Topic: Lesher and Selmer bassoon query
I would appreciate if anyone could tell me something of the history of the Lesher Woodwind Company. I am particularly interested in their bassoons. I would like to know what the quality is like. They are fairly rare here in the UK and I have yet to come across one in good playable condition that I can give a fair play test. I expect there are a lot more of them in the USA.
I understand they were bought by Selmer in 1968, according to this website:
I quote from the above website: "In 1968 Selmer bought the Lesher Woodwind Company, a manufacturer of oboes and bassoons. Lesher had been making instruments for Selmer and putting the Selmer trademark on them. After the buyout Selmer dropped the Lesher trademark and used Lesher's tooling."
Does this mean that no Lesher bassoons were made (or at least stamped as Lesher) after 1968?
I understand that Selmer German system bassoons don't have a great reputation with a number of people. However, I have an (elderly) acquaintance who played professionally on an old Selmer Bundy bassoon for his entire professional career as a bassoonist (this is going back some decades), including playing it on the sound track to the original 1968 Oliver Twist film. It can't have been that bad a bassoon - in fact he assured me it is a great bassoon, and he has played it across Europe sitting next to some quite well-known bassoonists. I tried to give it a play but unfortunately it had ancient pads leaking so badly that I could barely get a note out of it.
I suspect that, as a lot of these instruments are sold into schools, they do not get treated too well, and they do not get maintained regularly and to a high enough standard. Much of the negative feedback people give about them may be due to them not playing properly as a result. I am theorising here.
I would like to know what these bassoons are like when in good playing condition and thus given a fair play test.
I am interested in all bassoons and their history, but for me Lesher and Selmer have slipped through the net somewhat. Any extra information on the history of these companies, and on the quality of their bassoons, would be appreciated.