The Yamaha oboe has made me better. No doubt everyone is tired of hearing me rhapsodize about this instrument, but it's revolutionized my approach. I can just play, and if I do my job right it does its job too. Believing that my oboe will work every time makes me relax. I have always feared low attacks, but with this instrument, my new reed style, and my new articulation technique I don't any more.
The exciting revelation, though, came very recently. My Yamaha cracked while I was playing 3rd oboe and English horn in Milwaukee several weeks ago. I quickly sent it down to Carlos Coelho, who pinned it, sealed it, and put inserts in the tone holes. I got it back as good as new, and played it for several more concerts, including Extase this past weekend. When I pulled it out Monday morning, the pre-existing crack had opened wide and a large new one had materialized. My pretty oboe is on a truck now, on its way to service.
So now I am in Milwaukee again, playing second oboe on my Loree. And it's fine! I can play low oboe just as well on this oboe as I could on the other, and it works. Something about my newer, calmer, more confident approach to that register has actually proved to be the whole answer. Clearly I needed the crutch of the Yamaha to teach me how to produce reliable low notes, but having learned the skill I can transfer it back, with good success.
I can't wait to get my fun oboe back, but I'm confident and happy with my older instrument now, too. If I have to play on my Loree for a few weeks I am fine - now that the Yamaha has made me better.