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A lovely free-blowing single F rotary-valved horn made in Graslitz/ Kraslice by one of the most notable of the various historic Central European brass makers.

  It has a bell diameter of 31.5 cm, a medium-large bell throat, and a broad (2.8 cm) nickel-silver garland (‘kranz’) whose properties and functions are still the subject of much discussion on various online bulletin boards.  The often-cited 'received wisdom' is that the garland prevents ‘brassiness’ and is therefore desirable, but the opposing view is that it cuts out many of the higher harmonics, those very ones that give a horn its uniquely ‘projecting’ tonal characteristic in comparison with other brass instruments.

    I have very much enjoyed playing this pre-WW2  (very probably) horn.  It could be used with impunity in any ‘authentic’ performance of the 19th / early 20th Romantic repertoire, since it is basically the same, in its design and its broad sound, as many single F rotary horns made from the mid-1800s until the mid-1900s.  Its very long main tuning slide easily achieves the lower pitches of A 438 down to A 435; it can just about manage A 430;  but. with the tuning slide so far out, some of the high notes become quite slippery; therefore, in that context, its use should be confined to the lower horn parts.

On first testing the horn, it seemed to have a very narrow slot’ for the top-space ‘G’ (12TH harmonic of the F horn).  However, by using the Engelbert Schmid ‘middle of the bell’ right hand position, this G becomes a very well centered note.



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