
oboes and bassoon, or two oboes, oboe
da caccia/taille and bassoon, has a
unique and special quality: we very much
enjoy researching new material and its
background, and presenting this to
audiences with plenty of historical
and social context.
Our group goes from strength to strength.
Last year, in 2007, we were finalists
in the York International Early Music
Competition, and this year we have given
concerts and workshops at the London
Handel Festival, Concerts in the West,
Huddersfield University and the Mayfield
Festival. Our diary is filling up for next
I was immediately drawn into the sound
world of baroque double reeds at a
casual meeting with The Oboe Band,
where I was shown the range of playing
techniques and sounds that can be
produced on these instruments. I was
struck by the array of timbres that they
could create across the registers.
Particularly impressive was the sound of
the oboe da caccia, with a round tone in
the lower register resembling that of a
French horn. I straightaway considered
the possibility of composing a work for
The Oboe Band, an exciting opportunity
to explore this wonderful and archaic
sound world within a modern context.
As the members of The Oboe Band made
me observe, the baroque double-reed
instruments, as versatile as they might be,
are designed to play diatonic music and
are rather ill-adapted to the chromaticism
of contemporary compositional
techniques. Furthermore, all the
instruments have chromatic note gaps in
their ranges. These were crucial factors to
take into account for the composition of
my piece.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Oboes is a 5-movement work which uses
to full effect the rich timbral and
combinatorial possibilities of the oboe
band. Each of the five movements is a
stand-alone miniature, with its own inner
structure and character. Each movement
is devoted to a different combination of
instruments – bearing in mind that the
oboists in the ensemble can all play up to
three different instruments, oboe, oboe
d’amore and oboe da caccia:
1. Risoluto (3 oboes da caccia, tacet
2. Scherzoso (2 oboes d’amore, oboe da
caccia, bassoon)
3. Largo e sostenuto (oboe, oboe
d’amore, oboe da caccia, bassoon)
4. Alla danza (3 oboes, bassoon)
5. Un poco solenne (oboe, 2 oboes da
caccia, bassoon)
With Oboes I hope to bring out an
innovative and fresh sound world by
respecting the archaic characteristics of
the baroque oboe band, at the same time
blending them with the new possibilities
of modern composition.
[* A review of the concert appears in the
Reviews section of this issue.]
The Oboe Band’s website is
Woodwind specialists
New and second-hand instruments.
Reeds, recanes, cane, reedmaking tools, accessories, and sheet music.
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Instrument rental.
Free advice.
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Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Milde has a face!
David McGill’s dedication to Milde’s Concert Studies helped shape him, like so many others, as a player, becoming
Principal Bassoon of several top North American orchestras. Now also a rescpected author (Sound in Motion pub.
Indiana University Press), he has been trying against the odds to discover the man himself.
After examining the few accompaniments
I could find (one for No.7, one for No.13,
and the Schottstädt) I was determined to
go ahead with this mammoth undertaking
because of my own strongly held musical
ideas about Milde’s great studies.
Ludwig Milde (c. 1880), courtesy of the
Prague Conservatory of Music
Ludwig Milde (1849–1913) wrote
arguably the most important and popular
etude books used by bassoonists around
the world today. His 50 Concert Studies
(Op.26) and 25 Studies in Scales and
Chords (Op.24) have been staples of the
pedagogical repertoire for the better part
of a century – and are likely to remain so.
I have long regarded many of Milde’s
50 Concert Studies as worthy of public
performance for bassoon alone, but their
complex harmonies had suggested to
me that they might also be effective as
romantic concert pieces if provided with
suitable piano accompaniments. Because
of a curious three-bar rest appearing in
study No.49, I began a search in
2003 to find out if Milde had written
accompaniments for them. But my
preliminary research came up empty. I
did find that some accompaniments had
been written by other musicians for a few
of these studies, and eventually that one
man, Rainer Schottstädt of Kassel,
Germany wrote and self-published
accompaniments for all fifty. By the time I
discovered those accompaniments, I had
already begun the arduous task of writing
my own, while teaching bassoon at
Indiana University during my 2003-04
sabbatical from the Chicago Symphony.1
In June of 2004, at the Glickman-Popkin
Bassoon Camp in Little Switzerland,
North Carolina, I taught a class that
concerned itself solely with Milde’s
Concert Studies. The class opened with a
recitation of the few facts about Milde’s
life that I had been able to find on the
Internet. This took about two minutes: I
had, by that point, only found two articles
that essentially mirrored each other, both
having appeared in IDRS publications.
Each contained only one short paragraph
about Mr. Milde and they differed in only
a few details. I then went on to speak
about and play the first seven of his
Concert Studies with my newly written
accompaniments.2 During that class I
asked, by a show of hands, how many of
the eighty or so bassoonists present had
gone through all or significant portions of
the 50 Concert Studies. All but three of
them raised their hands, and one of those
three was only twelve years of age!
Clearly Milde had exercised great
influence on the bassoonists of all ages
gathered in that room.
My curiosity about this important man of
music continued to grow as I wrote more
accompaniments. Once I had finished the
first twenty-five in November of 2006,
I decided I would do all I could to
humanise this disembodied name on the
cover of an etude book. Hoping that
more information had been discovered,
I renewed my Internet search but came
up with little new information. And I
was also on a mission to find a photo of
this man.
One of the short articles I did manage to
find on-line was in German. It accurately,
and sadly, assessed Milde’s current status:
‘Ludwig Milde – Prague composer born
April 30, 1849 – is known today by
bassoonists only as a term.’ When I read
this I needed nothing more to spur me on
to greater efforts to gather information. As
Gerald Corey wrote in his article for the
IDRS (Ludwig Milde – About the Bassoon,
a Genius): “Many assume vaguely that
[Milde] was German and just a teacher.”
How wrong it is to do so.
A Life Not Chronicled
Here are the few bare-boned facts of
his existence that I have been able to
Ludwig Milde was born April 30, 1849 in
Prague. He began studying the bassoon
at the age of twelve. From 1861 to
1867 he studied bassoon at the Prague
Conservatory with Voijte k Gross who
taught there for nearly forty years (and
had also taught in Bucharest, Romania
from time to time). Milde was
undoubtedly a model student. Through
contact with Ales Kanka, a Deputy
Director of the Prague Conservatory, I
received Ludwig Milde’s grade reports (in
German) from 1864, 1865 and 1867.
None of the wind students listed on those
pages (clarinettists, bassoonists and all of
the brasses) live up to the level of grades
Milde achieved in courses as diverse as
French, Harmony, Religion, German,
Chorus, Maths and Geography. In every
instance Milde receives either an E for
Excellent or ‘ad E’ for Excellent-Plus (‘ad’
being short for Additionszeichen or
‘plus-sign’). Others did receive those high
grades in a few subjects but they also
received a 1 or a 2, which are obviously
lower grades. There is not a sing grade for
Milde lower than an E. His graduation
report states:
Herr Ludwig Milde, 20 years old [sic],
born in Prague/[student] from the years
1861–1867 with unflagging diligence:
In Instrument – Bassoon/Excellent
In Harmony and Counterpoint/Excellent
In Religion/Laudable
In Literature/Excellent
In French/Laudable
Has hereby matriculated.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
organ school founded by his composition
teacher, Skuherský, became affiliated
with the Prague Conservatory, Milde
was also engaged to teach piano at the
conservatory temporarily, beginning in
October of 1888.
Courtesy of the Prague Conservatory of Music
Herr Ludwig Milde is now qualified as a
most suitable Orchestra and Solo player.
Prague, the 25th of July 1867.
If the reported date of Milde’s birth is to
be trusted, then he had achieved his
graduation at the age of only eighteen
and not, as stated on this document, at
twenty. Did he or his family lie about his
age to allow for his entrance to the
conservatory at the tender age of twelve?
If so, Milde’s early graduation makes his
industry all the more impressive. After his
graduation as a bassoonist, Milde
continued his musical studies for three
more years (1867–70), but it was now
composition that consumed his time and
effort. Frantis ek Zdene k Skuherský, well
known for his liturgical works and
founder of a famous organ school in
Prague, was Milde’s teacher. Perhaps
study with this church musician
influenced Milde to leave his first job,
Principal of the Linz (Austria) Opera
Orchestra, after serving for only two years
(1870–72), to become a choirmaster in
Novi Sad, Croatia for some period
between 1872 and 1874. Perhaps at that
young age the bassoonist/composer Milde
also had a desire to conduct.
On the face of it, Milde seems to have
been deeply influenced by his mentors –
Skuherský and Gross. His seeming respect
for them, and probable adherence to their
advice, may have led him first to his
choirmaster job in Croatia (Skuherský
being well-known in church music
circles) and later to Bucharest, Romania,
where Milde taught bassoon at the
Conservatory of Music from 1874
(1875 according to pay records at the
Conservatory) until 1886. Milde’s teacher,
Gross had, after all, taught in Bucharest
off and on.
On May 12, 1886, at thirty-seven, Milde
succeeded Gross to become Professor of
Bassoon at the Prague Conservatory
(selected from four applicants). I would
imagine that Milde had every hope of
having a long and productive tenure
teaching at his alma mater, but he taught
there for only eight years. He resigned in
July of 1894, at the age of forty-five, due
to health concerns. Incidentally, after the
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
An interesting sidelight: during his tenure
in Prague Milde may have known Antonin
Dvor ák, who served as Professor of
Composition at the Conservatory during
the 1891–92 school year. Dvor ák left
Prague after his single year teaching there
to become the Director of a new National
Conservatory of Music in New York City.
This new school of music was formed by
an act of congress (the only music school
so formed) and it had a special emphasis
on training African-American students. In
America Dvor ák composed his Symphony
No.9 From the New World as well as his
Cello Concerto.
In 1897, after three years possibly spent
in ill health and recuperation, Ludwig
Milde accepted once again the bassoon
professorship at the Bucharest
Conservatory. By that time, Frantis ek
Dolejs was well into his long tenure as
Professor of Bassoon at the Prague
Conservatory (1894–1925). I have been
unable to find how long Milde remained
as a professor at the Bucharest
Conservatory for this second period.
In Gerald Corey’s IDRS article, Will
Jansen states that in Milde’s later years he
“remained active as a soloist and as a
private teacher”. In the other IDRS article
I found – Famous Bassoon Tutors and
their (Less Known) Authors – Jansen
asserts that Milde played in woodwind
quintets during this autumn period of his
life. However, I have been unable to
find any information to support these
Ludwig Milde died in the spa town of Bad
Nauheim, Germany, in 1913, presumably
during the course of trying to recuperate
his health. He was only 63 or 64. I have
not been able to find the exact date of
his death.
Conservatory of Prague, Masier refers to
Milde as Ludvík, not Ludwig, as is printed
on all of his published music. Was Milde
born into a German-speaking Czech
home or was his name simply
Germanized by his publishers and in his
school records, which were officially kept
in German? Are his birth records available
to confirm his given name?
Courtesy of the Prague
Conservatory of Music
It bears mentioning that Milde’s student
Josef Füger taught at the Prague
Conservatory from 1925 to 1940. Füger
was Karel Pivonka’s teacher. Also, Julius
Fuc ík, the composer of Entry of the
Gladiators – the famous circus tune – and
of The Bear with a Sore Head, was a
bassoon student of Milde’s. Fuc ík was
known as the ‘Bohemian Sousa’ for his
many marches for band.
Unanswered Questions
There are many questions that remain
about the man and his life. In my quest
for information about Ludwig Milde I
have found no mention of marriage or of
a family and no hint of what his physical
affliction or afflictions may have been that
forced his resignation from teaching in
Prague and caused his death nineteen
years later. The graduation record makes
me wonder if April 30, 1849 is truly his
date of birth. What is the exact date of his
death? Are there Milde descendants living
today? Where is his final resting place?
Where are the manuscripts of his etudes?3
Are the orchestral accompaniments to his
bassoon concertos available? Could it be
possible that Milde ever played on a
recording? What woodwind quintet
groups did he play in during the last years
of his life? Are there extant reviews of his
solo appearances?
Milde’s very name raises questions. I am
told that Milde is definitely a name of
German origin. It translates into English
as ‘mildness, geniality, softness,
gentleness, gentility’. In a 1995 IDRS
article by Miloslav Masier entitled The
History of the Bassoon School at the
Although Milde spent the greater part of
his life teaching, it is his compositions
that are his legacy to bassoonists today.
His 50 Concert Studies are his chief claim
to fame, such as it is, but he also wrote at
least two bassoon concertos (No.1 I have
never been able to locate, although there
is reason to believe that his Concertino
for Bassoon and Orchestra is, in fact, his
Concerto No.1, and, interestingly, the
middle section of his Concerto No.2 for
Bassoon and Orchestra has the same
theme as that of Concert Study No.20).
Besides these two bassoon concerti, there
is a charming Andante and Rondo for
bassoon and piano, a Polonaise for
bassoon and piano (largely the same as
Concert Study No.34) and a Tarantella
and Three Recital Pieces for bassoon and
piano, the third of which is the same as
Concert Study No.3. There is also a brief
Concertino for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
(again, I assume, a piano reduction).
Finally there are 14 Trios and possibly a
quartet for bassoons.4 There are other
works for piano and clarinet as well as
chamber works including a wind sextet.
The whereabouts of a Trumpet Concerto
and a Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon
and Piano remain a mystery.
The Concert Studies
Yet, it is the Concert Studies, above all,
that continue to fascinate me. Maurice
Allard stated in the IDRS article by
Gerald Corey, that: “As a composer,
Milde was not among the greats, but for
understanding the nature of the bassoon,
he was a Genius!” Allard was absolutely
correct. Although he was no Dvor ák,
Milde’s etudes are truly expressive, deeply
romantic compositions that deserve
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
wider exposure. They develop technique,
endurance and, most importantly, musical
The original Merseburger edition of Book
One of the Concert Studies (c. 1895) is
dedicated to ‘Herrn Wilhelm Heckel,
President of the Musical Instrument
Factory in Biebrich am Rhein’. This
suggests that Milde may have played on
Heckel bassoons. Book Two is dedicated
to the Vienna Music Academy. This might
suggest that Milde was seeking an
appointment there during his supposed
period of convalescence (1894-97)
before returning to Bucharest.
lip, much in the manner of Paderewski.
But unlike Paderewski, Milde has short,
smoothly combed, slightly receding hair.
No wild romantic man with mussed
tresses and long Brahmsian beard, he
reminds one more of the slim late
Victorian men who rode bicycles and
took walks in the public parks with their
paramours. This was not at all how I had
pictured Milde in my mind.
Milde now had a human face. He had
lived and breathed. He wasn’t just a
disembodied name to be made fun of
anymore (‘Mildew’ or ‘Moldy’). With the
discovery of this photo, for me, Milde
truly became a human being.
A Faceless Man Revealed
A Plea
As mentioned earlier, in order to try to
answer the many questions I had about
Milde, I decided directly to contact Ales
Kanka, one of the directors of the Prague
Conservatory. He responded quite
promptly, telling me that he would check
with the archives and let me know of any
discoveries they might make. (By the way,
it was telling that in his correspondence
with me, Mr. Kanka also referred to Milde
by his Czech name, Ludvík.) To my
surprise and deep satisfaction, in addition
to the graduation document and grade
reports mentioned earlier, the archives
located a single photograph of Milde,
possibly taken around 1880, showing him
at what appears to be around the age of
thirty. After three years of living with
his etudes night and day (writing
accompaniments for them) and thirty
years of knowing them, finally seeing
Milde’s face moved me deeply.
In the photo published here for the first
time, Milde has a determined look in his
light blue or grey eyes. He has a strong
jaw; his slightly parted lips seem poised
to speak. He is well kempt, wearing a
snug suit jacket buttoned only at the top.
His immaculately pressed shirt collar is
held in place by what appears to be an
ornate pin or button set with stones. He
sports a neat handlebar moustache and a
small tuft of hair growing under his lower
Ludvík Milde lived for a reason and we
owe it to ourselves to gather more
information about this giant of bassoon
pedagogy. His etudes have helped
develop the great majority of the
bassoonist talent in the world for over
one hundred years and yet we know
almost nothing about this man. Every day,
all over the globe, bassoonists young and
old are playing his etudes – struggling
with their difficulties and marveling at
their invention. I have examined etude
books for many instruments including the
beloved Barret and Ferling studies for
oboe, the Anderson flute book and the
Kreutzer violin studies. None has struck
me as having the musically expressive
qualities of those two special books of
concert studies for the lowly bassoon. We
bassoonists are lucky to have them.
Finally, one telling observation about
Milde deserves to be known (to my
knowledge, the only personal anecdote
about him), as told by Dr. Vlastimil
Blaz ek in his 1936 book about the history
of the Prague Conservatory: “[Milde] has
never been fond of the bassoon and has
hardly played it [during recent times],
while the piano was for him an ideal
instrument. He has mastered it well and
with taste.” How well many of us can
relate to the frustration felt when trying
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
to express what is in the music while
fighting the bassoon reed every step of
the way.
I am sure there are inaccuracies in this
article, both in my translations and in
some of the assumptions I have made
about Milde’s motives for moving from
one position to another, but this is a
first attempt at fleshing out this man’s
existence. Milde was a man – not simply
a term – and now he has a face.
If there is anyone reading this who has,
or can help find, more information
about Milde and his music – especially
Czech, German, Croatian or Romanian
musicians – please contact me. I intend
to make it a cause of mine to insure that
no bassoonist of the distant future will
wonder, “Who was this man?” Milde
has enriched our world as bassoonists
immeasurably and he deserves to be
Thank you, Ludvík. We want to know
you better.
1 I have recently been offered a contract
to have my accompaniments published
by Hal Leonard Publications. Book One
should be available soon.
2 Leonard Sharrow was present and, to
my great satisfaction, he was very
complimentary of my efforts.
3 I know that William Waterhouse was
able to obtain microfilms of the
manuscripts of some of his other works
at the Prague Conservatory years ago.
Mr. Waterhouse was extremely helpful
by making me copies of all of the
information he had been able to
unearth about Milde. I thank his
memory profusely for this, and for
his encouragement.
4 Most of these concert works are
published and available, thanks to the
industry of William Waterhouse.
[To contact David McGill email:
[email protected]]
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Facsimilies by Fuzeau
Hautbois: Méthodes, Traités, Dictionnaires et Encyclopédies, ouvrages generaux, 3 vols. Ed. Lescat and SaintArroman. “Méthodes et Traités” 14, Collection directed by Jean Saint-Arroman, Series II: France 1800-1860
Paris: Fuzeau, 2003, ISMN: M 2306 5861 4
These three volumes, reviewed here by
Geoffrey Burgess, form part of an
ambitious project launched by the
esteemed French music facsimile
specialists JM Fuzeau, the goal of which is
to provide a compendium of instructional
material for all instruments from 1600 up
to 1860. The volumes under discussion
here are dedicated to French publications
for the oboe from 1800-1860. I will also
have course to mention the prequel:
Méthodes et Traités 3: Série I: France
1600-1800 (ed. Lescat and SaintArroman, 1999). The two volumes of
English oboe methods from 1600-1860
were released in August, 2006 (ed. G.
Burgess), and further volumes of German
(ed. G. Burgess) and Italian (ed. A.
Bernardini) methods are anticipated.
You might be wondering what there is to
review in a facsimile edition. The first and
most obvious point of discussion is
faithfulness to the original. This
responsibility is shared by restorer,
publisher and printer, but ultimately
engages the judgment of the overseeing
editor as well. Those curious to learn
more about earlier playing traditions are
not seeking a facsimile that could pass for
the original. Actual replicas printed on
paper identical to that used for the
original, with watermarks accurately
reproduced and all ink blotches and signs
of wear preserved, are obviously
unnecessary. Music facsimiles serve a
more practical role. They need to be
accurate photographic reproductions of
the original but with the practicality of a
modern publication: using durable print
stock and binding, with text and graphics
rendered as legible as possible with
minimal intrusion from the restoration
process. With only a few lapses, Fuzeau
are rigorous about presenting clean
copies. Digital image processing has
certainly contributed to the miraculously
pristine condition of virtually every page
of the hundreds they have printed, but it
also makes it even more apparent where
they did not have access to high-grade
microfilms, photocopies or scans of the
source material.
The second and equally important aspect
to a facsimile edition concerns the
selection and organisation of the material,
and here the burden of responsibility falls
on the editorial team. Both the choice of
the works and the selection of the specific
original prints need careful consideration.
I assume that Fuzeau have aimed to
provide a complete anthology of all
relevant works within their chronological
frame. Likewise I infer that they intend to
reproduce all relevant portions of each
work, and I use these criteria to evaluate
this publication. The job of editor of a
facsimile edition is somewhat like a
treacherous sudoku puzzle that requires
not only a sound knowledge of the field
and patient research skills, but an astute
diplomatic acumen. In the case at hand,
the editors’ task was confounded by the
often confusing array of works bearing
distressingly similar titles, and multiple
editions of the same work with slight, but
often significant, differences. Once having
decided which works to represent, the
editor must then find surviving copies and
clear reproduction rights with holding
libraries or private owners.
The job of editor
of a facsimile edition
is somewhat like
a treacherous
sudoku puzzle…
In this review, my intention is not simply
to point out the shortcomings of this
edition: its strengths deserve more
respectful consideration. I will also
provide supplementary materials that
were perhaps unavailable or unknown to
the editors and publishers. It has taken
me some 18 years of collecting and
studying nineteenth-century pedagogic
material pertaining to the oboe in order to
develop some degree of confidence to
address the topic. I have supervised
Fuzeau’s volumes of English and German
oboe methods, and I feel it my duty to set
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
the record straight with the volume of
French methods as well.
Nowhere does Fuzeau explain the
cut-off date of 1860; it certainly
seems arbitrary to use this date for all
instruments. A more relevant date for
the oboe might have been 1881 when
Triebert’s système 6 was officially named
the Conservatoire model, thus launching
its status as modern international
standard. Still, it is usual for published
instrument methods to lag behind
practice; so although système 6 was
around from sometime in the 1860s, the
appearance of Georges Gillet’s revision
(or rather rewrite) of Brod’s method in
1890 would be a more meaningful
terminus ad quem. (Paris: Lemoine et fils;
an English translation of this version
appeared five years later.) With its text
fully revamped and new fingering charts,
this publication served as the first official
method of the Conservatoire oboe. The
following six oboe methods were
published in the period from 1860 to
1890 and would complete the
documentation of oboe technique in
France up to the adoption of the
Conservatoire model.
The French translation of AMR Barret’s
Méthode complète de hautbois
(Paris: Triebert, 1866)
L. Girard, Petite méthode de hautbois
(Paris: Gautot aîné, 1866)
Victor Bretonnière, Nouvelle méthode
de hautbois Op.400 (Paris: Joly, 1867)
Victor Chalon, Méthode de hautbois
ordinaire et à système Bœhm
(Paris: J. Kelmer frère, 1877)
Émile Coyon, Tablature du hautbois,
16 clefs 2 anneaux
(Paris: E. Gheluve, 1880-3)
Hippolyte Garimond, Méthode
élémentaire pour hautbois
ancien et nouveau système
(Paris: A. Leduc, 1880)
In addition, there is notable information
in Félix Clément’s Histoire de la musique
depuis les temps anciens jusqu’à nos
jours (Paris: Hachette, 1885).
It may come as a surprise to open an
anthology of oboe methods from 18001860 and find that the first work is not for
oboe but Frédéric Chalon’s Méthode pour
le cor anglais (c. 1802). It might have
been less misleading to mention cor
anglais in the title of the anthology.
Cholon’s is the only work dedicated
specifically to the cor anglais, but the
instrument is treated by several other texts
included in the anthology. Despite being
no more than an assemblage of fingering
charts for a two-keyed instrument and a
series of duets, Chalon provides us with
rare and important information, including
a scale in quarter tones intended to
instruct how to “draw the sound from one
note to another [filer un son d’un ton à
l’autre]”, also a chart of trill fingerings,
and special fingerings to use for slurring
across octaves. Moreover, this work
should not be passed over by oboists as
all the material is equally applicable to
the two-keyed oboe. The duets were
printed with the parts for corno primo
and corno secondo in separate
gatherings. The facsimile reproduces the
part books sequentially in one volume.
This is a shortcoming as it is impossible to
perform the duets without copying the
pages for one of the players.
Of all French methods, Joseph-François
Garnier’s Méthode raisonnée pour le
hautbois enjoyed perhaps the widest
dissemination. As well as being translated
into German (Offenbach: André, 1815)
and Italian (Bologna: Cipriani n.d.),
publishing houses in Germany and Italy
extracted the musical exercises and
studies for separate publication. The
studies lived on and are to be found in
one anthology as late as 1896 – the
second edition of Paul Wieprecht’s
Studienwerk für Oboe unter
Zugrundelegung der Oboeschule von
Garnier, Op.7 (Offenbach: André).
Despite the influence it exercised in
the nineteenth century, the Méthode
raisonnée is not printed in Fuzeau’s
nineteenth-century volumes. It is
however, to be found in the first volume
of French methods from (1600-1800).
Dating Garnier’s work is problematic. It
certainly stands on the turn of the century
– the Fuzeau editors preferred to date it in
the 1790s while more recent research
based on imprint details suggests a date
just into the new century (1802).
Supporting an earlier dating is the fact
that this method is in the older tradition
of the eighteenth-century self-help
manual rather than the more thorough
nineteenth-century Conservatoire method
tutor. It is unfortunate that Fuzeau did not
have access to cleaner copies of Garnier’s
plates, as the reproduction does little
justice to the fine quality of the original
engravings. Note that although Garnier
indicates that the illustrations of the
Delusse oboe and reed-making
equipment are printed at actual size, the
lengths given alongside the different
joints of the oboe in pouces and lignes
correspond to the scaling in neither
original nor facsimile.
The Grande méthode de hautbois by
Henri Brod is one of the most valuable
and rarest of all the methods presented
in the anthology. Rare from the
bibliophilistic standpoint because
this finely printed work survives in
remarkably small numbers outside the
dozen or so found in public collections,
and even more valuable from the
musical and historical standpoints
because it documents the work of one of
the most important oboists and oboe
designers of nineteenth-century France.
Here Brod presented his progressive
oboe designs, exceptionally detailed
instructions on reed-making as well as a
comprehensive array of study material
and a discussion of performance
practice issues. Fuzeau chose to use
the copy in the British Library (shelf
number: h.2660) giving the date as
1826/35. This might seem confusing,
but as this is the complete, two-volume
edition incorporating the first
part printed in 1826 with Brod’s
supplementary second volume from nine
years later, the designation is apt. Still,
there are further complications ascribing
this date.
Instrumental method books that endured
any longevity were invariably in a state
of flux. Revisions and additions were
constantly being made in response to
changes to instrument design and musical
fashion. The result was that practically
every surviving copy of a work such as
Brod’s is unique.
Ideally the editor should examine every
known exemplar and base the decision
of which copy to reproduce not only the
physical state and completeness of each
exemplar, but on its historical
Add to this the many practical factors
such as where the surviving copies are
housed, and whether the library or owner
is willing to furnish adequate copies and
grant reproduction rights. As it turns out,
the choice of h.2660 was not entirely
fortuitous because this copy lacks Brod’s
original fingering chart for 8-keyed oboe.
Notice the discrepancy between the oboe
depicted in the illustrations on pages 3
and 4 [pp.93 and 94 of the anthology]
and the chart of specific fingerings on
p.96 which were all part of the original
publication, and the keys listed in the
chart for the 11-keyed oboe on p.95,
and the one for 15-keyed oboe on p.105
which were interpolated sometime in the
1860s. The copy probably dates from well
after Brod’s death in 1839, and also after
Fuzeau’s self-designated cut-off date of
This chart on p.105 of the anthology was
prepared by Victor Bretonnière and served
a variety of functions. It, or a clone,
appeared in Bretonnière’s own Nouvelle
méthode de hautbois (Paris: Joly, 1867), it
was also sold separately at the Triebert
shop, perhaps distributed with each new
oboe and, as we see here, pressed into
service to extend the marketability of an
earlier method. So, while it is fascinating
to see how Brod’s method was updated
and adapted to more modern oboe
designs, it was misleading to include this
chart in the anthology, particularly as
there is no editorial commentary pointing
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
out that it could not have been part of
Brod’s original publication. This was not
the only fingering chart interpolated into
Brod’s method: another copy of the
method owned by oboe collector
Richard Abel in Pittsburgh, USA
features the Tablature générale du
hautbois à 12 clefs compiled by Émile
Corret in 1855. (This chart is
reproduced as an independent
publication in the Fuzeau anthology III,
233.) There are more authoritative copies
of Brod’s method which would have
better served Fuzeau’s needs in the
Bibliothèque nationale (A.540, Ci.8
which has an autograph dedication to
Cherubini but is apparently lost) and in
private collections. For sake of
completeness, Brod’s original chart is
reproduced as Ill.1.
which is both closer to the 1824 release
of the original Viennese edition, and
matches to the sequence of the
publisher’s plate numbers, and also the
same year that an Italian version of
Sellner’s text was printed by Pozzi of
Mendrisio. It remains something of a
curiosity that a French translation of
Sellner’s method was released at all.
Long-lasting and far-reaching in its
influence, Sellner’s Theoretisch
praktische Oboe schule (Vienna: Sauer
& Leidesdorf, 1824) was arguably the
most significant oboe method of the
nineteenth century. The Fuzeau team
dates the French version to 1835, but this
seems too late. Translations were
generally produced within a few months
or years of the original. I propose 1827,
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
There are no records of Sellner-system
oboes being used in France, so who
would have bought a method that
addresses so directly the technique of this
particular oboe? Nor is there any reason
to believe that Fouquet, the principal
oboist at the Opéra Italien who reviewed
the translation, played any oboe other
than what would have been standard in
France at the time. Despite this, the
translation remained in print and is found
in a Triebert catalogue from 1866, and
Lemoine, who bought the stock of
Richault, the work’s original publisher,
continued to offer it into the 1890s.
Clearly French oboists considered the
musical content sufficiently useful to
warrant keeping the work in print. While
it was sensible for Fuzeau to print just the
French text and omit the 200-odd pages
of music from Sellner’s method (these will
at any rate appear in the German/Austrian
volumes), a more serious omission is one
of the most substantive additions to the
French edition: the fingering chart for
French oboe that would certainly have
increased the method’s salability in
France. This chart also found its way into
copies of Brod’s method, including the
one in the Bodleian library in Oxford
(see ill. 2).
A similar situation exists with Barret’s
method as reproduced by Fuzeau. This is
another French translation of a foreign
method originally printed virtually
simultaneously with the release of the
original version. The complete English
edition is also reproduced in the Fuzeau
volumes of English oboe methods. If the
modern editors omitted the music from
the French version of Sellner, why did
they opt to reproduce the entire
musical text of Barret’s substantial work,
particularly given that the hefty 206 pages
of studies were printed from exactly the
same plates for both English and French
Vény’s Méthode abrégée (Volume II) was
released with the title of Méthode
complete. The ‘completion’ constituted
the re-engraving of the fingering charts,
plus the insertion of two new ones for
more modern oboe designs, and the
addition of Quatre grandes études by
Bretonnière. Otherwise the méthode
complete re-used exactly the same plates
as the Méthode abrégée. Even though it
was published in Paris by Cotelle around
1850, and therefore falls within Fuzeau’s
chronological purview, the Méthode
complete does not appear in the
anthology. The fact that the only extant
copies of the Méthode complete are
found beyond the borders of France in
libraries in The Hague and Berlin may
explain why the French editors
overlooked this work. The omission is
unfortunate, not only for the excellent
studies by Bretonnière, but the fingering
charts for Triebert’s système 5 and Boehmmodel oboes which include precise
instructions on the use of the clef à
octavier (octave key) and clarify our
understanding of the progressive
introduction of mechanism to the oboe in
the nineteenth century. It is often difficult
to read the fingerings in the chart that
Fuzeau has included from the Méthode
abrégée (II:31). Some of the open holes
are smudged and look like closed holes.
(As a footnote let me add that with luck
we can look forward to seeing Vény’s
worthwhile set of studies with piano
accompaniment published by Pozzi of
Mendrisio in the Italian volume.)
Otherwise the
méthode complete
re-used exactly the
same plates as the
Méthode abrégée.
Fuzeau prints the Méthode pour le
hautbois by Stanislas Verroust from a copy
at the Bibliothèque National, taking the
date 1857 stamped on its title page as an
indication of its date of publication.
However the library was not in the habit
of providing publication dates: this is the
acquisition date. Judging from its
contents, this method originated in the
early 1840s rather than the end of the
next decade. Verroust took over from his
teacher Gustave Vogt as professor at the
Conservatoire in 1853, but prior to this he
taught at the École de musique militaire.
The inclusion of a fingering chart for
hautbois pastoral, an instrument played
by amateurs and particularly military
musicians, suggests that this method was
produced while Verroust was still
teaching at the École, rather than later
when he was training the professional
orchestral oboists at the Conservatoire.
Kastner’s Méthode élémentaire pour le
hautbois was an international publication
printed in Paris by Troupenas and Co, and
in Leipzig by Breitkopf und Härtel (1844).
The same year an Italian version –
Metodo elementare per Oboe –
appeared from Lucca and Ricordi. Fuzeau
used the copy of the French-German
edition in the British Library but did not
reproduce the third fingering chart for
11-keyed oboe. Is the chart missing from
this copy? The chart was under the
editor’s noses at the Bibliothèque national
(Vm8.i.10) and likewise appears in the
Italian editions. This omission skews the
picture that Kastner provided of the oboes
in use at the time he was writing. Here is
the chart.
Other specialised works are omitted from
the anthology. One is Joseph Küffner’s
Principes élémentaires de la musique et
gamme de hautbois suivis de 24 duos
instructifs d’une difficulté progressive
pour deux hautbois Op.199 (text in
French and German, Mainz, Paris and
Anvers: Schott, 1826; a copy is found in
the library of the Hochschule für Musik in
Köln). The editors did not reject French
Kastner, 11-keyed oboe
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
versions of other foreign oboe methods,
so why did this not make the cut? I am
assured that the German version of this
work will be included in the relevant
The fingering chart for the Buffet Boehmsystem oboe by Pedro Soler (Paris:
Richault) should also have been included
in the anthology. This large-format single
page survives in only one copy at the
Bibliothèque national (Vm9.4892)
stamped 1868. Soler had died in 1850, so
this document must date from before then
and the address on the bell of the oboe
illustrated is where Buffet worked up to
1839. It is one of the first publications
pertaining to the Boehm oboe and gives a
thorough explanation of this model with a
few examples of passages that are
technically more facile on the new oboe.
It is reproduced in The Oboe by Geoffrey
Burgess and Bruce Haynes (Yale UP,
2004), p.163.
The fingering chart from the Petite
encyclopédie instrumentale; Collection
complète de tablatures et gammes ou
méthodes abrégées en tableaux
synoptiques compiled by Adolphe Le
Dhuy (Paris: Schonenberger, c.1840) is
also a notable omission.
Where are the 25 Grandes études de
Hugot Op.13 transcrites pour le Hautbois
et précédés de gammes, arpèges, de
notes coulées et des trilles by August
Bruyant (c.1950)? Although études do not
properly fall in the category of either
method or treatise, Bruyant’s text contains
significant information on oboe technique
that warrants inclusion. The studies are
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
available in a modern edition from
The scientific study of orchestration in the
early-nineteenth century centred on
France, and the anthology includes
portions on the oboe from three
important texts: François Francœur’s
Diapason general, Georges Kastner’s
Traité general d’instrumentation (1836)
and Héctor Berlioz’ Grand traité
d’instrumentation (1844), the section on
the oboe originally published three years
prior in the Revue et gazette musicale de
Paris (8/63:550-1). Relevant extracts from
other orchestration and composition
manuals that could have been included
are found in the Méthode élémentaire de
composition by Georg Albrechtsberger, in
a translation by Choron (Paris: Vve
Courcier, 1814); Anton Reicha’s Traité de
la mélodie (German original 1814, French
version Paris: Richault 1832); Georges
Kastner’s Traité d’instruments considérée
sous les rapports poétiques et
philosophiques (Paris: Mersonnier &
Heigel, 1839-42), the Manuel général de
musique militaire à l’usage des armées
françaises by the same author (Paris:
Didot, 1848) and Ferdinand Simon
Gassner’s Traité de la partition (German
original 1838, French trans. Paris:
Richault 1851). Absent also are the
extensive writings of François-Joseph Fétis
which, within the chronological frame of
the Fuzeau anthology, would include his
important reports on the expositions of
1834, 1839, 1851 and 1855 plus the
description of the oboe in his general
manuals: La musique mise à la portée de
tout le monde (Paris, 1834) and the
Manuel des compositeurs, directeurs de
musique, chefs d’orchestre et de musique
militaire (Paris, 1837). His Manuel does
not fail to include attributes of a fine
Un bon hautboïste doit tirer de son
instrument des sons pénétrans sans
exaggeration de force; il doit monter
avec facilité, éviter la dureté dans les
sons graves, et modifier le souffle avec
expression. Il doit aussi avoir de la
sûreté, c’est à dire, éviter avec soin les
accidens qui proviennent de la
presence de l’eau dans les trous du
tube. Il y a peu de bons hautboïstes.
[A good oboist must extract sounds
that are penetrating but not
exaggerated in strength from his
instrument; he must ascend with ease,
avoid harshness in the low register,
and adjust the air stream expressively.
He must also be reliable, that is, avoid
at all costs the accidents that arise
from the presence of water in the
holes. There are few good oboists.]
Leaving omissions and turning to
duplications, across the four volumes of
French oboe methods, there is one text
that appears on no fewer than three
instances. The seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century volume includes an
extract from Francœur’s Diapason general
(pp.93-7). This presentation of the
instrument’s technique and characteristics
is specific to the late-eighteenth-century
French oboe and is directed to composers
and conductors. Alexandre Choron’s
Traité général des voix et des instruments
d’orchestre (1813) reprinted Francœur’s
text from the original plates and added a
one-page explanatory preface and an
appendix regarding the cor anglais
(Fuzeau 1800-1860 vol.I, 31-42).
Francœur’s text is also quoted verbatim
(this time typeset) in Choron’s Manuel
complet de musique of 1836 (II,117-48).
The Fuzeau editors did not alert readers
to the authorship of this text in Choron’s
publications. It is interesting to see how
Francœur’s text was modified across a
period of some 60 years, even in the face
of its growing distance from actual
practice. Francœur’s comments on
intonation and range are relevant to the
two-keyed Delusse oboes used in the last
decades of the eighteenth century in
France, but as oboe design evolved these
comments became increasingly less
relevant. In his Manuel complete, Choron
added fingering charts for a 2-keyed
oboe, even though by 1836 it was hardly
state of the art. Yet another version of the
Francœur text again edited by Choron
and La Fage in their Nouveau manuel,
would have been interesting to include as
it has versions of studies by Frœlich (ie
Garnier) and Chalon. In addition, in the
form they are reproduced in the facsimile,
these charts are virtually useless because
of faulty restoration. Many fingerings are
wrong because the open and closed holes
were not correctly interpreted. This was
doubtless a symptom of a poor copy
where the open holes were smudged and
therefore indistinguishable from the
closed holes. It would have paid off for
the editors to check the original here,
ideally with the assistance of an
experienced oboist. The section on the
manufacture of wind instruments is an
important addition; however, the
scanning of the images was not done
correctly and, although clear, they
certainly do not resemble the original.
Here Fuzeau has incorporated the
musical examples, which were originally
in a separate appendix, with the text.
However, the publisher’s house style
obliges readers to juggle the heavy
volume in different directions to assure
the transition from text to music.
Oboe – Wind
instrument with
a very delicate reed.
Its fault is that
it often quacks…
The reproduction of the Manuel complet
also demonstrates how loosely Fuzeau
takes the term ‘facsimile’. Here we have
an original with pages of 10x16.5cm
blown up to 23x33cm with no
explanation for the enlargement, apart
from the apparent need to conform to the
pre-established format of the anthology.
There may be instances where blowing
up the original size of a document
increases its practicality, but this is not the
case here. This is not the only source that
is reproduced so far over size and without
any indication of original scale, that it
makes a monstrous distortion of the idea
of facsimile.
In addition to method books and treatises,
the anthology includes dictionary entries
on the oboe. The information contained
on the oboe, even in specialist music
dictionaries, can be very variable. Take
for example the following extract from the
Encyclopédie méthodique (1791-1818
ed., Paris: Panckoucke, II,87):
Hautbois – Instrument à vent qui a
une anche très-délicate. Son défaut est
de canarder quelquefois; mais on ne
lui connoît que des qualités brillantes
quand M. Vogt, élève de M. Sallantin,
en joue. (de Momigny)
[Oboe – Wind instrument with a very
delicate reed. Its fault is that it often
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
quacks, but one only hears its brilliant
qualities when Sallantin’s pupil M.
Vogt, plays it.]
An appendix gives the range of the oboe
from c1-g3. (de Momigny)
That’s all! That’s the full description of the
oboe in one of the most extensive
musical dictionaries produced in France
around the turn of the nineteenth century.
It was later cited by Oscar Commetant in
his only partially satirical essay on how
musicians’ physiognomy relate to their
chosen instruments as an example of how
writers on music have eschewed the
subject of the personality of musical
instruments. Ironically, Commetant
stumbled on one of the rare examples of
an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century
dictionary entry that includes the names
of oboists.
In the 1600-1800 volume Fuzeau
included the earliest references to the
oboe in general dictionaries by Richelet
and Furetière, as well as Brossard’s
famous music dictionary, and the
extensive entries on the oboe from the
great Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire
raisonné des sciences, and an earlier
edition of the Encyclopédie méthodique
than the one quoted above. Still, the
sample seems small. Why are there so
few definitions of the oboe? The reason is
that although many other music
dictionaries were printed in the lateeighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries,
such as those by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
and Meude-Monpas, they do not mention
the oboe as they deal exclusively with
music theory. They consequently omit
information on the practical aspects of
performance – instruments, composers
and performers. One would expect the
nineteenth century to be richer in
lexicographic references, but as it turns
out, this is not the case. Apart from
Castil-Blaze’s Dictionnaire de musique
moderne, there is hardly anything
significant up to 1860, after which point a
number of entries document the rise of
the Conservatoire oboe and the Gillet
school of oboe playing, such as Pierre
Larousse’s Grand dictionnaire universel du
XIXe siècle (Paris, 1865-1890). One
reference that falls within the purview of
the anthology but that was omitted by
Fuzeau is the curious epigram by de
Momigny, and that is why I felt it valuable
to quote it in full above.
At between 60 and 80 euros per volume,
one pays dearly for this anthology, and
the editors could have taken more care to
avoid unnecessary duplication, to check
all material for relevance, to be more
practical with layout, and less extravagant
and distorting with the scaling of the
facsimiles. Nevertheless, this is a
monumental achievement of huge
importance to our growing awareness of
the development of musical instrument
design and technique in the nineteenth
century. In short, indispensable to
libraries and anyone interested in the
history of the oboe.
C h a n d o s O ff e r
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Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Music by Liz Sharma
An extensive list of music for all your wind ensemble needs from solos,
duets, trios up to large wind band.
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Music for Double Reed Ensembles a speciality – Parts can be created
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Pease Hill Cottage
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Tel: (01636) 525397
Email: [email protected]
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Ludwig Van, marathon man!
by Jefferey Cox
The marathon is the iconic event of the
Olympic Games, and with two days to go
before the event in Beijing, the media
was already discounting public interest in
some of the other finals in anticipation of
that climactic moment. But what a long
way we have come since that day in
490BC when a Greek soldier ran the
distance from Marathon to Athens to
bring the news of his army’s victory
against the Persians! In the first place, the
word has acquired a meaning separate
from the act of running, and far from
heralding good news, it could mean
wasted effort or be the harbinger of
misfortune. That extended meaning of
marathon – a protracted ordeal or effort –
is what we are concerned with here.
If you were asked to list the qualities
required to run a marathon, I guess
you would include some or all of
the following: a sense of mission;
determination; fitness and stamina. Some
knowledge of how the feat originated,
and why the event has an epic quality
might add to the sense of occasion. After
all, a marathon remains rather special,
and the hype surrounding the annual big
name races has mercifully not detracted
from this.
something similar. We decided to do just
that, but replace the 9th with the Violin
Concerto – less iconic perhaps, but in our
case more manageable (we are fortunate
in having a Leader of exceptional calibre)
and still a wonderful climax to the day.
We also decided to embrace two local
charities: the Parish Church Restoration
Fund (the church being our usual concert
venue); and a charity, set up to help
young people in the Borough.
you will traverse some 25 years of a
man’s creative life and in effect
accompany him on a journey from his
first attempt at the genre to some of his
last thoughts. Clearly, in Beethoven’s
case, not playing the 9th (more than an
additional hour’s worth) left a significant
hole in the overall fabric, so whatever
judgments one makes have to take this
into account. His 8th was far from his last
word on this subject.
So much by way of background. What
of the music? Tackling eight ninths of
Beethoven’s symphonies in a day plus the
violin concerto is a huge commitment,
and you begin by asking yourself whether
you are equal to it and whether your lip
will stand the strain! Should you have a
‘dep’ standing by in case it doesn’t? Even
without the 9th you are about to embark
on a journey through 32 movements,
several thousand bars (no, I didn’t have
the opportunity to count them myself!),
and a total time span which lies
somewhere between 4 hours and 19
minutes (Zinman) and 4 hours and 45
minutes (Furtwängler), depending on
whose version you choose. In that time,
Or could it have been? We, of course,
can look back knowing that it was not,
and that there was the monumental 9th
to come. But Beethoven’s contemporaries
would not have known this, and were
therefore obliged to judge each of his
symphonies on its merits. They might well
have thought that the 8th was lightweight
and something of an anti-climax after the
daemonic 7th. They might have been
disappointed – or indeed relieved! The
point is that whereas we have the
luxury of being able to view the nine
symphonies in the round, and as a
distinct corpus within Beethoven’s output,
Beethoven’s contemporaries had no idea
what each successive symphony was
Those of us who play in orchestras are
only too aware that live music-making is
threatened by spiralling costs on the one
hand and tightening purse strings on the
other. You can only charge so much for
concert tickets, and this means that even
a large audience may not cover the full
cost of putting on a concert – let alone
yield a margin to subsidise leaner
receipts. The net effect is a drain on the
orchestra’s capital and ever greater
dependence on members’ subscriptions,
sponsorship or grants to bridge the gap.
Faced with this problem, our conductor*
suggested we undertake a Beethoven
marathon, or ‘Beeth-o-thon’ and play all
nine symphonies in one day! He had
tried it with a London orchestra and the
event had generated good publicity for
the orchestra and a useful sum for its
coffers. Perhaps we should attempt
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
going to bring, and for them, each
symphony represented a surprise.
Nowadays we think we have the measure
of the symphonies and usually categorise
the odd numbered as ‘innovative’ and the
even numbered as ‘consolidatory’, but
even that is a relative judgement because
there are innovative and consolidatory
elements in all the symphonies. Where
there is less likely to be disagreement is
with the comment that there is not a
linear development between the first and
last. For Beethoven what constitutes the
essence of the symphony lies at the hub
of a wheel, so to speak, and he examines
it from nine points on the circumference.
Personally I find this quite a helpful
analogy: it does not attach a preeminence to any particular symphony –
each spoke of the wheel has a part to
play in the strength and integrity of the
wheel – and it encourages you to think of
a symphony not simply as a separate
entity, but as having a part in an overarching creative endeavour.
To my mind Beethoven uses the opening
bars of the 1st Symphony to make this
very point: the symphony is in C, but the
first chord is the dominant seventh of the
key of F major; the next bar seems about
to correct this ‘mistake’ but takes us in
another direction altogether with an
interrupted cadence; it reaches at last the
dominant key (G major) in bar 4. Only
then does the slow introduction begin
properly. Simply perverse? Or a statement
of intent compressed into the smallest
possible space? You decide; but for me
this is an Einsteinian moment – a sort of
B=mc2, where Mass and Creativity meet
in Beethoven! This is Beethoven’s
shorthand for saying that the voyage of
discovery will visit remote corners; that it
will be unpredictable and sometimes
confrontational: that it will eschew
convention; and that the journey of
10,000 bars starts with the first chord!
And Beethoven keeps his promise. There
may be moments when the writing is not
so inspiring (the last movement of the 7th,
for example, when I feel the dotted
rhythm makes its point but outstays its
welcome), but for the most part we know
we are in the company of a genius.
The extraordinary 3rd, whose first
movement alone is longer than entire
symphonies by Haydn and Mozart, and
its wonderful Trio for three horns; the 4th
and its notorious bassoon solo in the
Finale; the iconic theme in the 5th which
was adopted by the BBC as its call sign in
WWII; the wonderful tone-painting of the
Pastoral (6th) symphony; the rhythmic
complexities of the 7th and the deft
humour in the 8th! The sheer range of
utterance leaves one breathless!
Beethoven also used the symphony to
introduce his own invention – the
Scherzo, transformed from the classical
Minuet: the lightest of soufflés invented
by the most skilful of chefs!
Talking of skills, Beethoven had no
hesitation in demanding virtuoso playing
from his instrumentalists, not least the
bassoon. It is quite remarkable how many
solos and countermelodies he puts the
way of the bassoons, and how often he
draws on the colour of two bassoons
playing in harmony. He frequently
couples 1st clarinet and 1st bassoon, and
some of the trickiest runs demand
absolute co-ordination between the two
instruments. For the most part the notes
lie well under the fingers, but players of
instruments with a dodgy tenor F sharp
may see their past life flash before their
eyes as they reach for the very exposed
notes (including an E sharp!) in the
opening adagio of the 4th symphony, and
the awkward and totally solo, repeated
leap from D flat to G flat in the slow
The Fourth is by some way the most
difficult of the symphonies for bassoon
and, for the 1st bassoon, everything is
overshadowed by that notorious solo
statement of the theme in the last
movement. By this time the conductor
usually has the bit between his teeth
and is pounding for the finishing post!
Staccato semi-quavers at breakneck speed
are no joke, and just to make things more
awkward Beethoven has the bassoon start
the theme on the off-beat of the bar. I
wonder what the very first bassoonist
ever to play those bars thought? He was
fortunate in the sense that they came as
a surprise and probably overtook him
before he knew what had happened! All
of us successors now know what lies
So, Marathon over, we can relax and
reflect on a happy and successful day. I
rather suspect that it may be a while
before a Beethoven symphony features
again on our concert programmes! More
seriously however, apart from benefiting
local causes, has it made a difference to
us as musicians? Not easy to answer.
Thinking about my own reactions I would
be inclined to say ‘Yes’. I was a latecomer to Beethoven, and had shied away
from his symphonies in favour of his
piano sonatas and quartets. I now feel I
am close to being on first name terms
with his symphonies, and I like that
feeling. I also now know what Beethoven
requires from my instrument and I have
great admiration for the skill with which
he uses it. I feel fortunate to be able to
play well enough to participate in
communicating Beethoven’s ideas.
Finally, we live in troubled times and in a
society increasingly at odds with itself.
My marathon spent with Beethoven
provided a bracing reminder that there is
more to life than current head-lines. If
only we could harness Beethoven’s values
to remedy today’s problems!
[*Levon Parikian (conductor), Clare
Howick (leader and soloist in Beethoven’s
Violin Concerto) and Kingston
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Under Foreign Skies
Reed Making in Havana
by Aimara Magana Soler. For the Cuban oboe students, this summer will not be easily forgotten. For the first time
in their lives, they had the opportunity to take part in a reed-making workshop, in which they started from zero but
after six weeks were playing on their own reeds.
Reeds can be an issue in an oboist’s life.
Sometimes it seems like a reed has a life
of its own: it can decide your fate in a
concert. It might at first be very pleasant,
then all of a sudden your reed can
‘decide’ that it is going to close, or break;
and then, disaster! Oboists throughout the
world will recognise this.
For the Cuban oboists, however, these
were much finer issues yet to be
addressed. Their problems were in the
basic category. They did not have tools for
reed making and they still do not have
the means to obtain materials regularly
and in good supply. In addition, they did
not have the information or the training to
make reeds for themselves.
I taught in the workshop where there
were students from different teachers and
schools, all at various standards: from
early and intermediate, to the last years
of university. Many of these students are
teachers as well. We started from the
very beginning and went systematically
through the complete process of making a
Besides the teaching part, there will be a
programme of concerts that will help the
Cuban students to know first hand about
what is happening in Europe. We are
thinking about providing teaching skills
training to those students in the final
years of their careers, to make sure that
the work is carried on for the next
generation of players.
This workshop was intended as a
preliminary step and as preparation for
the start of the Oboe Habana Project.
This is a young project in its initial stages.
It plans to involve every oboe player in
Cuba, from students in the early stages to
young professionals. It is envisaged as a
means to ‘rescue’ Cuban oboe playing,
which is in a perilous state with poor
access to instruments, poor equipment
and supplies, and a shortage of teachers.
The aim is to bring as much help as
possible to Cuba in terms of teaching
and training.
The Cuban institutions which are
supporting the project, such as the
Cuban Music Institute, the High Institute
of Arts and the Ministry of Culture, are
currently analyzing what has been
achieved over the summer and what the
next steps can be; they are also in the
process of creating ways to guarantee all
the logistics necessary for the project.
They intend to invite teachers from
abroad, mainly from the UK, and they
will encourage all students to attend
and participate and ensure good
administrative and organisational
In its next stage we hope to provide
masterclasses, group classes and
one-to-one lessons in oboe as well as
wind repertoire classes and chamber
music coaching. The students need
training with the orchestral side of oboe
playing and of course cor anglais lessons.
The project is also going to include
regular sessions in reed-making.
From the third week of July until the last
week of August this year, a Reed-Making
Workshop was held in Havana, which
addressed some of the problems specific
to Cuba. With help from Howarth of
London and Oboe Reeds Direct, who
donated cane and tools for the workshop,
and with the support of the High Institute
of Arts (ISA) and the National Centre for
Concert Music (CNMC) in Cuba, we
made this happen.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
On the English side, the project has the
help and support of Michael Britton and
William Ring at Howarth of London,
Eimear Saunders at Oboe Reeds Direct,
and the British Double Reed Society’s
magazine; the Guildhall School of Music
and Drama is offering tutoring and
guidance and Dr Helena Gaunt will offer
“For the first time in our lives we could
make our own reeds and play on them!”
“This workshop has been a major
breakthrough in my career.”
For my part, I agree that the workshop
really was that major breakthrough. I was
impressed by the results that they
achieved in such a short time. The reeds
worked and they could play on them. Of
course, they are far from being the best
reeds in the world and the students still
have a long way to go before they have a
consistent result, but this is just the
beginning. Now they can start addressing
issues beyond the basics, because now
they do know how to make reeds.
a four-day Master course in April 2009 to
work on all aspects of oboe playing. We
are looking for sponsors for this course;
even a small financial contribution to this
project will make a difference to the
country’s culture.
Here is what the Cuban students had to
say about the first stage of the project:
“Very interesting; we needed it
“It is very encouraging to know that there
are people concerned about us, people
that want to and have given us their
I think the next stage of the project can
have very significant results in a short
time. In Cuba, there could be financial
difficulties, and it must tactfully address
outdated teaching methods; but there is a
great will to learn and to work hard.
There is a lot of untapped talent and
potential. Anything that we can do for the
students to guide them in the right
direction will make a difference; the reedmaking workshop shows us that a little
goes a very long way.
and to Howarth of London for all the
contributions for the project to support
Cuban oboe students. Thanks to the
donations, the Workshop took place and
now students are playing on reeds that
they have made themselves; for them this
have been a major achievement. On
behalf of the Cuban oboe students and
me: Thank You again, it would have been
impossible to achieve this without your
Dear Members
Aimara Magana
This is a note to say Thank You to all of
you at the British Double Reed Society
Australia’s ‘French Connection’
from Celia Craig, President of ADRS
When I first arrived in Australia, not
knowing many people here, I started
trawling the internet for possible suppliers
of Glotin double reed products, having
used Glotin staples all my life and also
being a big fan of Glotin’s tube cane. I
had ordered a kilo from Glotin in the
1990s and found it to be so consistent
and straight that there was hardly any
wastage and it had lasted me for years.
But now my supplies of that particular
French cane were starting to run low.
Imagine my surprise when I found
‘Welcome to Jean-Pierre’s online music
store. We stock only the finest French
Reeds for your woodwind instruments.
A third generation family business,
established since 1937, that prides itself
on knowing its customers and their
needs. Today, armed with the
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
determination inherited from her father,
Daniele Glotin guides her family’s
company in the creation of premium
quality reeds…’
I was intrigued. Who was this person in
Kiama who knew the Glotin family? How
exciting that he could source top quality
Glotin products at prices cheaper than I
had enjoyed in Europe! I rang him and
introduced myself.
Born in France in 1925, Jean-Pierre
Sourdain has been awarded the Legion
d’Honneur by the French Government
for his services to the French language
and the French Community in Australia.
He has also been awarded the National
Order of Merit and the Palmes
Academiques. He was a Matelot in
General de Gaulle’s Free French Navy
and Managing Editor of the oldest foreign
language newspaper in Australia, le
Courier Australien, for 26 years. I asked
him about his family’s business
connection with the Glotin family.
“My parents emigrated here from France
in 1936. My father was the Director of
the French Newspaper in Sydney and also
ran a business importing clarinet reeds
from France just before World War II. His
connection was with the Chedeville
company, who had created styles of reeds
specifically for the Australian market
(called ‘Real Vox’ and ‘Selecta Vox’, still
for sale today). In 1974 Chedeville was
sold to Glotin and they took over all
production at the factory.
“I first met M. Glotin myself in 1986. He
was actively involved in all the aspects of
production at his factory and very serious
about expansion of his company.
(He was particularly interested in
conquering the American market, and
printed all of his price lists in both French
and English to that aim.) M. Glotin and
my father got on very well, partly due to
both being named Albert! In 1990
I met M. Glotin’s daughter Daniele, a
delectable woman, who took over the
business when her father died, and we
have maintained a direct but fragile
contact ever since.”
I asked Jean-Pierre if he had been
involved in the business all his life.
“No, I was sent to join the French Free
Navy in 1943 and after World War II,
when I was demobbed, I returned to
Australia and did a social science degree.
I was qualified as a social worker but in
those days there were no jobs for men
except in the prison service which I did
not want to do. My father, as Director of
the French Newspaper, invited me to join
his business, which I did and eventually
took over his job when he became ill;
and the reed business too. The office was
in Castlereagh Street and I used to get a
lot of students from Sydney Grammar
School who came in for reeds. When I
retired I moved down to Kiama – I have
my children near me – and I continued
running the reed business by mail order.
“I can also get knives, reedboxes,
goldbeater’s skin as well as cane and
staples – anything Glotin sells I can get,
and at very reasonable prices too. Their
clarinet reeds should be better known,
but they always lose out to Vandoren. If
there is any special order that you need to
get, I am more than happy to talk to
Glotin for you. Translating letters into or
from French is no problem.”
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
I asked him if he has customers coming
to his home in Kiama.
“I had one the other day, a little boy all
the way from Cairns! It was just after the
last Reeding Matter advert had come out
and he came all the way from Cairns to
buy two bassoon reeds! I was thrilled! He
was on holiday in my area anyway and
he’d seen my advert in Reeding Matter. If
you are in the area, pop in and see me. If
you’re driving through Kiama, I shall
expect a visit.”
[The Australasian Double Reed Society
website is where
details can be found of the latest events
happening in Australia for double reed
players. Reeding Matter is the journal
of the ADRS. Celia Craig, President of
ADRS, can be contacted through]
Two DVD’s Detailing Methods of European-style
Oboe-Reed Making
1. by Fabio Croce (60 minutes) €18 plus postage
Available in English, German, Spanish, Italian from:
Fabio Croce
Gochsheimerstrasse, 48
75038 Oberderdingen
West Germany
Tel: 00497258 926400
Email: [email protected]
Fabio Croce is an Italian born oboist who now works in
Germany after studying there with Georg Meerwein at
Karlsruhe Hochschule. In this DVD he demonstrates a
style of reed-making reflecting a standard German
method with a short scrape of 10 mm, thin tip and a
V-shaped hump behind. As with all method explanations,
pictures are much more revealing than words. In this
video every process is painstakingly shown. The
camera work is mainly very good to excellent and only
occasionally does lack of focus intrude in the close up
shots. The pace is very measured and clear with a
commentary in English.
There are interesting ideas promulgated for cane
preparation prior to shaping; for instance soaking damp
cane in a sealed environment for 12 hours, making sure the
dimensions are correct in the gouge by using a scraper and
finishing the inside surface with fine sand paper. Tying on is
very well shown with an old method of wrapping a cut
piece of twine around the forearm (over a towel to prevent
cuts!) in order to gain the necessary tension. The formation
of the scrape is well demonstrated and the finishing
explained in detail. The largest part of this DVD is the
scraping process and how to adjust the almost finished reed
to make it play. The final chapter has Tips and Tricks for
improving the finished reed.
2. by Linda Walsh: The Oboe – Reedmaking (96 minutes)
About £23 plus postage from Australia, on offer at the time
of writing.
Available directly from Linda Walsh at the web site.
Email: [email protected]
The commentary is available in four languages – English,
French, German and Spanish; you choose the appropriate
one at the outset after it loads in your DVD player.
This DVD demonstrates comprehensively the construction
of a European-style oboe reed and is beautifully produced.
The tying-on and scraping process is well explained and I
feel this would be a very useful introduction to reed-making
for newcomers to the Art.
The chapters making up the DVD include: Introduction,
Tools, Tying-on, Scraping, General Tips and Cane Selection.
There are sections on American-style reeds from Martin
Shuring, cor anglais reeds from Bram Nolf of the Belgian
National Orchestra and the ever problematic business of
knife sharpening.
But the real coup de grace is the contribution made by the
guests to this video. This is an enormous bonus. The DVD
includes filmed comments on reed-making from eight
outstanding oboists such as Francois Leleux, Nicholas
Daniel, David Walter, Sebastian Giot and others. There are
also scenes in the film from technical experts, Udo Heng of
Reeds n’ Stuff and Dimiter Jordanov of Roseau Chantant.
They demonstrate cane-processing machines and give very
helpful insights into their use.
As commented by Francois Leleux, there are no definitive
answers to the problem of making oboe reeds! Each player
has to find his own way. On the other hand these two
DVD’s go far along the journey in helping us oboists find a
method we can trust to at least approach a reed nirvana.
They are both well worth the investment.
Geoffrey Bridge
50 Years of French Bassoon Music
Marc Vallon, bassoon
CD information below
Beginning on the basson, transferring to the Heckel system
and collecting along the way the baroque and classical
instruments, it would be something of an understatement to
say that Marc Vallon has had a wide-ranging career as a
bassoonist. He is a distinguished and original teacher of
students of all ages. Before taking up his present position as
Professor of Bassoon at the University of Wisconsin, he not
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
only had his own baroque bassoon class at the Paris
Conservatoire, but also assisted Marc Trenel there with
the students of the German system.
The ‘50 Years’ in question begin in 1950 with Tansman’s
classic Sonatine. This is a beautifully measured
performance, with well chosen tempi (the composer’s
metronome marks are, I think, a little too quick) and fluid
passagework. Thereafter we progress chronologically to
Marc’s own Cantus of 2001 [Trevco Music], a bonus year by
my calculations. Cantus is an intriguing work for solo
bassoon which I am honoured to have played and recorded
myself. This is an excellently proportioned work juxtaposing
extended melodic lines with dramatic leaps across the
entire compass of the instrument. I highly recommend this
to students, who from time to time have to play a piece
with the ‘extended techniques’ of multiphonics, fluttertonguing, muting and so on. In this vein there is also
Phillipe Hersant’s Hopi [Durand], which nowadays makes
regular appearances in our music colleges. Marc adds
another work by Hersant, the much less well known Duo
Sephardim for bassoon and viola [Durand]. This beautiful
lyrical duet also deserves more performances.
From 1973 and 1999 come two more challenging yet,
nevertheless, impressive pieces; one with piano –
Ebauches (Sketches) by Ginette Keller (b. 1925) [Editions
Transatlantique] – the other is with pre-recorded CD and
called D’un geste approvoisé (With a Tamed Gesture)
by Jose Luis Campana (b. 1949) [Editions Musicales
Européens]. Both stretch instrument and soloist to the
extremes of colour and dynamics. The energy and abandon
with which these works are presented cannot be praised too
highly. Indeed for me there is, throughout the disc, a true
sense of the excitement and the presence of a performance.
This is especially so in Marc’s characteristic reading of his
own Cantus.
Compliments, too, to pianist Todd Welbourne and violist
Sally Chisholm; also to Pascal Gallois who was responsible,
the sleeve notes tell us, for the exotic sounds on Campana’s
pre-recorded CD.
50 Years of French Bassoon Music is available
from The University of Wisconsin website at
By purchasing it you will be making a donation to
scholarships offered within the university. Another good
reason for buying this excellent disc.
Graham Sheen
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Concertos, etc by
Hummel, Weber, Jacobi
Elgar, Berwald and Gershwin
Karen Geoghegan, bassoon
Chandos CHAN 10477
Karen Geoghegan, with whom most BDRS members will be
familiar, was one of the three finalists in BBC2’s Classical
Star competition. The first prize, given to pianist Sophie
Cashell, was a recording contract. However, as was clear
from the judges’ comments, the final decision was by no
means unanimous. Shortly after the winner was announced,
Chandos offered Karen Geoghegan a richly deserved
contract to record her first commercial CD with the
Orchestra of Opera North under the baton of Benjamin
Wallfisch. Of the six works chosen for this disc, Karen has
been able to claim the première recording for both those by
Jacobi (in the full version with orchestra) and Gershwin.
This CD opens with the Grand Concerto by Hummel, which
is the work that projected Karen through to the finals of
Classical Star. She approaches it with youthful exuberance
and complete command of her instrument. Of the half
dozen or so recordings I have of the Hummel I can say with
certainty that Karen stamps her own mark on this work very
successfully. As anyone who knows the bassoon will attest,
the Hummel contains some extraordinarily difficult
passages, which Karen takes amply in her stride. In fact we
are left with no clue as to how difficult some of the fingerwork actually is. In a couple of places I take issue with
her interpretation. The rubato employed in the cadential
passage prior to figure ‘F’ of the first movement would have
been more effective as an accelerando, rather than losing
pace as the cadence approached. I felt also that the
cadenza in the second movement was rather over extended
and self-conscious. These quibbles apart this is a fine
performance which, for one aged 19, is quite remarkable.
The Hummel is followed by three other concertos from the
classical period, which I will come to later. Next follows
the Romance Op.62 by Elgar. This is a very pleasing
performance. Elgar departs from the comic and trick-cyclist
aspect of bassooning to provide us with a work of some
gravity. Here, Karen shows her versatility in adjusting
beautifully to the required lyrical style of playing, though I
would have preferred even greater contrast between the
middle and outer sections.
The final work on this CD is David Arnold’s arrangement of
Gershwin’s Summertime for bassoon and orchestra. In my
opinion this is the best played work of all six. Karen is
clearly at home with this piece. She is able to convey with
utmost clarity and feeling the atmosphere of sultry summer
days. A truly great performance!
Returning to the remaining three classical works: Berwald’s
Concert Piece is a lovely work and is played well, but I was
less convinced by the Andante e Rondo Ungarese Op.35 of
Weber and the Introduction and Polonaise Op.9 by Jacobi.
Both works I know well and they work well as concertos,
however they need greater dramatic treatment. In the Weber
one has to convey something of the exotic. He wrote this
work at a time when Hungary was feared and whose
culture seemed strangely exotic to the West. Consequently
Weber employs many devices to express a sense of the
bizarre. An example being his use of 21⁄2-octave leaps;
though the bassoon can effect this with relative ease it
surely pays to maintain the illusion of having achieved a
feat of extreme difficulty? Similarly for the Jacobi: this opens
with a passionate operatic recitative and proceeds to the
Polonaise, which mocks the over-serious opening. The
Polonaise gains momentum to a breath-taking finish with
the più allegro, which I felt was far too slow. Nonetheless, I
suspect most listeners will not know this once-popular work
(which used to grace the back pages of the Otto Langey
Tutor) and will find it both attractive, and its Polonaise
theme memorable.
In all, this is a marvellous start with which to launch one’s
career. Karen should be congratulated on her achievement.
I can truly say that I look forward to following her
progression as she develops as a soloist and matures
her style.
Richard Moore
The sequence of works in each volume is rather carefully
selected to show a progression of musical styles from the
sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, to introduce children
to a broad spectrum of composers – many familiar, others
less so – from Bach, Mozart and Brahms, to VaughanWilliams, Maxwell Davies and McCabe, to acquaint
youngsters with some of the core classical repertoire; and
to provide a vehicle for developing expressiveness and
In selecting these 37 short pieces, Ian Denley has sought to
provide inspirational material for young players, which is
eminently performable and at the same time provides a
vehicle for more general musical education. Knowing
Denley personally since 1974, I can vouch for his very
special qualities as a musician and his concomitant success
as a teacher of woodwind instruments. He believes, as I do,
that music is nothing if it does not communicate. So, in
choosing pieces that are lyrical and varied in period and
style he has given us a rich resource to incorporate into our
instrumental teaching regimes. I particularly like, and
support, his use of lyrical material as I believe this is
inspiring for youngsters to play and, importantly, it
connects instrumental playing with the human voice.
For the experienced player there is something here too.
Occasionally one demonstrates an unfamiliar instrument or
needs to reacquaint oneself with an instrument infrequently
played. I found Time Pieces a very useful resource for
selecting a short piece to play on the French bassoon,
which is not my usual performance instrument. Oboists,
who occasionally make the cross-over to bassoon, or
bassoonists who dabble infrequently with the contrabassoon
or baroque bassoon might similarly find these pieces an
effective and useful resource to have at hand.
I can thoroughly recommend them.
Time Pieces for Bassoon, Volumes 1 & 2 by Ian Denley
ABRSM Publishing
Richard Moore
Time Pieces comprises an anthology, mostly arrangements,
of short pieces for beginners and intermediate students of
the bassoon. Specifically, volume 1 is aimed at those who
are working at Associated Board grades 1 to 3, while
volume 2 provides material suited to those aspiring to
grades 4, 5 and 6. Usefully, volume 1 may also be used by
youngsters who are starting out on the mini-bassoon (in G)
as the piano part, suitably transposed, may be requested for
free from the publisher or downloaded from their website.
The Oboe Band
25th September 2008
St. George’s Hanover Square
This was a fabulous performance from the unique
ensemble, The Oboe Band. Formed in 2005, they have
carved out a niche in the early music world, being the only
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
professional ensemble of their kind in the UK. This attempt
to revive the once highly popular ensemble of baroque
oboes and bassoon has been successful, taking them to top
venues across Europe as well as to the final of York
International Early Music Competition.
One may be unsure what to expect from an evening of
music for three baroque oboes and bassoon, but would no
doubt be pleasantly surprised. Ranging from jolly dance
tunes to slow, beautiful melodies, The Oboe Band displayed
a breadth of musicality throughout that brought this concert
to life.
This particular programme explored original works written
for oboe band in both the seventeenth and twenty-first
centuries. The first half of the concert included contrasting
dance tunes from Mr. Paisible’s Music for His Majesty and
the New King of Spain and Henry Purcell’s Incidental Music
to The Gordian Knot Untyed. These were played stylishly
with an abundance of light and shade. The tempo of
Purcell’s Ouverture seemed a little adventurous for the
church acoustic but the sense of energy was clearly
communicated, contrasting with the bassoon’s delightfullyplayed Lilibulero melody within the gigue. The Queen’s
Farewell by Paisible then served as an effective ending to
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
the first half of the concert, the instruments blending
seamlessly to produce a stately, yet beautifully captivating,
funereal atmosphere.
In surprising and refreshing contrast, the second half of the
concert began with a world premiere of Oboes by the
Spanish composer Blai Soler. This is a specially
commissioned piece funded by the Performing Rights
Society and described by the composer as ‘an exciting
opportunity to explore this wonderful and archaic sound
world within a modern context’.§ The performers
maintained excellent technical control throughout,
succeeding in creating a wonderfully expectant atmosphere.
This was followed by Lully’s Character Dances and Roman’s
beautiful Trio Sonata in G minor, during which The Oboe
Band seemed particularly relaxed and produced lovely
phrasing, dynamics and a variety of colours. The concert
ended with arrangements of three movements from Handel’s
Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Emily Askew
* See the article on The Oboe Band and Blai Soler on P.19
of this issue.
2009 Gillet-Fox Oboe Competition applicants, should see to check on application procedure and
deadlines. The final stage of the competition will be held in
Birmingham during the IDRS Conference 2009.
See for further information about the
Conference itself.
Christmas House Party at Benslow, 24–27 December
(Course no.08/332)
Enjoy a musical Christmas with all the trimmings. A mixture of
formal and informal music-making for singers and
instrumentalists, or just relaxing in front of the open fire. Guests
are welcome from 3pm on Christmas Eve and the festivities will
end after brunch on the last day.
Benslow Music Trust, Little Benslow Hills, Hitchin, Herts
Tel: 01462 459 446 (9am-5pm weekdays)
E-mail: [email protected] Website:
Woodwind Orchestra Playday, 31st January 2009, London. Come and
play through original compositions and arrangements for woodwind
orchestra led by Richard Dickins, Caroline Franklyn, Paul Harris,
Shea Lolin and James Rae. Trade stands from Wood, Wind & Reed
(Cambridge), Rossetti and Clarinet Classics.
*50% Discount for double reed musicians:only £15!
See for further details
or call 01708 750 786
International Bassoon Competition in Paris, 14th – 15th
March 2009 in Paris-Ville d’Avray. The Jury consists of
Frank Vassallucci, Franck Leblois, Kiyoshi Koyama (Japan),
Benjamin Coelho (USA) and Jean-Louis Petit.
First Prize: 1500 euros; Second Prize; 1000 euros. The
competition is open to all bassoonists of any nationality
without age limit. The competition registration fee is
50 euros. The deadline for sending back the application form
is 1st March 2009. Details from: Jean-Louis Petit, 34 Avenue
Bugeaud F-75116 PARIS
E-mail : [email protected]
600 or 700 new printed music publications are being
released into the UK every month. Finding out about new
publications and keeping up-to-date is becoming more and
more challenging! Print Music Data is on a mission to provide
musicians and the wider music industry with an authoritative,
rich, online search engine on new printed music publications.
Check out
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Bassoon and Contra Servicing and Repairs. Also all other woodwinds.
Ian White Tel 01865 873709 (Oxford).
Torda Reeds – quality handmade reeds by a professional oboe player. Tel/Fax: 020 8505 0519.
Bassoonists! Free your hands and neck and use a spike.
Howarth S20 Oboe. Very good condition. Serviced by Howarths. £1,200 ono.
Tel: 01708 756204. email: [email protected]
Billerbeck Oboe Reeds. Quality cane and staples used. Prompt service.
Marjorie Downward Tel: 01343 835264
With REAL support anything is possible.
Consultations with Sien Vallis-Davies... all details: (phone 01458 860006).
Come and enjoy making friends with your diaphragm and improving your playing dramatically.
Howarth cor anglais. Good, straightforward, thumb-plate instrument.
Well maintained. Semi-automatic octaves. £1,100
[email protected] Tel: 01460 73714
Gouge & Profiler Blades Re-sharpened. Oboe and Bassoon Gougers made to order. Prompt service.
Tony Spicer Tel: 01903 892098
Howarth S2 Oboe. VGC. Well maintained, recently serviced. £1,200
Tel: 01380 840368 [email protected]
Oboe to loan to student in need of Lorée Conservatoire system, advanced model, good condition.
Call 07710 990372 or email [email protected]
Howarth S20 Oboe. Ideal for keen student, sold with Howarth hold-all bag.
Contact: 07756 145941. £1,150 ono
Howarth XL Cor Anglais (thumbplate model) for sale. Beautiful instrument, only 2 years old.
With 2 crooks and Bb extension. £4,900.
Please contact [email protected]
Adler bassoon, 26 key. Excellent condition, warm sound, good intonation £2,550.
Tel: 01743 241827
Mönnig oboe, professional dual system model, with automatic octaves.
Lovely sound. 25 years old. Well maintained. £1,000
[email protected] Tel: 01460 73714
Cor Anglais completely reconditioned/serviced, lightly used.
Howarth S2 with double case and carrying case cover. £2,500.
Phone 01484 533503 for further details.
Boosey & Hawkes Regent 572-Oboe Bought new – never played. £450 ono.
Contact 07934 558251.
Howarth S20 Semi-Pro oboe, 1992. Excellent condition, recently overhauled.
Beautiful tone. Includes hard case and reed case. £1,750.
Jo: 07885 539716 or [email protected]
Lorée Professional Oboe, £3,300 ono. 18 months old, mint condition with spare AK bell.
Tel: 07961 749403
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
in the Double Reed News
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The British Double Reed Society is a
non profit-making organisation
established to further the interests of all
involved with the oboe and bassoon.
The BDRS acts as a national forum
for debate and the exchange of ideas,
information and advice on all aspects
of double reed instruments. It also fulfils
an important role in encouraging greater
interest in the instruments, and securing
their place in the wider cultural and
educational environment.
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Index to Advertisers
Britannia Music Shop ..................................................................................................................20
Britannia Reeds ...........................................................................................................................13
Paul Carrington ...........................................................................................................................33
David Cowdy ................................................................................................................................8
Fortay Reeds................................................................................................................................25
Fox UK..............................................................................................................Outside back cover
Fratelli Patricola...........................................................................................................................25
Pete Haseler/Gregson Knives .........................................................................................................8
Howarth London ..................................................................................................Inside front cover
K.Ge Reeds ...................................................................................................................................9
Le Roseau....................................................................................................................................13
F. Lorée ................................................................................................................Inside back cover
Andrew May ...............................................................................................................................33
Medir SL......................................................................................................................................25
Phylloscopus/K. R. Malloch.........................................................................................................33
Püchner/Jonathan Small/Graham Salvage/T. W. Howarth.............................................................18
Jessica Rance...............................................................................................................................33
Tiger Books .................................................................................................................................33
Sien Vallis-Davies ........................................................................................................................33
Woodwind & Co. ........................................................................................................................25
Double Reed News 85 Winter 2008
Depuis 1881
DE GOURDON. 48 rue de Rome 75008 PARIS France
Tél. : +33 (0)1 44 70 79 55 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 70 00 40
E-mail : [email protected]
Fox Bassoons
Oboes and
Cor Anglais
All Double Reed
and CDs
For information on all Fox
products, the range of Double
Reed Accessories from other
manufacturers or to arrange an
appointment, please contact
Tom Simmonds at
Fox UK
Sole UK agent for
Fox Bassoons and Oboes
83 Dudley Road
Lincolnshire NG31 9AB, UK
Tel/Fax +44 (0) 1476 570700
[email protected]

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