Guntram Wolf Baroque bassoon, dulcian, curtal, shawm, Baroque oboe, chalumeaux, Baroque clarinets, contrabassoon, contraforte

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Lazar's Early Music

Bill Lazar

425 N. Whisman Rd., Ste. 200

Mountain View, CA 94043

(650) 938-5367

(866) 511-2981

(408) 705-1960 fax

LazarsEMS@gmail.com

 

NEW:  Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord

 

 

 

 

Indiana Early Double Reed Workshop, May, 2012

The Enterprise

Click on picture of instrument for larger picture

New Item:

Reed Design for Early Woodwinds

by David Hogan Smith

I have a very limited number of copies of this excellent out-of-print book at $90 each.

Rennaissance dulcians | Baroque bassoons | Bassoons of the classic/early romantic
Bassoons of the late romantic | Contrabassoons |
Ensemble music of the 18th century

(Figures not true to scale!)

 

These are tuned to a=440. Bass and quart dulcians can also be built to a = 465.

Our production includes the entire gamut.
 

Diskant

Alt

Tenor

Bass

Quarterbass

Contrabass

c1

f

c

F

C

F

In the bass dulcian, we offer a direct-sounding, early instrument as
well as a softer-sounding, later model.

 

Linz bass dulcian sound samples from Robert Ronnes website:

 

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/DufayAveRegina.mp3

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/Frescobaldi.Canzona.no.1.mp3

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/Bertoli1.Ronnes.mp3

 

Baroque Bassoons

(Figures not true to scale!)

 

A copy of an a=415 after "HKICW" is our outstanding bassoon from 1700. We also make a copy after Eisenmenger a = 415 from a somewhat later baroque period. For a=392, we make a copy of a bassoon from "HAKA" which originates from 1682 (it is perhaps the earliest surviving bassoon).

Fingering Chart

 

HKICW sound samples from Robert Ronnes website:

Antonín Jiránek: Bassoon Concerto no 3 in F major

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/Jiranek.bssn.Conc.no3.1s.mp3

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/Jiranek.bssn.Conc.no3.2s.mp3

http://www.robertronnes.com/mybassoonrepertoire/Jiranek.bssn.Conc.no3.3s.mp3

 

Bassoons of the classic/early romantic

(Figures not true to scale!)

There are two models from which to choose:

  • a nine key bassoon after Grenser with a clear sound and a fascinating quality; a = 430.

  • a copy after Tauber, Vienna, a = 440. The original came into our collection recently and it seems to be an unusually good instrument.

Bassoons of the late romantic

(Figures not true to scale!)

 

There are three models from which to choose:

  • from Grenser/Wiesner with 14 or 15 keys

  • from Ziegler, Wien with 15 keys

  • from Schemmel, Wien (without picture) – with various keys

Contrabassoons

(Figures not true to scale!)

 

In this we are the specialists. We have original instruments in our collection.
There are five models from which to choose:

  • baroque contra after A. Eichentopf a = 415

  • an anonymous high romantic Viennese contra with unique qualities a = 430 - 440

Ensemble music of the 18th century

At this time there were many types of bassoon in place. We make various sizes and pitches, to be used in works which do not specify a particular instrument as well as those which do.

  • octave bassoons from Denner, Scherer and Schuster
     

  • quint bassoon from Kuteruf
     

  • quart bassoons from Kraus and Magvini

Shawms | German shawms | Baroque oboes
Oboes of the classical period and 1st half of the 19th century |
Late romantic oboes

Renaissance shawms

Oboes were present in the past in great diversity. The Renaissance ensemble got a clear double reed contour through the use of a set of shawms. Shawms were used whether as solo voices, or as color; especially in combination with trombones (sackbutts), where they were essential to the sound of Renaissance music. Like the dulcians, they are indispensable for music of this period. The historical precedents are in relatively poor condition, sometimes very good, but often crude, unattractive instruments.

We make shawms which play comfortably over two octaves and which do not have intonation problems.

Pitch is a = 440 or 465 and so far we make:

  • discant in c

  • alto in F

  • tenor in C

The bodies of all shawms are made of maple.

German shawms (a = 440 Hz / 465 Hz)

(Figures not true to scale!)

Developed from the courtly shawms, the German shawm became desired at the beginning of the 18th century due to its mobility and adaptability. Its best use was in German military music, but it is also indispensable in Harmonie music of the second half of the 17th century. We make the following German shawms in pitch 440 or 465:

  • discant in c1, no keys (2 pieces with fontanelle)

  • discant in c1, C-key (2 pieces with fontanelle)

  • alto in f, f-key (3 pieces with fontanelle)

  • tenor in c, c-key (3 pieces with fontanelle)

The bodies are made of maple.

In combination with a bass dulcian the German shawms are an ideal double reed ensemble.

Baroque oboes

(Figures not true to scale!)

Our top model is a French instrument with 3 keys, (a = 415). This oboe, in our possession, is from about 1700; the signature is barely visible. We have no idea how famous the maker possibly was, but he made an outstanding instrument, therefore we chose it for our copies.

We also make a baroque oboe after Scherer in a = 440.

The model of an oboe d'amore was an instrument from
Oberlender.

The bodies are made from boxwood.

Oboes of the classical period and 1st half of the 19th century

(Figures not true to scale!)
 

 

A typical model of the classical oboe is a copy after Grundmann with two keys (a = 430). As an a = 440 instrument, we chose an oboe from Lempp, Vienna. For the early romantic, we copied a Schuster with a dark, round sound a = 430. We can also make other copies on special order.

Late romantic oboes

(Figures not true to scale!)
 

 

The Golde oboe wth 11 - 14 keys (a = 440) is an ideal instrument for the late romantic orchestra or ensembles.

For music of the late 19th century, oboists are more and more frequently choosing Viennese oboes, as the sound of these corresponds to much music of the period.

We make these instruments with the Viennese fingering system, but we also make them with a French ring system, so that modern oboists can change without a problem. These instruments are ideal for chamber music.

Chalumeaux | Baroque clarinets | Clarinets from the classical and early romantic periods
High romantic clarinets |
Special sizes

All of our historical clarinets and chalumeaux are made of boxwood with the exception of the chalumeau in F which is made of maple.

 

Chalumeaux

For these fore runners and a ralle e runners of the clarinet the music comes from the 1st half of the 18th century. Just as existed in Renaissance instruments, there is a complete range of pitches, of which we are making copies. We make these instruments in a=415 (original) but also in a=440 which is often requested.

  • chalumeau in f1 (no historical precedent)

  • chalumeau in c1, copy after Liebav

  • chalumeau in f, copy from J.C. Denner original

  • chalumeau in C (used to exist, but there is no surviving example, we made it based on the Denner chalumeau)

  • chalumeau in F, the bass chalumeau, after Kress, with a bent bore. With 5 keys, to low B-flat as on the bassoon

Sound samples of our chalumeaux are available from the homepage of Christian Leitherer, www.leitherer.de

Here are the links:

Baroque clarinets (a = 415 Hz)

(Figures not true to scale!)

 

Our D clarinet is copied from the famous 2-key Denner. The sound of the baroque clarinet is direct and full, as opposed to the classical clarinet. We also make a C clarinet in the style of the D clarinet.

Clarinets from the classical and early
romantic periods (a = 430 Hz)

From the many instruments which have been handed down, we chose those which seemed especially good in tuning, ease of speaking and sound:

  • C Clarinet after Hartlaub, with 5 keys

  • 5-key, four piece, classical clarinet after Eisenbrandt. It is from before 1800 and has the typical long joint with the bell attached. We make these as B-flat and as A instruments

  • as an instrument for classical as well as early romantic music, we chose a pair of H. Grenser instruments in B-flat and A, with 9 keys.

For the A clarinet as well as the B-flat, we make a bassett lower joint, with 7 keys, for a full chromatic scale, that can be interchanged with the lower joint of the clarinet.

  • We have chosen two models for bassett horn: the 8-key after Lotz, Vienna and an instrument after Jehring with 16 keys, (chromatic bassett horn)

  • We make bass clarinets on special order: abass clarinet in bassoon shape after H. Grenser.

High romantic clarinets (a = 440 Hz)

For this we chose models after Ottensteiner, Munich. These instruments are made of stained boxwood, with keywork like the normal German 4 ring style, or copies of the Mühlfeld clarinet. We make these instruments in B-flat, A and also C.

Special sizes

On special order we can make, for example:

  • clarinet d'amour in G and F from about 1760.

 

Care of these instruments

Historical instruments have no bore lining. They must be re-bored after some period, which can be from several months to two years. When the intonation and especially the response change, it is time to do this.

The bore should be oiled once or twice a year. For this purpose, you should use only a drying oil, for example, cold-pressed linseed oil, thistle oil or hempseed oil. Chinese tung oil is also a drying oil but should never be used, for health reasons. These oils can be thinned with gum turpentine, but it is not necessary.

Be extremely careful not to get any oil on the pads. Do not use any other oil, such as almond oil; they can substantially damage the instrument. Do not leave the instrument where there is no ventilation, mildew can grow rapidly and damage the wood.

Tip:
Rub the outside of the instrument with a rag, with just a drop of oil; with time, the instrument will take on a beautiful sheen.

 

 

Our woods are an important basic requirement of the foundation of our firm.

 


We do not seek the cheapest woods nor the most expensive, only the best! We seek out the most appropriate trees and supervise the cutting into planks. The further cutting into blocks we do ourselves. And, old-fashioned as it sounds, we determine the best application of the wood, by tapping on it. Systematic acoustic wood research permits us to know the best wood for each instrument.

 

In addition, the knowledge of the handling of woods in past epochs, as well as the manufacture of modern instruments allows us to ensure the best treatment of each instrument.

 

Tradition and passion

The Guntram Wolf firm is located in the city of Kronach, a city over 1000 years old and the birthplace of Lucas Cranach. Kronach is in the dynamic center of the forests of Franconia, in a wonderful landscape, with a picturesque, historic City center, and with the Rosenberg fortress (which has never been conquered) overlooking it. 

Through the personal involvement and the experience of Guntram Wolf, also due to his hands-on experience of woodwind instruments, the name of the north Bavarian city of Kronach is linked to the name Guntram Wolf by musicians worldwide. 

No other factory has, in the past few years, brought such a fresh approach to the manufacture of woodwind instruments which is usually "set in tradition".

  • New acoustic knowledge has been and will be continued to be brought to the development and improvement of modern woodwind instruments.
     

  • Historical instruments are made with renewed techniques, in order that the sound world of the musical periods from the Renaissance to the High Romantic can be recreated without falsification.
     

  • Wolf has developed a complete set of smaller orchestral instruments; oboe, clarinet and bassoon so that children from the impressionable ages of 5-10 can begin to take a solid place in the musical environment.

From a small, experimental workshop, in which Guntram Wolf worked alone, a considerable factory has developed, the continuation of which is assured by the entry of his son, Peter into the enterprise. His daughter, Claudia, also works there, installing computer technology for the construction of both the wooden parts and the keywork. The other workers come from the area around Kronach, and learn the various techniques of instrument manufacture at the factory itself.