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 Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-06-30 21:07

I'm pretty sure I strongly prefer the Euro sound to the American sound (which means I live on the wrong side of the pond) but....would like suggestions of things to listen to that would clearly differentiate between the two sounds. The way I say it in my mind, is I want it to sound "like an oboe" and not like some wishy washy imitation of an oboe, particularly in the second octave. Maybe that's what they call a "reedy" tone? Since I have a European oboe, (Rigoutat) it seems I ought to be able to find a way to get the sound I like out of it.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-01 04:45

You could listen John Mack's (an American oboist) performance of the Mozart oboe concerto (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPOvrNG8K3g) compared to Albrecht Mayer's (a German oboist) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtEvsibmS_s).

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-01 12:05

I don't know who the principal oboist is in this recording (Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields), but I love their playing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfy-NilX0wc

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-01 15:22

The following are/were Rigoutat artists. You may listen to them and see what kind of sound can be drawn out of Rigoutat oboes:

Maurice Bourgue
Heinz Holliger
Thomas Indermühle
Claude Maisonneuve
Hélène Devillenuve
Jean-Claude Jaboulay
Christian Schmitt

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: tgenns 
Date:   2017-07-01 22:11

Beatrice,

I think you have to be careful when you refer to something called an “American oboe sound." When you listen to the leading oboists of the past and present, there is a wide spectrum of oboe sounds, not just one American sound.

Here are some past American oboists to listen to:

John de Lancie
Ray Still
John Mack
Rhadames Angelucci
Harold Gomberg
Ralph Gomberg
Al Genovise
Marc Lifshey

Some current ones:

Richard Woodhams
Alex Klein (Brazilian born, American trained)
Eugene Izotof (Russian born, American trained)
Elizabeth Koch Tiscione
Katherine Needleman
John Ferrillo

Although there is enough similarity in these oboe sounds that you can identify them as American oboists, there is also great variety in the sound qualities of these leading American oboists, past and present. After listening to the above American oboists, you may find that you prefer some of their sounds.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-07-02 02:03

Once upon a time, when I was young, there were so many styles of oboe playing that every country in Europe had their own sound and style. it made listening fun, and you generally could tell which country an orchestra came from and sometimes even which orchestra by the sound of their oboes, Sometime in the '80s, this started to change, and nowadays it is very different to tell one oboist from another as the sound has become very standardised, as has the manner of playing. I feel it is a great loss as individuality has been stifled. Now there were some sounds of yesteryear that would have curdled milk, so it was not always a rosey picture, but the difference of sound and style has even affected the "American" school of playing and the differences between that and the "European" school are a lot more blurred. This is not to denigrate the musicianship and technical prowess of many fine players these days, but we have lost more than most people realise.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-07-02 11:05

I agree with you. I prefer the "darker" european sound... But i enjoy playing with an american reed more.

And i think at this time in my life, i am happy to swap enjoyment of playing and sacrifice sound... As long as the sound is still pretty. I cant enjoy practising if i am busting my guts to play on the hardest possible short scrape reed etc.

If you asked me about my other instruments.. I have always focussed on getting the best and darkest sound i could. But oboe is so much pressure, that free blowing and enjoyable works much better for encouraging me to practise.

:)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-02 18:28

Quote:
You could listen John Mack's (an American oboist) performance of the Mozart oboe concerto (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPOvrNG8K3g) compared to Albrecht Mayer's (a German oboist) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtEvsibmS_s).

-ckoboe
End quote

I definitely prefer the sound of the second one; although especially over youtube it does demonstrate what I'm talking about. That doesn't mean I'd ever be able to achieve it though.....I get a fine sound on my horn but it doesn't sound like anyone else. Of course with horn, the embouchure and physical cavities of the player have a LOT to do with the sound. I'm not going to sound like a 200 pound large guy no matter what I do.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-02 18:47

Quote, list of names:
Maurice Bourgue
Heinz Holliger
Thomas Indermühle
Claude Maisonneuve
Hélène Devillenuve
Jean-Claude Jaboulay
Christian Schmitt


Oh...Heinz Holliger is my favorite sound to date. As he is with a whole lot of other people. I didn't know he was a Rigoutat guy. But it appears the sound I like is on Euro reeds, and at my age and being on this side of the pond I doubt I have the ability to learn to play on stiff Euro reeds. It's hard enough playing on what is called an "easy pro reed" here. But I'm just getting back into it. So much to do, so little life left to do it....

So, now I have to talk Mr Holliger into (LOL) making reeds for me.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-02 19:13

And I really liked this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jDHUUCeeHU

And this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daUWRAQdYa4 Now I'll go listen to a couple of the American ones.

Here's John de Lancie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L12QaKHfM1o

Yes the difference is subtle but I do like the Euro sound better. Not that I'll ever sound like *any* of these guys so I don't have to worry about it. But moving to horn, I've been astonished at the wide difference in sounds that various people get out of the same horn....much more variation than in oboe. And of course different violins sound very different, and a string player's sound has a LOT to do with the instrument; the player still has to get the instrument to produce its characteristic sound, but a whole lot of a string player's sound is the instrument. Style of course comes through, but I own two violins, one which I electrify under circumstances that call for it, and it sounds great with a pickup. Put my "concert violin" with a pickup and it is putting out too much and actually doesn't sound as good, while the "git-fiddle" won't carry in a hall. My engineer mind gets all wrapped up in this stuff. I should probably have gone into recording as a career....

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-02 20:34

Mr. Holliger doesn't make reeds for himself, I very much doubt he will make reeds for others ...

On the other hand, I have two reeds from Maurice Bourgue. I still don't sound like him though, on his reed and on his oboe.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-02 20:57

So who makes reeds for Mr Holliger? I didn't realize that "all" pros did not make their own reeds. Although I do remember Tabuteau had a sort of adopted daughter (oboe student) who made reeds for him.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-02 23:36

Tabuteau made his own reeds (he "invented" the American style oboe reed), but he made his students (e.g. reed guru John Mack) make reeds for him for their practice.

ckoboe777

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-02 23:47

oboist2 wrote:

> Once upon a time, when I was young, there were so many styles
> of oboe playing that every country in Europe had their own
> sound and style. it made listening fun, and you generally
> could tell which country an orchestra came from and sometimes
> even which orchestra by the sound of their oboes, Sometime in
> the '80s, this started to change, and nowadays it is very
> different to tell one oboist from another as the sound has
> become very standardised, as has the manner of playing. I
> feel it is a great loss as individuality has been stifled. Now
> there were some sounds of yesteryear that would have curdled
> milk, so it was not always a rosey picture, but the difference
> of sound and style has even affected the "American" school of
> playing and the differences between that and the "European"
> school are a lot more blurred. This is not to denigrate the
> musicianship and technical prowess of many fine players these
> days, but we have lost more than most people realise.

I still think that European players are very distinguishable from American oboists, especially German oboists.

While the bright-dark scale ranges for both American and European oboists, I find that European style oboists have more "buzz" in their sound compared to American players, who typically have a more "focused" sound.

Also, European players, especially German style players, tend to exaggerate (not necessarily in a bad way) their phrasing/expression more than American oboists. For example, I know someone who studied with Albrecht Mayer and then switched to American style with Liang Wang, and one of the things she noticed was that the vibrato of German players is a lot more pronounced than American players. (an extreme example of that would be Albrecht Mayer vs. John Mack)

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 02:38

I heard Heinz Holliger's reeds are made by Joongkyo Hong - he used to sell reeds on ebay with Rigoutat or Chiarugi No.2 staples. I use his reeds and they're very consistent, nicely finished and require very little adjusting:

http://www.oboecane.net/index.php

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-07-03 02:55

My point though is, that there was never 1 European sound before - you could easily tell a Dutch player from a Czech, and that a German from say Weimar, would sound completely different from the players in the Berlin Phi, Th the English also sounded very distinct as did the French, and of course Italian players were very different again. Nowadays the sound has become homogeneous as a European sound, and personally, I find that a great pity.
Interestingly, your comments about European vs American used to sit the other way years ago....It was the American players that often used to have a buzz in their sound, whilst it was somewhat darker, and the vibrato was more pronounced as many European schools did not use it much ( The English and Czechs were the big exception here, and some German players) But you listen to people like Albrecht Mayer for example, he sounds nothing at all like Berlin players of yesteryear like Koch and Steins.



Post Edited (2017-07-03 02:59)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2017-07-03 03:26

Can i add to this.. If there is a sound u like.. Listen to lots of recordings of that player. And do long tones trying to emulate the sound.

For my students i do this.. And they have developed amazing sound.

For violin.. We listen to kriesler where possible
Flute: moyse and takahashi
Clarinet: chris swanns is the sound i fell in love with. But if i cant get him, then i get neidich.
Piano: have a different favourite player for each period!
Recorder marion verbruggen

Now we cant always get my favourite player.. But thr principal is the same.. The more you listen to someone.. The more you unconsciously copy their sound..

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-03 03:49

There were/are famous players who didn't make their own reeds. Examples include Léon Goossens, Fernarnd Gillet and Heinz Holliger.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 13:04

Leon Goossens was ridiculed early on in his career for using vibrato. Nowadays it's unusual to hear an oboe played without vibrato.

Here's his recording of the Strauss concerto recorded in 1947:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3beWxKdz_LA

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-03 16:12

Hi Chris. Just finished listening to that recording of Leon Gossen playing the Strauss Concerto. Is it likely that he was using a S2 Howarth Thumb Plate Oboe for this ?

Skyfacer

Post Edited (2017-07-03 16:14)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 18:54

He played a 1907 Loree throughout his career - thumbplate system, simple action 8ves with LH F and C#.

Louis (Chelsea) and early Howarth instruments were largely based on the older Loree design as were B&H Imperial oboes. At one point I had all three in for repair at the same time and the joints were nearly interchangeable with each other besides the slight variation in tenon and socket diameters.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-03 18:56

That description of having a "buzz" in the sound I think is exactly what I'm talking about.....and I realize probably no one can put it into words on a forum, but I'm still going to ask: how does the player do that, or is it a reed thing?

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 19:13

I know exactly what you mean - the tone has a 'buzz' about it as the expression intensifies.

I assume this is the buzz you're referring to in this solo:

https://youtu.be/D0sC4xbyT5c?t=3m22s

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-03 19:54

Yes! you are exactly right....now, how do I get that sound? ???????

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 20:24

I don't know - it's something just happens when you play with more intensity. I wish I could explain it much better.

The same intensity 'buzz' happens in this solo during the held A and going up to the high B ('La Calinda' again):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfy-NilX0wc&feature=youtu.be&t=19s

I wish I knew who the oboist is in this recording.

Maybe it's a short scrape thing, but most oboists I know and know of make that 'buzz' as and when they want. I can get it by putting/pushing more air through the instrument. I don't know how long scrape reeds will cope with having too much air pushed through them and what the resulting sound will be like.

Chris.

Post Edited (2017-07-03 20:24)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-03 23:06

oboist2 wrote:

> My point though is, that there was never 1 European sound
> before - you could easily tell a Dutch player from a Czech,
> and that a German from say Weimar, would sound completely
> different from the players in the Berlin Phi, Th the English
> also sounded very distinct as did the French, and of course
> Italian players were very different again. Nowadays the sound
> has become homogeneous as a European sound, and personally, I
> find that a great pity.
> Interestingly, your comments about European vs American used
> to sit the other way years ago....It was the American players
> that often used to have a buzz in their sound, whilst it was
> somewhat darker, and the vibrato was more pronounced as many
> European schools did not use it much ( The English and Czechs
> were the big exception here, and some German players) But you
> listen to people like Albrecht Mayer for example, he sounds
> nothing at all like Berlin players of yesteryear like Koch and
> Steins.
>

>
> Post Edited (2017-07-03 02:59)

It was the American players
> that often used to have a buzz in their sound, whilst it was
> somewhat darker

I don't think that buzziness determines the dark-bright characteristics of tone. For example, John Mack and Eugene Izotov have characteristically dark tones without being buzzy at all-what many call a "round" sound.

> Interestingly, your comments about European vs American used
> to sit the other way years ago....It was the American players
> that often used to have a buzz in their sound, whilst it was
> somewhat darker, and the vibrato was more pronounced as many
> European schools did not use it much ( The English and Czechs
> were the big exception here, and some German players)

And it is true, the Germans tended not to use much vibrato in the past. It's surprising to hear that they now characteristically have a tendency to use more vibrato than other schools of oboe playing!

>Interestingly, your comments about European vs American used
> to sit the other way years ago....It was the American players
> that often used to have a buzz in their sound

Old-school American players were buzzier than Germans, who sounded almost "round", but they were definitely a lot less buzzy than the French school the American school descended from, and they had characteristically "focused" sounds.

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-03 23:29

One of the best sources of older American oboe sounds are from old Columbia, Disney, MGM and similar films from the 1930s that have orchestral soundtracks.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-04 03:06

Chris P wrote:

> One of the best sources of older American oboe sounds are from
> old Columbia, Disney, MGM and similar films from the 1930s that
> have orchestral soundtracks.
>

Most oboists heard in the soundtracks of the films of '30's were probably not American school trained-oboists. By the 1930's, Marcel Tabuteau, the father of the American school of oboe playing, had been teaching at Curtis for less than a decade. It probably wasn't until the '40s when the American school started to grow in dominance in the US oboe scene.

There were many European-trained oboists in the US up till as recently as the '50's. For example, Fernand Gillet, former principal of Boston, retired from the symphony in the mid-forties, but continued to teach long afterwards at NEC.

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-04 05:59

I thought Karl Steins, Lothar Koch and Manfred Clement all used a fair does of vibrato. May I know which German players didn't use much vibrato at all?

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-04 06:52

wkleung wrote:

> I thought Karl Steins, Lothar Koch and Manfred Clement all used
> a fair does of vibrato. May I know which German players didn't
> use much vibrato at all?

Old-school as in the first-half of the twentieth century:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76AveUJV54Q&list=PLZF12bbIdzT3IIBnindEy8UxDfrw7nIiA&index=25

German-style oboists apparently didn't use much vibrato in the first half of the 20th century, according to an interview with a German oboist named Ingo Gorinski (I'm not so sure)

ckoboe777 wrote:

>Old-school American players were buzzier than Germans, who sounded almost >"round"

Oops... I take that back! In contrast, American players tended to have a more focused sound than European players.

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-04 07:07

I think it is a huge leap to compare Albrecht Mayer to German players from the first half of the 20th century. If you go back that far, you will find very little vibrato use in many other countries too. The recordings I have of Georges Gillet feature no vibrato at all, and orchestra recordings from England at that time seldom feature oboe playing with vibrato.



Post Edited (2017-07-04 07:20)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-04 07:33

Hi Chris. That proves to me anyway that you don't need a heavily mechanised and heavy Oboe to do high class work. It hasn't been lost on me that just looking at the Oboe's lever touch pieces that they are designed for finger sliding. Besides this . on my Howarth S2 Thumb Plate I've found a way of doing all trills nicely except the low C/Db (C#) trill. Other than that one I've yet to find a trill I can't do on the S2 within the normal compass.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-04 07:58

wkleung wrote:

> I think it is a huge leap to compare Albrecht Mayer to German
> players from the first half of the 20th century. If you go
> back that far, you will find very little vibrato use in many
> other countries too. The recordings I have of Georges Gillet
> feature no vibrato at all, and orchestra recordings from
> England at that time seldom feature oboe playing with vibrato.
>

>
> Post Edited (2017-07-04 07:20)

To clarify, I was talking about the later times of the first half of the 20th century.

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-05 03:33

So the buzz, according to at least one person, is produced by overblowing, perhaps on short scrape reeds? In brass, we get the cuivre ("Brassy") sound by overblowing, it's easy to do, and specifically called for in some music. What's harder to do is play very loud withOUT getting brassy. Well, at least I have a place to start experimenting. The teacher I hope to study with is not available until August because of recovery from surgery, and I hope I don't go in and fire-hose him with pent-up questions!

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-05 13:57

I wouldn't say 'overblowing' as that can lead to loss of control. It's using more breath support and putting more air through the instrument - not necessarily to play loud, but to play with more intensity.

Also try altering your tongue position and making other embouchure changes at the same time - it's a case of experimenting.

Playing in a large hall will help as that will give you something to aim at which is the person seated by the far wall. See how far you can push things but still sound like you're in control.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-05 23:09

Not very different from projecting with a horn or any other brass...you have to aim for the back of the hall mentally, and it' done with air. With horns the instrument does matter....some of them, believe it or not, sound loud up close but get lost on the way out, while others do not sound that loud up close but carry extremely well. I learned this the hard way on a recording in which I heard myself on a low 4th horn part drowning out the rest of the section.....which was embarrassing and I wished the conductor had told me. Up close, I was just trying to match their volume.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-17 00:02

Chris, I looked at that site and there are many reeds to choose from, which is always what gets me. I tried a Wiggins that someone said worked well with Rigoutat, and based on the reputation of Euro scrape needing more "bite" than American reeds (I don't "bite" at all, although I do use some muscle to surround the reed and hold it as tightly as needed by pursed lips,) I got a medium soft. Which turned out to be softer than what I normally play on, plus it is unstable making it unusable for me. I'm used to very stable reeds, which you don't have to use a different embouchure for each note you play. yes, you have to put some effort to play in tune, but in general not that big a deal (to a horn player anyway.) (It feels like I wrote this somewhere already but I can't find it if I did.)

"I heard Heinz Holliger's reeds are made by Joongkyo Hong - he used to sell reeds on ebay with Rigoutat or Chiarugi No.2 staples. I use his reeds and they're very consistent, nicely finished and require very little adjusting:

http://www.oboecane.net/index.php

Chris."

So which one of the many reeds on this site do you order and find useful? I already have to deal with extreme dryness and 2500 feet above sea level, but I can afford to try a few different wacky things to see how they turn out. Sea level reeds tend to be flat and resistant, difficult to fix.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-17 01:06

I bought the ones made on either Rigoutat No.2 or Chiarugi No.2 staples, but bought them off eBay which worked out at around £6 to £7 a reed when bought in quantities of ten. I found that out of ten reeds, only two were on the softish side, but that does mean an 80% success rate when it came to consistency.

Search either Chiarugi No.2 or Rigoutat No.2 on eBay and they should be listed.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-17 21:28

My post that contained direct ebay links was deleted; I didnt' know it was against policy. But the question, Chris, was whether you get this guy's Pro reed (which is sold singly, at the moment, on ebay) or the "lesser?" one which is sold in batches. Can't put the links in...but they are same seller. Just wanted to narrow down what you get that works for you. I'm just trying a bunch of stuff.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-17 21:50

I can only assume at the price I paid for them I have the student reeds. Even so, the quality and consistency is there - they appear to have come straight off the profiling machine and require very little work if anything at all. All I've done to most of them is rewrap the PTFE tape, soak and play them.

I honestly don't know what separates a student grade reed from a pro level reed - you can get excellent quality student reeds and duff pro level reeds (and vice versa), but so far these reeds have done me well for many years now.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-18 19:07

Thanks. So I looked up PTFE tape online, and can't figure out why someone would put tape on a reed. I've never seen any local people put either tape or wire on a reed; both are seen as "props" for sealing / holding open a reed that is a "failure" and should be thrown away. I realize this may be a regional attitude....somewhat like slipping or not slipping the blades. My teacher never slipped the blades unless the crow was flat and the reed was otherwise just fine.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-18 19:50

Goldbeaters skin* is traditionally used to wrap reeds with - PTFE tape (Teflon or plumbers' tape) being a more modern and much more user friendly alternative. It doesn't come undone when wet and sticks to itself.

I always use wired reeds as I can adjust the aperture with the wire - the PTFE tape also covers the wire so it won't cut into your lip.

* Goldbeaters skin is the same tissue-thin skin used for making skin pads (the so-called 'fish skin'), gut strings and also the same stuff as sausage skin which is the intestinal membrane from cattle.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-19 21:02

Thanks. There sure are regional differences in reed making!

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-22 18:29

Heinz Holliger is my all time favourite oboist.

If you like raw energy and full-on gutsy playing, then this is something to aim for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSQhhAiraxQ

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-22 23:34

That's great, and he is also my favorite player. This particular piece is an excellent example of what I'm talking about, where the intensity of what you usually can hear in the low register is carried on into the second octave, instead of sort of mushing out into the sound I usually hear, which may be "sweeter" in some ways but isn't the sound I would personally go for if I could figure out how to get there. This sounds like the same instrument being played all over, rather than one instrument down low and another up high.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-23 02:53

I have G P Telemann's Sechs Fantasien for Alto Recorder of which the 2nd is heard here. Yes. this is an excellent Oboe sound.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Jeltsin 
Date:   2017-07-23 12:41

I am also a fan of Heinz Holliger but if I an going to choose an oboe sound it will be the Marigaux sound heard at 10.42 - 10.58 in this creasy video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XjxbPH1WYs

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Scandinavian 
Date:   2017-07-23 16:02

Oh, that looks, and sounds, just like Johanna Nilsson! Great player;

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-07-23 22:53

Ray Still, late of the Chicago Symphony, had made comments on the brightness and thinness of Mr. Holliger's sound and these comments are probably here in some archive. No one can dispute his artistic playing but his sound is quite different from many American players.

There seems to be a little tendency to get orchestras up to 442 pitch from 440 standard. The reeds I make for 442 are narrower shape and certainly brighter than my 440 reeds which are normal for my community. Perhaps the raising of pitch levels contributes to the feeling that many oboe sounds are brighter than they were before.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-24 14:29

Ray Still definitely bashed Heinz Holliger multiple (many?) times. He did so publically on WFMT on his 90th birthday.



Post Edited (2017-07-24 14:30)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-25 00:17

wkleung wrote:

> Ray Still definitely bashed Heinz Holliger multiple (many?)
> times. He did so publically on WFMT on his 90th birthday.
>

>
> Post Edited (2017-07-24 14:30)

That isn't so surprising. Heinz Holliger seemed to almost look down on the American school of oboe in general in several interviews.

As an American-style player, I'm not saying that I dislike or don't respect Holliger, but I would understand why a major American oboist like Ray Still would criticize Holliger.

One such example:
https://www.idrs.org/publications/controlled/DR/DR6.1/holliger.html

-ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-25 03:26

Another oboist who I only discovered fairly recently is Burkhard Glaetzner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnQzgpz36UU

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:21

Are there Holliger students out there, or did he not leave that kind of legacy? Some don't like to teach, and others cannot teach their sound, or actually don't want to. I so enjoy hearing the entire oboe instead of half an oboe and half a flute-like instrument. (No, I'm not even *slightly* opinionated....ha. You ought to hear my opinions on a bunch of stuff! I've been told to write books on a couple of topics.....)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:32

There are many Holliger students, many of the top oboe players in Australia studied with him....I know Jiri Tancibudek (who was my teacher for a while) encouraged a lot of his most promising students in that direction. Peter Veale and Jeffrey Crellin are two outstanding examples.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:38

There have been many outstanding Holliger students. Just off the top of my head: Thomas Indermühle, Hans Elhorst, Louise Pellerin, Lucas Navarro.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2017-07-25 07:38

I've never heard an oboe sound like a flute.

Mike

Middle-Aged Amateur


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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-25 07:48

I studied violin for two years with Daniel Guilet when I was in college, and I can STILL hear his style, if not his sound (after all I own neither a Strad nor a Guarnari) in my playing.

Ok, more flute-like than oboe-like, in my ear. Less of Holliger's sound that is so distinctive to my ears. A simple matter of what I like and not what is right.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-25 10:38

If you listen to older recordings made by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande you'll definitely hear the influence of both Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue there.

You'll also hear some painful tuning between the various instrument sections and even between 1sts and 2nds in those sections!

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-25 11:18

Chris P wrote:

> If you listen to older recordings made by the Orchestre de la
> Suisse Romande you'll definitely hear the influence of both
> Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue there.
>
> You'll also hear some painful tuning between the various
> instrument sections and even between 1sts and 2nds in those
> sections!
>

Those recordings predates Holliger and Bourgue. I would say Holliger and Bourgue grew out of the old French/Swiss tradition.

The principal oboe in those old recordings was Roger Reversy, the long-serving principal oboe originally from France (or at least trained in France).

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-07-25 15:57

As did both Heinz Hiolliger and Maurice Bourgue, so they are more French than Swiss in their playing.

I wouldn't say they have a thin sound (referring to an earlier comment), more like a lot of overtones to their sound as the low notes they play are particularly resonant, but the high harmonics are there and strong which gives their sound that 'ping' as someone called it. Strident being another word - very assertive and far from the more reserved, apologetic sound I tend to find some American players I've heard.

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-25 19:38

Chris P wrote:

> As did both Heinz Hiolliger and Maurice Bourgue, so they are
> more French than Swiss in their playing.
>
> I wouldn't say they have a thin sound (referring to an earlier
> comment), more like a lot of overtones to their sound as the
> low notes they play are particularly resonant, but the high
> harmonics are there and strong which gives their sound that
> 'ping' as someone called it. Strident being another word - very
> assertive and far from the more reserved, apologetic sound I
> tend to find some American players I've heard.
>

I personally wouldn't agree with "apologetic". I think a more correct word would be more "controlled" and "restrained". Personally, I believe that restraint prevents music from being too sentimental and shallow; it prevents impulsive emotion or expression from swamping the phrasing. (not that Holliger or Bourgue are like this)

Take the oboe solo in the Tchaikovsky 4th symphony. Phrasing aggressively throughout to can make it sound hysterically mournful and somewhat sappy. In contrast, using restraint and careful calculation can make the solo sound like, in the words of John Mack, "rocking the baby to sleep, only the baby's dead".

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: wkleung 
Date:   2017-07-26 07:00

> Chris P wrote:
>
> > As did both Heinz Hiolliger and Maurice Bourgue, so they are
> > more French than Swiss in their playing.
> >
> > I wouldn't say they have a thin sound (referring to an
> earlier
> > comment), more like a lot of overtones to their sound as the
> > low notes they play are particularly resonant, but the high
> > harmonics are there and strong which gives their sound that
> > 'ping' as someone called it. Strident being another word -
> very
> > assertive and far from the more reserved, apologetic sound I
> > tend to find some American players I've heard.
> >
>
Chris, aren't you afraid of the mob boycotting your business, sending emails to your employer en masse to ask for your dismissal, using foul language to attack you and racially slurring you?

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-26 21:28

Ha, I laughed when I saw the word "apologetic." While I agree that one's choice of musicianship can have a lot of different results, Mr Holliger's tone has to be admitted to not be in any way "apologetic." And I find the upper register I hear most of the time on recordings, and in person, to tend that direction, agreeing with Chris that there is a bit of that to the character. And I bet most teachers would steer a student away from a totally in-your-face sound.
I also have been known to blow the bell off my horn, which is of a quality fully capable of drowning out an entire string section with good tone, much appreciated when I got to play the solos in Brahms #1 a year or so ago. You could HEAR it; the conductor was grinning (I usually play 4th due to dystonia but was allowed to attack the solos in a rehearsal upon request.) It is well known that courage is required to play the horn well....and I think Mr Holliger definitely has a courageous sound. I have yet to listen to the other guy who keeps being mentioned but will make a point of it.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-27 01:33

EaubeauHorn wrote:

> Ha, I laughed when I saw the word "apologetic." While I agree
> that one's choice of musicianship can have a lot of different
> results, Mr Holliger's tone has to be admitted to not be in any
> way "apologetic." And I find the upper register I hear most of
> the time on recordings, and in person, to tend that direction,
> agreeing with Chris that there is a bit of that to the
> character. And I bet most teachers would steer a student away
> from a totally in-your-face sound.
> I also have been known to blow the bell off my horn, which is
> of a quality fully capable of drowning out an entire string
> section with good tone, much appreciated when I got to play the
> solos in Brahms #1 a year or so ago. You could HEAR it; the
> conductor was grinning (I usually play 4th due to dystonia but
> was allowed to attack the solos in a rehearsal upon request.)
> It is well known that courage is required to play the horn
> well....and I think Mr Holliger definitely has a courageous
> sound. I have yet to listen to the other guy who keeps being
> mentioned but will make a point of it.

I definitely would agree that Holliger isn't "apologetic" at all. Holliger isn't an orchestral oboist, so he doesn't need to worry about tonal blend as much as an orchestral oboist would.

BTW, here are some clips of "other guy" (if you were talking about John Mack). He is definitely more restrained and controlled than what most European oboists would sound like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OINZNXaoI3U
(skip to 0:28 to hear him play)

-ckoboe



Post Edited (2017-07-27 01:36)

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2017-07-27 08:30

The John Mack excerpts are excellent--in some way, the extremely resonant room in which they were recorded may give him a bit of an advantage. But I don't see how you couldn't love the sound on the Scheherazade (playing starts at 3:00):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjgNOKAUKSg

Mike

Middle-Aged Amateur


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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-27 20:09

Yep! It's surreal! Resonant room or not, I bet he would have sounded great!

ckoboe

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: huboboe 
Date:   2017-07-30 02:19

I would submit that the level of 'buzz' in the sound is a function of the blend of high partials and low partials in the sound. Going back to the comments of regional sounds earlier in this thread, 50 years ago, when the various 'schools' of playing were better differentiated, the bright end was typified by the French and Eastern Europeans, with almost no lower partials. The Germans, on the other hand, had a sound with almost no upper partials, and it had a thick, almost muddy quality. The American sound was somewhere in the middle, with a balance of upper and lower partials. (Obviously I'm generalizing and there are wide differences in each group among individual players.)

The instrument makes some difference, since the makers build to accentuate the qualities of their major market, but reed styles contribute the most to those differences. The more thin tip you have, the brighter the sound. The more longer, thicker back you have, the darker the sound. The balance between the two determines the final result.

As an aside, Richard Woodhams is reputed to have sad that the American sound is best described as a bright central star surrounded by a halo of junk...

Robert Hubbard
WestwindDoubleReed.com
1-888-579-6020
bob@westwinddoublereed.com

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-08-05 20:40

Here's an example of a very British oboe sound - complete with all manner of vowel sounds on every note:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_v2-lPKP8g

Chris.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-08-05 23:11

The English sound is my favourite and I constantly try to emulate it.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Adorno 
Date:   2021-01-04 11:34

I agree wholeheartedly. The American long-scrape reed takes away so much of the potential warmth of the oboe, rendering what the Americans call a "dark" oboe sound, but in my honest opinion the quality is less "dark" than simply dull.
Tastes of course differ profoundly, but IMHO it just doesn't get any more beautiful than the heavenly tones produced by Celine Moinet and Francois Leleux. Both play European short-scrape reeds on Marigaux oboes. Americans use the long-scrape on predominately Loree horns. De gustibus est disputandem.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2021-01-15 03:01

All that said....I wonder where I could get Euro-scrape reeds to try and see what I think? It may be difficult though because I have never had a bought American scrape reed that worked in my climate (high and exceedingly dry.) The ones made here by pros work fine, but one even from "nearby" does not seem to work without major messing with it.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: Jeltsin 
Date:   2021-01-15 11:07

I also live where the climate is dry. Why not try a european scrape reed with long u-scrape? I think they are little like american scrape reeds. A cheep one is Howarth academy reed that you can find at Howarh.

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 Re: Euro vs American sound
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2021-09-06 23:14

Replying rather belatedly, but I didn't know Heinz Holliger was a Rigoutat artist. His sound, so far, is what I'd like to emulate. I guess I need his physical makeup, his level of achievement, and his reeds, and.....oh well.

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