Reply To: Wooden Keyless Tenor Impressions


Firstly, no problem at all as far as answering goes – I have had so much help from so many different forums over the years that it always feels good to put a bit back in. It’s all a bit subjective anyway – I have never tried a Küng Superio but I know a couple of people who absolutely love them.

Secondly, Wow! Your guitar sounds fantastic. And playing Bach on it too. (I have a recording of Julian Bream playing Bach that is exquisite.) If I could do that, I wouldn’t be bothering with a recorder at all. Sadly…

As far as the recorders go, yes, all the ones I mentioned are keyless. I own both the Yamaha and Aulos keyed tenors but I really do prefer keyless recorders, there is just something attractive about the simplicity of them. I used to own a Moeck Hotteterre, which was a lovely instrument, but in the end I decided I preferred not to have the keys.

I agree about the problem of trying things out, but for me it’s pretty much a permanent state of affairs. I live in a very small place in Ireland and to try out instruments from a big choice I’d really have to travel to, say, the Netherlands. Recorders are really difficult anyway because they can change so much as you play them in. I suppose I’m still looking for my perfect instrument. I tend to buy one, play it for a while, and then maybe sell it and try something else. I’ll always keep the “Cranmore” because I made it. I’ll probably always keep the Kobliczek too because I acquired it ridiculously cheaply so I feel it doesn’t owe me anything, and it’s unique in a way: it’s not a proper renaissance instrument, strictly it’s a transitional instrument, so it has the range of a baroque recorder but a stepped rather than a conical bore, and no double holes. I think it’s the only such instrument you can get for a reasonable price. It’s very light and seems to play for ages without getting clogged, so it does have some things going for it. I have owned 2 different Moeck renaissance instruments and I liked them both but their limited range is a problem.

Not sure why but I have never owned either a Moeck Rottenburg or Mollenhauer Denner. I probably should have tried them along the way. The Marsyas is interesting (well, to a geek!) because it was a fairly early example of a major manufacturer (Küng in this case) making an instrument designed by a craftsman but sold at something more like factory prices. Moeck and Mollenhauer both do that now of course. The Marsyas is also not particularly a copy of anything. I get a bit fed up sometimes with the whole “this is a copy of an original baroque instrument (except we have changed the pitch, the fingering, the bore, the length, and the materials)”. Still, shouldn’t start ranting this early in the morning 🙂

Anyway, likewise have a good New Year and stay well.