OT: CHAT/OT: Heckelphones (was: English horn and such)
|From:||Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, April 25, 2002, 9:24|
--- Danny Wier wrote:
> Now an instrument that I'd LOVE to use in my compositions is a Heckelphone,
> which is one octave lower than an oboe or one octave higher than a bassoon,
> and has a dark rich sound more like the latter. As far as I know the Heckel
> company of Germany is the only country that makes a double-reed in this
> range. The instrument has a bocal that's bent even more (now about 45 to 60
> degrees), as well as a rubber foot peg anchored inside the bell, which like
> the English horn, is bulb-shaped. I've heard short samples of a Heckelphone
> and the sound is really something else, and makes me think of a more
> "baroque"-sounding tenor saxophone.
I didn't even know you're a composer! Let's shake hands by mail!
I can tell you a few things about the Heckelphone:
First of all, I agree with you, that it is a VERY interesting and VERY beautiful
It is not the only member of the oboe family in this range. The Heckelphone is
actually a modification of the baritone oboe. They share the same range and only
look different: the baritone oboe looks like a longer version of the alto oboe,
while the bocal at the end of the Heckelphone is almost round. It is said, that
the Heckelphone is slightly louder than the baritone oboe, but I have never been
able to hear the difference (I tried, believe me).
The problem with both Heckelphones and baritone oboes is, that there are very
little instruments available (I once heard, that in Holland there are only six
Heckelphones), and as a result, very little players. For that reason, it is rarely
used by composers, as well. Besides, it can easily be substituted by the bassoon,
who fits perfectly within a double-reed quartet.
For further listening I recommend:
- Hindemith's Trio for Heckelphone, Viola and Piano.
- Dipl'ereoo, a work by a Dutch composer, Cornelis de Bondt, IIRC for choir, two
celli, two double-basses, two Heckelphones, two bass clarinets, and something
more I can't remember right now. I performed it once with my choir; it is an
amazing pieces. It shows the abilities of the Heckelphone; in our case, one
part was performed by a Heckelphone, the other by a baritone oboe.
- Richard Strauss used it sometimes in the orchestra (Salome and Elektra, I think).
- There are a few pieces for oboe ensemble (including baritone/Heckelphone), but
they are not very interesting, I think.
Heckelphone in Hattic would be "hekelfon". Surprised?
"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought,
wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that
happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great
comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." --- J.
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