The contrabassoon as we know it today is nearly the same design first developed by Heckel in the mid 19th century. It was a short design process too, done at the request of Wagner for his immediate needs.
What would happen if you were to take the concept of a modern bassoon, and modern acoustical research and technology, and re-design from the ground up a new contrabassoon? The goal would be to solve acoustical problems of inconsistency in intonation and tone color, put the tone holes all facing in the same direction (towards the audience) and point the bell up for the best possible projection, modernize the keywork design with ergonomics in mind, and make the range to low A a standard. The result is the Contraforte, the new instrument designed and coproduced by Guntram Wolf and Benedikt Eppelsheim (the designer of world renowned saxophones like the Tubax and the Sopraillo).
- Compact design
- Very comfortable and ergonomic keywork
- Properly located register keys allowing for 4+ octaves of playable range with simple fingerings
- Highest quality German materials and craftsmanship
Midwest Musical Imports is proud to be the first dealer in the United States to offer this instrument to American bassoonists.
Lewis Lipnick of the National Symphony Orchestra is now advocating for the instrument, and no longer plays a traditional contrabassoon. He recently performed the Aho concerto for contrabassoon (it was written for him) in Helsinki, Finland, and gave an interview demonstrating and talking about the instrument.