From hand-horn expert Lowell Greer, this Baroque horn and crook set is a great addition to any horn player or collector. To quote Mr. Greer from his website:
"The horns made by John Christopher Hoffmaster are among the most important instrumental examples available. They are abundant, they follow the Teutonic precepts (it is presumed that Hoffmaster was an imigrant who followed G F Handel to London, and that his original name was likely Johann Christopf Hoffmeister), and, as crookable horns, they are the most economical model to duplicate, eliminating the need for expensive duplications of fixed pitch horns in different keys.
The bell profile is ample by Baroque standards, with a narrow and slowly tapered master crook (G is standard, and C alto is available). Couplers fit between the master crook and the corpus, singly or in pairs, to cover all the usual keys of baroque music. Singly, they offer, F, E, Eb, and D. Used in pairs, D, C, Bb basso can be obtained. Bell diameter is 10 inches, and bore is .439 inches. Tuning of these horns was, originally, carried out by adding "tuning bits" or spacers between the mouthpiece and the master crook; these were less-than-convenient, and introduced the possibility of "wobble" to the crook stack. We've added a tuning device to the master crook, which allows tuning without complications. These horns are available with or without garland, and with optional silver trim, as pictured above. The bell interiors are enamelled black, or a rusty red, upon request.
It is thought (see Fitzpatrick's book), and indeed very likely, that the reknown Mr Winch (Herr Wuenschermann?) played a Hoffmaster horn in Handel's operas produced in London. This model of horn continued in production by various makers until about 1850, when the machinehorn arrived. Mr Cornelius Bryant played this same design, but made by another, later, builder, in the Covent Garden orchestra; at least his horn is so engraved.
Some consider the Hoffmaster model to be the ideal natural horn for those desiring to own a single historic instrument, as this horn and variants of it were in unbroken use in England for about 150 years, from 1700 to 1850. This would validate its use on all horn repertoire for valveless instruments."
In addition to the many couplers, the horn also comes with a D crook for J.S. Bach's "Mass in b minor" that was made by Rick Seraphinoff. The horn and all parts are made of unlacquered yellow brass.
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