Simon Polak: Early Flutes, these are wooden flutes, copies of traverso's als called baroque flutes or baroque flute.



anouncement: I am now also making a Palanca. My Palanca copy needs a bit of explanation.
There are many excellent flutes in the world that are derived from the Palanca original. They are really excellent flutes and played by many excellent proffessional players. However, although these flutes are excellent instruments they are also somewhat different from original baroque flutes and therefore the subject of taste discussions. The Palanca copies I make are close to the original. This especially with respect to the possibilities of the dynamics and coloring the tone. So far for me reactions have been convincing and were like "this Palanca I can play" (famous Paris player) to this is the best you make (most famous Japanese player). For me it was very surprising that the changes I needed to make for a really excellent intonation were easy. However, that also makes for a difference with the original. At the NFA in Chicago a Palanca original was present. Your Palanca plays like that original was the comment of a famous Belgian player at the convention.
This is what I am trying to achievce. If players then like this or the other type is up to them!

Of course there exists the tendency to make one keyed flutes after eighteenth century originals that are more like modern flutes. Commercially this is very attractive but this is not what I want.


Jed Wentz playing Hamburger Sonata just listen! Youtube link click


Christoph Huntgeburth and Andrea Theinert second flute playing C. P. E. Bach (both my copies of Christophs Kirst original) click


These flutes are called baroque flute or traverso. The baroque flute originals are from the time of composers such as J. S. Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi. Copies now are used again, after a long period of using modern instruments, for playing their music.

At present I am making replica's of several splendid original eighteenth century traverso. A survey of the prices for all models can be found on the page traverso prices. There is general information on the traverso on this website as well. You will find brief history of the flute between mid seventeenth and mid nineteenth century. There is a page on early flute tuning, that I believe, has some information not found elsewhere. A page on baroque flute pitch discusses the choices made in our time for standard pitches at 415 and 392 Hz. Making replicas is discussed in a page on my philosophy. Several opinions from the past and my own views can be found in the page on woods for baroque flutes . Then there are some practical pages for instance on care and playing in of the traverso and a page with a traverso fingering table giving the normal fingering used for the copy of the Beukers original. There are five pages on the makers of the originals I am copying, Beukers, Wijne, Tassi, Kirst and Haka. Also a page on Dutch makers showing an estimate of .5% left over traverso. A page on the Ehrenfeld collection discusses my start in making traverso and my relationship in the past to that collection. Then here are some pages with personal information, such as my family, where I live and my curriculum vitae. There are also pages such subjects as reboring, key pads, resistance the difference between loud and carrying, and exhibitions I will visit and some links. Especially, visit the flute players testimonials!




Kate Clark with Frederick the Great on Tassi 392

The cd with Blavet duets and a concert is out for some time. The duets are played by Jed Wentz and Marion Moonen on two of my Tassi copies at 400Hz (to avoid misunderstanding, Jed is recording other Blavet on other flutes as well but this is only the Tassi's). The concert is by Musica ad Rhenum.


Simon Polak: Early Flutes


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Beukers HakaKirst 415Kirst 440WijnePalanca Wijne2TassiRippert Dutch Ehrenfeld