I was shopping for cases after selling my Wiseman case with my Fox bassoon. The Heckel came with a Gewa case, but the tenor and long joint would rub together and was creating some wear to the varnish of the wood. The Gewa case also came with an Altieri case cover which was too loose and uncomfortable to wear. The advantage of the Gewa case is the outside pocket of the case cover was large enough to hold original parts and a folding bassoon stand.

Gewa Bassoon Case

So my first thought was to get another Wiseman case. I had enjoyed mine for many years and now Wiseman has more options for interior colors and a fiberglass version. The big hurdle was the price, which is sort of justified since its kind of on par with luxury travel luggage. Even though the tenor and long joints were stored together I never found that they moved or created damage. I didn’t even mind that the storage was limited. What bothered me was that the case was large and heavy, which made it hard to walk with for a distance.

Wiseman Bassoon Case

Some of my friends have the Bonna case and I was curious about it, I went to Forrests to look at them. What surprised me was that it was very light weight and held the bassoon securely in place. I ended up getting one to at least try for a few months, and so far I like it. The bocal storage is small pouches on the floor of the case, it conflicts with my french whisper key so I keep them in a bocal box in my bag. The tenor joint and long joint have a small amount of space between them so they don’t rub. This case doesn’t have a pouch to hold large original parts, so I use a music folder. This case is so far the easiest to use and walk with.Bonna Bassoon Case

Nicolas Lell Benavides is currently a composer in residence with the Elevate Ensemble. He recently wrote a piece titled ‘Summer of ’69’ which is a multimedia work involving projected video and chamber orchestra. This was fun to play and utilized a minimalist composition technique, by giving players short musical games that we would play when cued. This was also my first performance on my new instrument, I picked it up earlier in the week!

I finally got to perform the Franck Sonata, which I had just been practicing for fun. This was originally a violin sonata and was such a great piece that cellists began to play it as well. I am playing off of the Jules Desart edition of the Cello Sonata which works on the Contraforte just fine. The Pianist is Britton Day (who is amazing!)

SFCM Concert Hall

I am giving a Contraforte Recital at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on October 25 at 8pm. This is in the main concert hall, open to the public, and free. The program will be..

Brahms Cello Sonata no. 1 e minor

Erb Red Hot Duets for two Contrabassoons

Franck Cello Sonata

Special guests: Britton Day and Shawn Jones

 

 

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

┬áThis 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.