Rampone & Cazzani
|If you have looked through other items
website, you will have noted my fascination not only with the elegant
of the flutemaker's art, but also with the uncommon variation and, in
case, with the stylistically skewed.
This flute is about as unlike the
& Cazzani flute listed in these pages, which takes a standard
and bolts on as many gimcracks and gewgaws as possible. This
recent creation takes the standard features common to any student
but applies them with a healthy dose of Italian flamboyance and
The body is heavy plated tube stock with drawn toneholes, but with a
finish rather like the aluminum Uebel
flutes. In contrast, headjoint and keywork have a brilliant
shine that would warm the cockles of one who collects 1950's Detroit
Function defines form throughout. Pad cups are nearly flat, ever-so-slightly concave mirrors. Other touch arms carry the theme by being cut from flat metal stock, often with unexpectedly angular shapes, then formed to fit with simple curves. The posts also echo the cylindrical theme of the tube and pad cups, and dapped key arms simply crimp around the rods to create kickers. Even the normally decorative ferrules are made to look utilitarian with roughly filed grooves that would not be out of place on a shop tool or a no-slip stair tread.
In Sicily back in the early 1980's, my friend Giuseppe Buscema very much wanted the ultra modern, highly stylized flute being offered by Rampone & Cazzani, but he was not in a position to buy one. Nearly 20 years later he realized he still wanted one -- but they were no longer being made! Giuseppe contacted Claudio Zolla, who together with his father Roberto owns R&C, and was told they had one of these flutes in the shop -- it had come home after being on display for some time at the Quarna Sotto musical instrument museum. In addition, they inventoried parts on hand and decided they had enough to fabricate one more nearly identical instrument. Giuseppe had them build the flute and bought them both, keeping the new one and passing this remarkably playable display specimen on to me.
It seems that I am not the only one attracted
to shiny objects!
Images © J.