Historical Traversos
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Pfretzschner Kronach Workshop specialising in woodwind instruments

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Hotteterre Rippert Naust Rottenburgh Le Cler Grenser  
Denner Eichentopf Quantz Crone Wrede Piccolo

Eichentopf Traverso 415 Hz

around 1720

Johann Heinrich Eichentopf (born in Stollberg/Querfurt around 1678, died in 1769 in Leipzig) had an eventful life.
In 1707 he came to Leipzig as a former soldier. He became an "Instrumentalischer Pfeifenmacher" (a woodwind instrument maker), and was mentioned from 1716 to 1757. By renouncing his rights as a citizen he also renounced rights as a master craftsman and stopped making instruments. He moved into the Johannishospital in 1756 (where J. S. Bach had been buried). He died there in the age of 91. It has been reported that Bach had known Eichentopf from his time as Cantor in Koethen. It is said that Bach suggested making an Oboe da Caccia to Eichentopf. Further contacts cannot be proved.

The model for my Eichentopf copy is the only preserved Eichentopf flute, completely made of ivory. It is kept in the (wonderfully restored) Grassi Museum of the University of Leipzig, situated on the grounds of the former Johannishospital. Unfortuantely this instrument has been changed.

According to H. Heyde the obviously rare tuning cork adjusting screw, which goes through the end cap, is an original.

It is considered to be the first of its kind and can be recognised as an invention by Eichentopf – an invention which is built into every modern flute up to the present day.

The flute built by Eichentopf was probably in 392 Hz. Studies and comparative tests have shown that the conical bore is close to Hotteterre and Rippert. The shortening, however, to 415 Hz has made it a superb, all-purpose, late baroque instrument which carries excellently.