Date: 2009-04-10 08:39
> Whisper keys were only added in the first decades of the 20th
> century. Consider that key pieces like the Rite of Spring,
> Scherezade, and all the Tchaikowsky symphonies were written for
> (and played on) pre-whisper key instruments and you will get a
> sense of the range.
The Rite of Spring was written for the French ”basson”, and I would guess the basson had a whisper key then. I’m not sure about this, but it wouldn’t surprise me though.
Apart from that, you’re correct, one doesn’t NEED a whisper key for the basson, though it’s far easier.