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
such as the addition of a key mechanism, which led to the modern oboe.
Baroque Oboe in C
In the manner of Johann Christoph Denner
Martin Léveillé and
Die-stamped: "Boudreau Léveillé
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.
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.