Polisi Bassoon

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    Michael A. Maxwell

    Polisi Bassoon

    This bassoon is a Polisi Artist model bassoon. Its serial number is 520. There are three models of Polisi bassoons. The lowest grade model is the Polisi Standard. The mid-level Polisi bassoon is the Concert Model. The highest grade model of Polisi bassoon is the Artist. Model. William Polisi contracted first with the Kohlert bassoon company in East Germany to manufacture the parts of his bassoons and then had them shipped to New York City to have assembled. The reasons I have heard that he did this was the import taxes were cheaper on a instrument shipped to the United States if it was shipped in parts and not a complete instrument. The other reason that he had them shipped to the United States was that he wanted add some of his improvements to the instrument. He had a few patents on improvements to bassoons. In the mid-1960s Kohert bassoon went bankrupt and Polisi had his bassoon parts manufactured by the Schreiber bassoon company. It has been said that the lower the Artist bassoon serial number the better the quality of an instrument. That means this instrument was most probably manufactured by the Kohlert bassoon company.

    This bassoon was purchased by one of my students Lindsey Joiner now Lindsey McCoy (married name) in 2001. She had it repadded and serviced by Peter Landy in New York City. Lindsey and her father Dan Joiner flew to Boston Mass. and met Michele Ruel at the airport to purchase the bassoon. Michele Ruel’s parents Joseph and Julia Kriselewicz purchased the bassoon for Michele around the year 1960. It was probably purchased from a music store in Belleville NJ. Michele’s private teacher during her high school years was Rodney Ruth. Rodney Ruth served in the Air Force and played clarinet and bassoon in the Air Force band in Japan. We he returned to the United States after WWII he studied bassoon at the Manattan School of Music in New York city. Rodeny teacher at the Manatther School of Music was Eli Carmen. Rodney played on a pre WWII Heckel serial number 6084. He purchase his Heckel bassoon from the Manies Music store in New York City around 1960.They brought it back to Fayetteville, Georgia. Michael Maxwell, her teacher, advised that it be serviced by Peter Landy in New York City. They were able to fly both to Boston and New York because Mrs. Lindsey worked for Delta Airlines and had free fight privileges.

    Lindsey played this instrument during her high school years but when she graduated high school she stopped playing. She did play one time during her college years at her brother wedding. Lindsey attended Middle Ga. College and then the University of Georgia becomes a pharmist. This bassoon sat in a closet at her parent house until Michael Maxwell contacted Dan Joiner, her father to see if they would sell the instrument.

    A price was agreed upon and Andre Rhone purchased this bassoon in 2017. Andrew attended Jacksonville State University and began as a music major. His private teacher at Jacksonville State University was Eryn Oft.

    Does anyone else have more information about Polisi Bassoons

    James Hohlfeld

    I own a Polisi Artist model bassoon, serial number 525, labeled “Made in Germany”. In 2017, I bought it from a studio musician/arranger/conductor in Hollywood.

    I sent it to Keith Bowen in Seattle for repairs and installation of a left-hand whisper-key lock. More recently it has been thoroughly worked over by Angela Wells, The Reedery, Lakewood, CA.

    It is the only bassoon that I have ever seen that has a shiny black finish, and that “freaked me out a little” when I first started playing on it. Once I experienced how good the sound was, and how well in tune the instrument is (with a couple exceptions)…I got over it!

    I upgraded it with a Leitzinger bocal, and I am currently seeking a Heckel bocal to give me more choices in the sound I produce.

    This bassoon has the Polisi improvements — the plateau key with small hole (to vent G) for 1st finger left hand; the low E mute on the lowest B key-lever (Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6, Mvt. I); additional left-thumb lever for low C#; right-thumb lever for low Ab-Bb trill, and perhaps some others I have forgotten.

    I am eager to learn more about Polisi, and his ideas, and specifically about the how, where, when and why that pertains to my own instrument.

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