Baroque predecessor to the clarinet with a small range of an octave and a fourth. Telemann, Vivaldi, Gluck and Graupner all wrote for the instrument in its various pitches – there are four members of the family from soprano to bass, normally pitched at A=415. At present Nicholas has the soprano and alto instruments built to modern pitch (A=440) and these have been used to considerable effect on the soundtracks to ‘Beloved’ and ‘The Truth About Charlie’. The range of the soprano is from F’ (above middle C) to Bflat’’ (an octave and a fourth above. The alto ranges from middle C to F’’ (an octave and a fourth). The sound can be quite straight with little vibrato to a very characterful ‘ethnic’ quality depending on the composer’s demands.
(soprano pictured left, alto right)