H. Grenser

My Heinrich Grenser model is based on an original in the Stockholm Musikmuseet. It is a perfectly preserved instrument in almost “new” condition, in its original box. It is made of flamed boxwood with three corp de rechanges marked “1”,”2” and “3” (for pitches A=428, 430 and 435Hz) and brass keys.

The instrument dates from about 1810 at the height of Heinrich Grenser’s career, when he was appointed official court maker, and employed about four or five journymen in his shop. The shop’s inventory, made after his death in 1813 lists seven (!) lathes, 120 turning chisels, and reamers for making flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and even serpents.
The shop must have had a considerable manufacturing capability. My humble shop with its two lathes and one part-time “journyman” is much smaller in comparison. All this attests to the Grenser workshop’s extreme popularity and success at the time. Even today a Grenser copy is the “go to” instrument for classical and early romantic music, especially for German repertoire.

I offer this model in three different key configurations: A full eight key flute (C, Bb, G#, Fx2, Eb, low C# and C) based on the Stockholm original, a four-key (Bb, G#, F, Eb)or a one-keyed version, based on several other originals in private collections. Available in boxwood with brass keys, or ebony with silver keys at A=428, 430, 435 and 440Hz.

S. Koch

The Romantic flute that I make is the result of a one year research project undertaken in 2000-2001. During this year I examined and measured a great number of flutes made by the workshop of the Viennese maker Stephan Koch (1772-1828) and was able to both learn about their special playing characteristics and establish guidelines for dating them. Stephan Koch was the most important woodwind instrument maker in Vienna at the turn of the nineteenth-century and made czakans, flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons. Koch's instruments were very progressive for his time and he is best known for the improvements that he made to the flute and oboe. Establishing his workshop around 1807, Koch undertook a new approach to flute making. As opposed to the earlier generation of flute makers such as Grenser and Kirst, who added keys to the basic one-keyed flute model, Koch flutes were re-designed for extensive keys usage. His concept of sound was also different: he aimed for a brighter, louder sound that would carry well in bigger halls and with symphonic orchestras. His flutes were designed to produce a full, equal tone in all keys and throughout the instrument's three octaves.
This was achieved, in part, by the addition of a metal-lined headjoint and a tuning slide, as well as by an angled e-hole, which improved the volume and response of the e by allowing the player to play the e with the eb key open, as is done on the modern flute. His model was later copied by many flute makers, Viennese, German and Italian, and he is considered the father of the Viennese school of flute-making. Koch was reputed to be one of the best makers of his time, and his instruments are recommended in treatises of the period by A.B. F?rstenau and George Bayr, the Viennese flute virtuoso. My Koch model is available in two versions: an 1815 model in four parts, and an 1825 one in three parts. Both are based on several originals from various European collections. Keys are for C, Bb, G#, F (long and short), Eb, and low C#, C and B. They are pitched between A=430Hz and A=440Hz, with the optimal pitch being somewhere in the middle, around A=435HZ. It is the ideal instrument for playing Beethoven and Schubert symphonies as well as chamber music of the time. It is available in boxwood and in ebony.

The recommended fingerings for this model are the ones found in Viennese and German methods of the 1820s: Fürstenau, Bayr, and Fahrbach.

T. Boehm

Theobald Boehm is well-known as the inventor of the modern flute. However, it is less known that he has been playing and producing simple system flutes of his invention throughout the first part of his career. He established a workshop in Munich in 1828, where flutes of his design where made by him and his foreman, Rudolph Greve. Boehm knew and studied flutes by the best makers of the time; French, English, Viennese and German, but has come up with his own design, using the best features of all these flutes. In a famous letter to the king Ludwig I of Bavaria, Boehm describes the following qualities of his new model: Purity of intonation, evenness of tone, facility of operation, speaks well throughout its range from the highest to the lowest notes, beautiful and elegant profile and thoroughly neat and solid workmanship.
There is no doubt that flutes from Boehm's workshop show these qualities. The workmanship is exquisite, the design is simple and elegant and the flutes have a lovely singing voice throughout their entire range. Between the years 1828 and 1846 Boehm's workshop (later Boehm & Greve) continue to produce a range of flutes; block- or pillar-mounted simple system flutes, alongside his 1832 ring-key conical bore flutes. Interestingly enough, the simple system flutes continued to be popular far after the introduction of the ring key model. This is possibly because players were very familiar with the key system and the flutes cost about a quarter of the price of the newer model.

The flute I make is based on an original in the New York Metropolitan Museum. It is a very early flute by Boehm, stamped “TH. BOEHM/MUNCHEN”. Based on the stamp, we can date this flute to ca.1828. The original is block mounted; with one pillar mounted Bb lever that could be a later addition by Boehm. The original is pitched a little higher than A=440, and with a tuning slide (based on other originals by Boehm) this flute works well for A=435-442. The original is made in ebony with silver keys.