Rudall Carte & Co. Ltd.
Once the flute is balanced in the hands it is very comfortable to play despite its weight. Finger position with the left palm rest is surprisingly ergonomic and the extension of the right thumb rest balances the flute when placed on a flat surface. The Schwedler-lip-on-steroids begins to feel comfortable with play, and in addition to centering the mouth the side ridges seem to help channel air from the more open and relaxed embouchure required of the bass flute. It has quite a good scale for its day and a full three octave range. C2 and C#2 at the top of the bottom octave tend to be a bit flat on my flute, so for sustained notes I tend to finger the notes down an octave and overblow. What this flute may lack in bottom end projection (when compared to the very best modern bass instruments) it more than makes up for in personality and élan.
Unlike many low harmony flutes, this instrument has actually seen considerable use -- yet virtually no abuse. There is some plating wear to the keys, but the body is in excellent shape and the mechanism remains quite crisp and responsive.
close inspection, the only real blemish appears as a slightly
spot on the headjoint. When playing the retuned Rive
flute I suddenly realized the blemish was almost certainly a small,
professional patch in the silver to fill in where a
had once been installed to boost the volume of the flute in performance
and/or studio recordings.
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