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Yamaha Made Me Better

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.


  1. Wasn't you who returned to Lorée?
    Say, is Carlos Coelho the guy who makes shapers?

  2. That was me - but now I have changed my mind. I'm complicated like that.

    Yes, Carlos is a super-duper oboe repair specialist and also makes shapers for oboe and EH. I haven't tried them, though.

  3. The last Yamaha I tried (called "custom", back then) was in the mid 1990's. Back then, it was an even tradeoff between the pros and cons of it versus Loree.

    Loree had better sound (better mechanics!), but the Yamaha had more dependable tonal focus: that is, notes could be in the wrong place, but the pitch center was predictable..... compared to the infamous Loree unstable notes.

    Today... no idea! Today I pine for a Marigaux, Moenning or Dupin! (I'm on the list for a Laubin Rosewood)

  4. My favorite instruments at the last convention were Bulgheronis and Josefs, and I'm saving my pennies.


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