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Images from The Cutler Gallery

Oboe by Johann Ziegler, Vienna, ca. 1840

NMM 10,071. Oboe by Johann Joseph Ziegler, Vienna, ca. 1840.

NMM 10,071.  Oboe by Johann Ziegler, Vienna, ca. 1840. Stamped on all three joints: [Hapsburg eagle] / I. ZIEGLER / WIEN. / 1.  Built of boxwood with ivory mounts and fourteen brass keys. Tuning slide to the top joint, with a compass one note lower than would be expected at the time. Hardly ever played, it survives in perfect original condition, along with the original, velvet-lined case covered with black leather with a stamped design and the original, black, cardboard, telescoping reed box with four compartments, holding four early reeds in the French style. Berlioz notes the rustic quality of the oboe sound, relating back to the 18th-century sound concept, but also noted in his famous treatise on instrumentation (1844; 2nd ed., 1855) that Beethoven appreciated "this precious instrument" for its "joyful sound," as well as "when he gave it sad or desolate music." On the other hand, Berlioz also wrote about "useful inventions . . . destined to replace oboes and cors anglais in provincial orchestras, where these instruments are very little and very badly played." Board of Trustees, 2001.

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