- David Wells discusses composing cadenzas for the Mozart bassoon concerto (and shares his finished product).
- Jill Cathey shares some techniques she is using to improve her oboe reedmaking, including giving her reeds names.
- Saxophonist Eddie Rich legislates three laws of practicing [update: link dead].
- Cindy Ellis explains the function of each lip in the flute embouchure.
- Jennet Ingle explains (and demonstrates in a video) a technique for cleaning out oboe reeds.
- Manny Martinez suggests 10 classical saxophone recordings to check out.
- Trent Jacobs uses a power tool to make bassoon reeds.
- Cate Hummel continues her crusade against questionable “kiss-and-roll” flute embouchure pedagogy, and has an insight into that technique’s popularity.
- Jeff Cunningham explores some of the “ups & downs” for beginning saxophonists. It’s good context and advice for woodwind doublers, too, who may be at beginner stage on a secondary instrument.
- Bassoonist Andrew Burn shares some unconventional ideas about recital preparation.
- David Freeman logs a gig experience covering Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, and shares saxophone solo transcriptions.
- Khara Wolf discusses aspects of high-altitude oboe reedmaking.
- Helen Kahlke shares a review of an inexpensive bass saxophone. Don’t reach for your wallets yet, but the takeaway here is that playable, affordable, modern saxophones lower than baritone could be on the horizon.
- Also, I am now a co-author, with Kellie Lignitz-Hahn, of the “Clarinet Cache” column in The Clarinet (journal of the International Clarinet Association), and the related blog. Check it out online or in your latest print issue.
Woodwinds: Bass saxophone
Historical woodwind recordings on the National Jukebox
The United States Library of Congress’s National Jukebox project makes American recordings from the days before microphones available for streaming online. This is a fantastic resource for recordings—classical, jazz, and more—from the turn of the 20th century until the mid-1920’s.
These recordings are not in the public domain, like you might think; Sony, the owner of the recordings, has given the Library of Congress special permission to stream them.
Naturally, I’ve been searching the National Jukebox for woodwind players, and here are a few of my favorite discoveries. Some of the gems include oddities like the Heckelphone and bass saxophone, and there are a few woodwind doublers in there, too. Take note of how woodwind playing, like recording technology, has changed over the past century!
To kick things off, here’s a nice tour of the woodwind section of the Victor Orchestra in 1912: