sliced wrong – or maybe right finally

16 02 2009

baloneyI play on a Marigaux oboe.  It is not what most American oboists prefer, but I discovered them back in the mid 1980s, and now play on my second of these wonderful instruments.  Oboes haven’t changed much in about 100 years.  The changes to the instrument’s slow evolution have mostly been refinements to the bore, tone holes or the addition of new keys to help facilitate specific note-to-note progressions.

The first real shake-up to the design of the modern oboe has been pioneered by Marigaux.  They have completely re-thought & reingineered the disassembly points to their M2 model.  Instead of the instrument coming

Marigaux M2
Marigaux M2

apart between the top & bottom hand keys, the majority of the oboe has been redesigned to be a solid, continuous piece of wood.  Gone are the 3 critical linkage points which control the D trill, the Bb controls & the often-persnickety bridge mechanism of the F# – G# linkage.  Oboists often peek at the linkage between top & bottom joints to ensure the alignment is true.  An oboe that has twisted a tiny bit becomes a lesser instrument for the moment, and smooth passages can be distorted to clumsy messes.

The description of the new M2 model is this:

  • Head-joints can be easily changed to suit individual needs so that tuning, colour, depth and fluidity of sound are all adjustable
  • In extreme climatic conditions a phenol-resin head-joint can be used in place of a wooden one to avoid unnecessary cracks
  • The instrument is assembled by aligning the octave key pillar with the plate on the main body of the oboe
  • Ergonomically improved Bb, B and Eb keys
  • Improved positioning of G and G sharp keys, thanks to the removal of the middle joint ring
  • Long F key is height-adjustable
  • New positioning of the half-hole gives better tuning on D’s and Db’s and improved performance on top octave D’s to Eb’s

I love my “old school” Marigaux, and can’t wait to try an M2 model.  My reeds have drawn stares from fellow oboists for years – imagine the glares this would draw!

Marigaux M2 in its special case
Marigaux M2 in its special case

Well, I could dream, couldn’t I?




6 responses

16 02 2009

Why do you reeds draw stares? Do tell!

I, too, play on a Marigaux. Both of mine are rather old, but I still love them. I’d sure like to try this new one, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to afford anything new. (And isn’t my retirement just around the corner? Hmmm. Or maybe not.)

16 02 2009

Another Marigaux fan – AWESOME! I’m in the same boat, Patty. Unless something DRASTIC happens, I’m playing on my last oboe as well. It’s nice to dream, alas.

Reed stares: For many years, I played on very long reeds with TONS of bark still left in place. Brenner learned to play this way in Vienna, and I followed his techniques. People were rather stunned that a reed like that could play that way… and how is HE doing it??????

17 02 2009

Well, reeds will forever be a mystery to me. I’m a rotten reed maker. I just “deal”. Sigh.

But yay for Marigaux! I even heard from the head (?) of the factory. He said if he’s ever in my area we will meet for lunch. I hope so! 🙂

15 10 2009
J Maxwell

Hurrah for all you Marigaux players and fans! I, too, succumbed years ago to the incomparable quality of sound these instruments produce and have never looked back. It’s incomprehensible to me why the vast majority of Americans still insist on playing that other brand. When selecting my instrument years ago in Europe, I performed on instruments using a blind test, i.e., not knowing the make/model of the instrument being given to me each time. And when I finally kept coming back to the same instrument again and again, it was the Marigaux. The salesperson at the time said it was his favorite too. Here’s to a great company and a wonderful instrument. BTW, I also play a Marigaux EH and it is just as beautiful – deep, rich, mysteriously dark tones – just heavenly!

8 06 2010

I am glad to hear how successful the Marigaux oboes are! I am hoping to purchase my first oboe, I have been renting for far too long (a resin Fox Renard), my Bb key always gets stuck, along with my C# and left Eb keys. I am ready to move up to a Marigaux!

8 10 2010

I have played three oboes: rigoutat (expression), marigaux (901), and a Loree 125. They all are very good instruments. Nevertheless, when it comes to the quality of the workmanship, it is obvious to me that Loree is on top of all three and that with significance. Not just the keys, but all the instrument is better finished, much better made. Then, closely follows the marigaux, also, no doubt very well made, but loree is better. What about the sound? I remember trying different lorees, all beautifully maded, no blemishes, but some of them did not sound good to me, except the one I purchased, the 125. This instrument is a beauty in its own right: the sound is even, just a little on the bright side but not too much, very consistent through out the scale, but very much distinguished for a very particular super rich sound. Yes, the word is rich. On the other side, the marigaux seems to be very consistent when it comes the quality of sound and resonance. First, it may very well be true that marigaux are the most consistent oboes when it comes to resonance and that is what makes these instruments so very attractive and sometimes above all the others. Resonance is a must. But marigaux also has that very particular somewhat dark but mostly “rounded” sound, a very tied and compact sound, that makes them distinguished from all the others. No doubt, this is a sound with lots of character but personally, sometimes is boring because I don’t find it that much flexible when it comes to this sound: you just have to basically stick to it. On the other side my Loree 125 is a beautiful, lovely, romantic, sweet, expressive, and flexible sound. Rigoutat? The only I know is the Expression, which is the one I own. Its model name says it all. It has a sound very close to my Loree 125 but by far less rich, but also sweet and beautiful. The workmanship of the rigoutat is poor, no doubt, not just because mine has a “little” defect at the joint that I plan to fix, but because if you observe the instrument is not as carefully made as others. But yes, for someone that plans to be a professional oboist, the Rigoutat Expression can be an option: it does have a beautiful and flexible sound on the bright side.

So, I enjoy very much all my three instruments and all are recommended to you.

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