This is the first of the major league recorders that I have bought. There are a few manufacturers of top notch wooden recorders, most notably: Hermann Moeck, Conrad Mollenhauer, Thomas Fehr and Yamaha. I had heard that a good starting point would be the Moeck Rottenburgh Alto. This is an instrument originally made by Jean Hyacinth Joseph Rottenburgh (1675-1759) on display in the Hofburg Museum in Vienna. Moeck have produced an exact replica of this fine instrument in many different types of wood. The price of this recorder depends on the type of wood you want it to be made of. The cheapest are the hard European fruitwoods; maplewood, pearwood, European boxwood etc. The more expensive ones are bubinga, Indian boxwood, ebony, olivewood, grenadilla, rosewood etc. I have one made of maplewood and it cost me £245 from Cantabile Music via ebay. You can pay over £500 for the more exotic woods. A very attractive aspect of this instrument, was the beautiful presentation box that it arrived in, not many recorders have a hard case to store and carry them in (I have a Mollenhauer and a Fehr, both in cloth pouches). It had a two-year guarantee, a cleaning brush, cork grease, fingering chart and certificate of authenticity. The instrument itself is a classic 'baroque' recorder - three piece, with ornate turning on the head and foot joints with the brand name 'Moeck' stamped on the head, just under the labium. This recorder also has the distinctive curved windway - the wind canal is crescent shaped as opposed to horizontal. This makes for a better distribution of air over the labium, giving a broader sound distribution. It is very comfortable to hold and the craftmanship is breathtaking! It is without doubt, the finest recorder that I have beheld - bar none. The range and tone match the craftmanship; this instrument is without parallel as far as I'm concerned. I can coax more than two-and-a-half octaves out of it without effort. The low register is strong yet sweet, and the upper register is effortless and piercing with colourful overtones, perfect for solo work as well as consort playing. I call it 'the all-rounder' because it's exactly that. Make this your first major league instrument - or your next one! 10/10.
Moeck Rottenburgh Alto Recorder
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26 November 2012
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