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(Paris, c.1700) Our standard model is a copy of the ebony Graz original, the only genuine Hotteterre flute with an anchor stamp to survive, in ebony or boxwood. a=392.

Graz Hotteterre flute by Folkers & Powell

We can also make a reconstruction of the lost Berlin/St Petersburg original in boxwood. a=392.

Putative Hotteterre flute by Folkers & Powell

Another boxwood model we make is the newly-discovered LR Hotteterre flute. a=392.

The Instrument

The Graz Hotteterre flute was probably made in the workshop of Martin Hotteterre (d1712) or perhaps by his son Jacques, known as Hotteterre-le-Romain (1674-1763), who also wrote the first method book for the baroque flute. The instruments of the French court in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century were deep-toned and rich in sound, and this flute is no exception. It can easily hold its own with with lute, harpsichord and viola da gamba, even in large rooms, and is remarkably easy to play in "difficult" keys, especially those with flats in the key-signature. Original flutes stamped HOTTETERRE in Berlin and St Petersburg previously believed to be authentic turn out to be nineteenth-century copies of a lost original.

The Music

We might expect this to be the instrument for playing the sweet, languishing airs so popular at the French court, but it also sounds well in the Italianate music of Jacques Hotteterre, Michel de la Barre, and other Frenchmen. It is hard to imagine the earliest German flute music of the 18th century being played on any other type of instrument, especially by a French virtuoso such as Pierre Gabriel Buffardin, first flute of the Dresden court orchestra and the teacher of Quantz.

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Audio sample Audio sample

The sound sample illustrates an Hotteterre-like instrument in olivewood, played by Ardal Powell, with Spencer Carroll, harpsichord, in a live performance of pieces originally composed for lute by Robert de Visee, on 19 July 1991 at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.

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Text and images copyright © 1997,1999, 2001, 2008 FOLKERS & POWELL, Makers of Historical Flutes
PO Box 148, Hillsdale NY 12529-0148 USA
TEL: +1 518 828 9779