Friday, 6 September 2013

Sounds from Kevin Rietmann's Collection

The following was sent to me from Kevin. It's nice to hear a range of piccolos from different countries. Earlier on I posted photos of Kevin's collection. It's nice to hear them as well.

Hi Patrick,

Here's a recording of some of my squeaky little guys: Feel free to post this link and my observations on your blog. Not all are in the best of operating order and I just flew into whatever tune popped into my head and don't play flutes much any more either so there's your heap of caveats. 

I announce each before playing it, here's the list in order of appearance:

George Cloos 
V Koelhert & Sons
Boosey & Co
D Noblet
HF Meyer

The Koelhert, IMPROVED, and Boosey are working well. I gave my better Cloos picc (I have/had two) to a very talented young local fluter with the promise of payment in the future, he'll do great things with it I'm sure. The Cloos on the recording has its head entirely jacked in metal, I was always struggling to plug up all the leaks, not always with success. The NACH and HF Meyer are tricky to play without bumping into their keys and squeaking, the Noblet just isn't padded correctly, it's the one with keywork to cover the fingerholes. I suspect its intonation is a bit diabolical anyway, though. I'd like to have a good French picc, my Martin Freres 8 key flute is by far the easiest transverse flute I've ever played - including Olwell, Grinter, Gemeindhart, etc. Those were all great players but the Freres just speaks without any effort whatsoever. A picc like that would be grand. 

The recording's of interest to hear the wide spectrum of tone makers from different nations had in mind, the English flutes as you'd expect have larger holes and a reedier sound, the German style ones (including the Cloos) have smaller bores and holes and a sweeter or darker sound. The very low pitch Kohlert has a surprisingly dirty tone, though. The NACH MEYER has by far the thickest body and sweetest sound. Different piccs have varying degrees of noise in the blowing, too. The English ones are a lot louder, as you'd expect. Most play close to A=440. It's harder to find full size flutes made outside of England or France that are in pitch, but I seemed to have better luck with the piccolos, it seems.

All the best,

Thanks to KR

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