Many apologies for the lateness of return rates at the moment. Have been very busy and am currently trying to get into a new routine that has a lot more work involved than before. I'll try to rate back asap.
Members who trust:7
Rare and Beautiful
Easy to play once learnt, well worth the price paid
How well constructed is it?
Quality of sound
Value for money
Range of tonesquite rich
Quality of intonationgood
How easy is it to buy accessories?hard
Recommended forall levels
I brought itnew
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The bassoon is a very rare and beautiful instrument, in both senses of the word. It sounds very beautiful and looks equally so (although I’m afraid I will be biased as I am a grade 4 bassoonist in 3 music groups).
Where you may have heard the bassoon before
If you are wondering what the bassoon sounds like, then you will have heard it if you have ever watched the Sorcerer's Apprentice (with Mickey Mouse); it is the instrument with the main tune for a great deal of it with the orchestra coming in gradually afterwards.
The bassoon was developed in the early 18th century although it only appeared in its modern form in the 19th century when it began to be in great demand as it still is today due to the fact that it is a very rare instrument as I have already mentioned. It is a double-reeded woodwind instrument (like the oboe), is part of the bass section and comes next to lowest wind instrument to the contrabassoon which is a double bassoon. It ranges from the bass through the tenor and to the treble clefs.
Oscar Adler and Co.
Oscar Adler and Co. date back to the 19th Century (1885 to be exact) and before the communist period in Germany were rivals with Gebrüder Mönnig, another German company making and selling instruments in the 19th Century. However, during the communist period the two rivals were compelled to join forces and are now one big company “Gebrüder Mönnig - Oscar Adler & Co. Holzblasinstrumentenbau GmbH Markneukirchen” translating as “Mönnig Brothers - Oscar Adler & Co. Woodwind Building GmbH, Markneukirchen” (GmbH is a type of legality meaning literally company with limited liability).
I have been playing bassoon for over 2 years now (I started to play in December 2009 after being badgered by my music teacher). I hire it from the local music service that I am involved with for £26 a year which isn’t bad really considering the fact that it is a very rare and big instrument.
I haven’t played this bassoon make straight from being a brand new beginner as I had a normal sized one for the first couple of weeks, before being told by my bassoon teacher that my hands were too small so had to swap to a short reach one instead which has done me very well, and I can't actually remember which make it was but I'm guessing that it was an Adler too.
It has seen me through all three of my grade exams that I have done, the most recent being last December (I am a grade 4 bassoonist but skipped grade 3).
When I first started to play, I found that it was a pretty daunting and difficult instrument to play but as I have progressed that feeling has gradually gone away and it is now pretty easy to play (although learning new notes in the tenor clef and actually reading tenor clef are still proving quite difficult as I’m only just learning tenor clef)! Also, when I was still beginning to play, it was difficult to get my thumbs on the correct keys on the back of the instrument.
Like all bassoons (as I have been reliably informed multiple times by my teacher), the G sharp/A flat doesn’t ‘sound’ very well on it as you can sometimes hear the lower octave as well as the correct one if you’re not careful, so you have to learn by experience how best to play it lipwise in your opinion. Sometimes higher E flat/D sharp can also be similar.
There are two types of this bassoon: the 1356 and the 1356D which has a high D key added, and depending on whether you want a bassoon with the added high D key fitted or not, and depending on which website or shop you go to will determine the price that you pay for your bassoon.
If you want the D key it will range from somewhere between £3,850 and £4,000 excluding VAT and between £4,620 and £4,800 including VAT. Whereas if you don’t want the D key you are looking at somewhere between £3,725.94 and £3,750 excluding VAT and between £4,410 and £4,500 including VAT. This is a very good price considering the fact that most bassoons are a lot more expensive than this (some can be over £20,000)!
According to the Oscar Adler & Co. Website, the 1356 is 4,193.28 € excluding VAT (£3,491.39) and is 4990 € including VAT (£4,155.30). Whereas the 1356D is 4,462.18 € excluding VAT (£3, 715.77) and is 5310 € including VAT (£4,421.78).
I personally use the one with the added D key (although I don’t actually use it but it’s there for me to use if I did ever want to). I don’t actually know the exact price that was paid for mine, although the one on http://www.howarth.uk.com/bassoons.html that matches the description of my bassoon exactly (22 key with added high D key) is £4,800 including VAT and that is the one that I am planning on buying eventually so I had to write that down for the price. Also, I have written that it was bought from new because I have been told that it was new when bought and I have been the only one that has ever used it.
Length/height-4 feet 4 inches (1 m 32cm)
Width (widest part)-3 inches (7.5cm)
Width (narrowest part)-1 3/4 inches (4.5cm)
Availability of Accessories
You may want to buy accessories for your bassoon such as cork grease or new reeds, but as it is a rare instrument, it is quite difficult to get accessories, unless you have a woodwind shop near you or a very good music shop. However, you could probably order some accessories off of Amazon.
I would recommend playing the bassoon and would recommend this one for anyone from beginner to professional!
Pictures of Adler 1356 Short Reach Bassoon
My bassoon Belle in her case (musicians often name their instruments, it's a musician thing)