Opus 47 - Baroque Oboe in C

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The Trio Sonata

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    While double-reed instruments have existed for a long time, the direct ancestor of the modern oboe originated in the seventeenth century. The baroque oboe appears to have been developed in France by instrument makers in the Hotteterre family, who introduced it to the court of Louis XIV in 1657. The new instrument produced the same volume as the ancient chalumeau but was also capable of soft tones. It quickly gained favour throughout Europe and became one of the most expressive instruments in the orchestra. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the oboe gradually underwent changes, such as the addition of a key mechanism, which led to the modern oboe.

      Baroque Oboe in C - CMC 91-420.1-4 Baroque Oboe in C
    In the manner of Johann Christoph Denner
    By Martin Léveillé and Jean-Luc Boudreau
    Montreal, Quebec
    Boxwood, brass
    57 cm
    Die-stamped: "Boudreau Léveillé Montreal"

    This oboe is based on an instrument by Johann Christoph Denner that is preserved in Nuremberg, Germany. The Denners were renowned wind-instrument makers in that city. Four such oboes are still existant. This instrument in C has three brass keys and is tuned to A=415. To produce a sharp note, the musician simply covers one of the double holes and leaves the other open. Nitric acid was used to produce the instrument's colour.


    Martin Léveillé

    A graduate in oboe and chamber music from the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Martin Léveillé specializes in repairing and making wind instruments. Thanks to grants from the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec and the Canada Council, in 1983 he undertook a two-year practicum in the workshops of Jean Mignot in Paris, where he learned to make modern oboes under Michel Viger and Gérard Mignot. In 1986, he continued his studies in Utrecht, Holland, where he made baroque oboes under Toshi Masegawa. He also trained under Guy Dupin in Zurich, focusing this time on the repair of modern oboes. Since his return to Montreal, in addition to repairing modern oboes, he has crafted ten baroque oboes. He works closely with a number of luthiers and other instrument makers to design and produce instrument parts and specialized tools for making stringed instruments. Since 1991, Martin Léveillé has collaborated with Jean-Luc Boudreau to make baroque oboes.