Oboe after Saxon models, A=415

saxon photo

The Saxon Baroque Oboe was designed by Stephen Hammer to meet the need for an instrument that can play the musically and technically demanding works of J.S. Bach, Telemann, Zelenka, and other German high Baroque composers. It is made in the style of instruments by 18th-century Leipzig and Dresden makers such as Eichentopf, Sättler, Poerschmann, and C.A. Grenser, scaled to play at the A=415 pitch that is standard for most baroque ensembles in this century. The Saxon oboe would have been familiar to a German hautboist ca 1720 -- its bore is more flared than early English hautboys such as Stanesby, and more complex than central German oboes, such as Denner. The result is an instrument with a comfortable resistance, good projection, smooth and even response, and a clear, sensuous sound. Cross-fingerings are centered and in tune without adding extra fingers, the low register speaks easily, and the upper register is more ringing and less strident than earlier designs.

Oboes are made of stained, oil-finished European boxwood, and are usually supplied with brass keywork; however, silver keys and ornamental faux ivory mounts are available, as are key adjustments to suit individual hands. Before each oboe is shipped it is tuned and adjusted by Stephen Hammer, and free re-reaming and adjusting is included for the original purchaser. Oboes are supplied with two reeds and a soft case.

The Saxon oboe can be heard on many recordings of Baroque music made by Stephen Hammer with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, the Bach Ensemble, and other groups. It is also used by Gonzalo Ruiz, Sarah Davol, Virginia Brewer, Kathleen Staten, Stephen Bard, and a number of other fine oboists.

The music playing is from MP3 files of Saxon oboes played by Stephen Hammer and Kathleen Staten -- please click to play, pause, or stop

A Flash plugin is required to play these demo clips. For more mp3 files of Saxon oboes being played together, please visit http://hoboy.net/zelenka