A Contrabassoon has entered my life recently and I am very excited to start using it. This instrument was owned by Steve Braunstein. He ordered it from Heckel while he was playing with the Toronto symphony, it was finished 1984. Over the summer I trialled 2 other Heckel contras and this instrument was by far the standout. I am very lucky to be the custodian of this horn for a few years.
I get asked about the Contraforte vs. Contrabassoon and I mostly stay quiet. But I think that the entire repertoire is accessible to either instrument. I would like to experiment with using both instruments this season, choosing the instrument that fits the character of the piece.
A vintage Royet Toulouse Ophicleide in C is up for sale on eBay. Mendelssohn, Wagner, Berlioz, and Verdi all have repertoire utilizing the Ophicleide.
I have started to develop a bit of a bassoon collection and I don’t get to play some of them.
My high school bassoon is usually rented out to students, but it has been sitting in my closet for the last year. So I’m going to sell it! It’s up on eBay if anyone is interested. This is a King Symphony Bassoon made by Schreiber in Germany and stamped by King, the America instrument manufacturer.
A few months ago I had my first correspondence with Heckel. I am looking for my next bassoon and I have play tested a few new Heckels that I really liked. After emailing back and forth to find out what options were possible, they sent me a mail packet with an order form. I thought that I knew the bassoon options that I wanted, but seeing all of the options layer out on a list was overwhelming!
I am going over the new instrument piece by piece to figure out how it will all look together. I don’t EVER want to buy another instrument after this so I need it to have everything on it that I would need for the rest of my career. Like how high E was a standard key for a while but in the past few years the high F key is becoming normal. I haven been able to make decisions about most things, except for the bell options. The French and Italian bells look great and then the gentleman vs. regular bell lengths…
Italian Bell Gentleman (current favorite)
German Bell Gentleman
French Bell Regular