Russian Bassoon “Cimbasso” by Jerome Wiss

This is a newer instrument that I commissioned from maker Jerome Wiss in Paris France. It was a joint collaboration with bassoon maker Yannick Ducasse who fabricated all of the wood pieces, while Jerome made the design and fabricated all the brass elements. The Russian Bassoon was a bass horn that was popular in the mid 1800s, an upright evolution of the serpent and predates the ophicleide. It has many different names, notably the cimbasso, or “corno in basso” bass horn. This would have been the instrument of early Verdi and Mendelssohn and others from the period. This instrument is in C at 440, it has a tuning slide in the bocal which pulls to 430 for classical pitch and takes a mouthpiece similar to a euphonium. Fingerings are similar to a serpent, 3 keys are on this instrument for some troublesome notes. The body is striped maple. It has beautiful hand engravings by Jerome’s wife of two griffins.