I play on a 5500 series Heckel. My bassoon was ordered on 1 September 1918 and shipped to the California coast in May 1919. I purchased the instrument in 1997 and am the fourth owner. All of the key work is original with the addition of high D, E-flat, and E keys. The key work and wood make my instrument noticeably lighter than a new instrument. The entire boot joint is unlined which may contribute to the full, rich, velvet sound. My instrument is in excellent condition and I feel lucky to own it!
I have tried and used many bocals on the instrument. Currently I use four bocals for different situations. All of my current bocals have a “straight” or “English” bend.
- Heckel CD 1 silver-plated – great all-around bocal for orchestral playing, pitched at A441
- Heckel CC 2 silver-plated – great all-around bocal for orchestral playing, pitched at A440
- Heckel CD 1 gold-plated – fantastic for continuo or small ensemble playing
- Yamaha Super Bocal – for crazy high parts
I always laughed at people who named their instruments. But if you spend enough time alone in a room with an inanimate object, it is really just a matter of time before you start talking to it….and a bit longer before it starts talking back! After many years and conversations, my bassoon now has a name; I lovingly call her “Princess Bitch.” She usually goes by her first name!