Bryan Cavitt wrote:
Taking nothing away from Signor Azzolini (you can't), if it isn't the instrument, then why do so many players seek 7000 series Heckels , prewar bocals, and the magical cane or reed design to get them to the top??
Because they THINK it will get them to the top.
I am lucky. I have tried many many different bassoons, including one 9000 Heckel. (or was it a 7000? I don't remember) A bassoon can change your sound, but it will change YOUR sound, not make you sound like someone else. I have a Takeda bassoon. I think it has a wonderful sound, and I have received enough compliments (from people other than my family, that is) that lead me to believe that it's true. In that past three years, I have tried Adlers, Bells, Foxes, Heckels, Moennigs, Moosmanns, Puchners, Schreibers, Takedas, Walters, Wolfs, and quite a few more that I have forgotten. I find that with all of them, I sound like me. My teacher has an exceptional bassoon. Once I was having a lesson at her place when she put her Heckel down to go and do something in the kitchen. Here was an opportunity! Far be it from me to pass up the chance to try a good bassoon, so I put mine down, grabbed hers and started playing the same passage. She called over, "Your G is sharp!" It was. I fired back, "I'm playing your bassoon!" She wandered back and listened at the door, then went back to the kitchen to finish what she was doing. It showed us both two things. First of all, she was not able to tell which bassoon I was playing, a Heckel or a Takeda. Secondly, the tendencies that I have on the Takeda, I also have on the Heckel. (However I must add that these two bassoons sound and feel surprisingly similar to each other.)
In the end, you (or your child) will develop a sound that is yours, and it is based on how your body, your embouchure, and your airstream interacts with your reed, your bocal, and finally, the bassoon. As a result, it is impossible for me to sound like Sergio Azzolini, because I am Dean Williams and I sound like Dean Williams, and Dean Williams has a different body than does Sergio Azzolini. If I buy a 9000 Heckel, there are some things that will sound better, there may well be some notes that are better in tune, but in the end I will sound like Dean Williams playing a 9000 series Heckel. So, it will sound pretty good, but probably not quite as good as Sergio Azzolini playing a 9000 series Heckel. Such is life... But will it give me an advantage over others who may be auditioning for the same job? Personally, I have always thought that any advantage gained from any particular bassoon is mostly psychological. However, in that rarefied world, any advantage, even psychological ones, are important.
To me, the important thing is to find a bassoon with which you are comfortable. A local bassoonist here in Montreal recently traded in his Heckel for a Bell bassoon because in his words, he finds that he does not have to work as hard with the Bell. So every time he goes to work, he has the advantage of knowing that his job is easier than it was before. Quite an advantage, isn't it?
Last edited by Dean (2013-06-15 06:13:00)
Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!