J.-J. Tortochot

Not a lot is known about Jean-Jaques Tortochot. He is listed at the address of “Rue de four, fauxbourg S. Germain”in the 1782 Almanach Musicale, as well as in the 1785 Tablet renomée as one of Paris’ woodwind makers. He is survived by a handful of instruments including three flutes and two clarinets.

The idea behind this unusual model was to make a French classical flute. French flutists like Devienne and Delusse had a distinct virtuosic style that was highly influential and was passed on through their students and followers well into the nineteenth century. The type of instruments that they played, made by Delusse, Prudent or Tortochot, went hand in hand with this style. They needed to be agile, elegant, yet quick to respond in order to allow the musical gymnastics performed by these virtuosos.
The embouchures tend to be fairly small and quite oval, which gives these French flutes a very sweet sound, and unparalleled flexibility.

I was lucky enough to have access to all three surviving Tortochot originals, two in private collections in Montréal and one in New Jersey. My model is based on the original in New Jersey.

This model is available at A=415 in ebony, grenadille, lignum vitae and other exotic woods, as well as in boxwood.