Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Savary bassoon
The Savary Bassoon refers to instruments made by the Parisian maker Jean-Nicolas Savary. His dates are 1768-1853, so I guess these would count as classical or early romantic instruments, coming just before the changes of Heckel and Almenrader. The photo above shows an x-ray of the wing joint of one of the remaining examples. I love this image: you can see the long tone holes that give the bassoon its unique sound, as well as the subtle changes in the taper of the main bore that the maker used to balance various characteristics.
There's been a recent effort to reconstruct one of these instruments, documented in the video below. I'm not a big fan of calling anything the "Stradavarius of X", unless X is a violin, but the instrument has a gorgeous sound, quite different from the modern bassoon.