Oboe after Floth, A=430, with two or eight keys

floth oboe

Johann Friedrich Floth was a prominent member of the distinguished group of wind-instrument makers that flourished in Dresden in the late 18th and early 19th centuries that also included August and Heinrich Grenser and Jakob Friedrich Grundmann, with whom Floth served his apprenticeship and later joined in partnership.

The original classical oboe that we have copied is from the collection of the English oboist Anthony Robson; it is stamped with the crown of the Kingdom of Saxony, indicating that it was made after 1806, near the end of Floth's life, and reflects the craftsmanship and musical understanding of a mature master builder. It is the sort of oboe that would have been played in early Romantic symphonic repertoire such as works by Beethoven and Schubert, and is also acoustically similar to instruments used for Mozart, Haydn, and other German, Austrian, and Bohemian classical composers. The sound is full and rich as compared with the more delicate tone of oboes by French makers such as Delusse, dynamic range is ample, the response and scale are even and problem-free.

We offer Floth model oboes with the original eight-keyed configuration, or with the simpler two-keyed classical fingering system that was still used by oboists in Mozart's time. Custom keywork is also available.

Each oboe is supplied with two reeds and is tuned and adjusted by Stephen Hammer; the eight-keyed version is supplied with a hard case to protect the keywork.

Here, Stephen Hammer is heard playing the two-keyed version of our Floth copy oboe in an arrangement for oboe, strings, and piano of Mozart's Gran Partita, performed live at the Aston Magna festival (complete with obligato fire sirens). The arrangement was made around 1815 by Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwenke (1767-1822),.who was C.P.E. Bach's successor as Stadtkantor in Hamburg.

A Flash player plugin is required to stream these sound clips directly, but they can they can also be heard by visiting http://hoboy.net/schwenke