Keyed Kontraptions Holiday Stream

Here is the holiday live stream! If you watch the video on youtube there is a program listing with time stamps in the description.

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New Year, New Product

Happy 2018! I now have Contrabassoon swabs available. These are made from silk and are used like a push through swab. After playing, remove the tuning slide and insert the swab into the wooden “wing joint” to remove moisture.

Find them here

http://www.kingbassoonreeds.com/accessories

Leitzinger Contrabassoon Bocals

This week I had a few Leitzinger Contrabassoon Bocals on trial from Forrests Music. I had a Leitzinger NML2 bassoon bocal  a few years ago when I played on a Fox 601, but I sold it since it didn’t pair so well on my Heckel 10k. What I so appreciated about that bocal was the easy high note response and clarity in the tone. That bassoon had some funny pitch issues (saggy middle E) that the Leitzinger fixed immediately.

I have been using a Heckel C2 that suits the instrument well, so trying new bocals is just out of curiosity. Forrests has a large selection of Leitzinger contra bocals so I got to try each type and plating option, I ended up really liking a F2 Gold plated and an F2 platinum. Now that I have had them at home for a few days I have a sense of what these are able to do.

I notice almost no difference in response, pitch, or tone from the Heckel and the high notes are just as solid. The one improvement I do notice is when I use a light reed and play loud sfz attacks sometimes the pitch can sag with the Heckel, and the Leitzinger is more stable. However I do not like the bend, it angles down much more than I would like which forces me to change the instrument position. And lastly the price point is high. This thing comes in at $2,300 which is much more than a new Heckel bocal, without a huge sound difference. I am impressed by the sound and quality of this bocal but it’s a little too much for me!

Bassoon GSP

bassoon GSP

King Bassoon Reeds is now offering GSP for bassoon. The bassoon gouged, shaped, and profiled cane sells very fast and so is hard to keep supplying, but now with the school year out (less orders) we have more time to process cane.

 This cane is made using traditional Herzberg measurements and the Herzberg shape. This is all made with California cane which has a medium hard density.

Neue Burg bassoons

I have had been on a trip to Vienna for the last few weeks. The Hofburg palace houses an antique instrument museum which to my surprise had many bassoons and contrabassoons! So here are a few but not all of the instruments on display

Entrance to Antique Instrument Museum

bassoon family

bassoon family back

bassoons

This Contrabassoon was built by Bradka in Vienna, this was his standard model in 1870.

Stehle Bassoon

This bassoon was built by Johann Stehle who at the time was considered to be one of the finest instrument makers in the German speaking regions. This instrument was an experiment as it has a tuning slide on the wing joint to lengthen the bore between the register vents and tones holes. This bassoon also has an split bell to add on a low A attachment.

Woodwind Family

 This Contrabassoon was built by Bradka for the Viennese Jubilee crafts exhibition in 1888. This design differs from his previous models because of the rounded U-tubes to create less air resistance. “Bradka seems to have oriented this to a model from 1976 by Alfred Morton” (the contrabassophone maker)

The bassoon is a Heckel from the 1880s.

King Bassoon Reeds

King Bassoon Reeds

I have just started working with a new batch of cane and it is very high quality. This is cane that was cut 2 years ago and is on the harder side. It seems more middle of the road and has been great with the Fox 2 shape for bassoon and Reiger K1 on contrabassoon. If you are interested in some reeds head over to King Bassoon Reeds or email me if you are interested in cane.

Contraforte Range

The usable range of the Contraforte is from A0-C5. This is an improvement on the contrabassoon range by a few steps. Although I know some very talented contra players that can play almost as high as any contraforte. Im mostly posting this so that composers are able to hear the timbre change of the different registers.

The Contraforte does not have a dependable high D but it is possible. Here I play the opening bassoon solo from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, at actually pitch. I used an extremely thick reed with a lot of resistance.

Contraforte Fingering Chart