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"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
NMM 3469. Bombardon, Vienna or Markneukirchen, ca. 1840. Similar to the ophicleide, which it was designed to replace, with four Vienna (double-piston) valves, an early valve design that is still preferred by some Viennese players. Berlioz mentions the instrument having first three valves, in the 1844 edition of his treatise on instrumentation, and five in the 1855 edition; but, by then it was virtually obsolete, being replaced by the tuba. Berlioz's only composition that specifically calls for the instrument is the Requiem, completed in 1837. Bombardons were built by makers in France and Belgium, as early as 1832, but this example was built either in Vienna or in Markneukirchen, which had close ties to Austrian/Bohemian constituencies. The engraved oak leaves and acorns on the silver ferrule favor the latter conclusion. A similar instrument can be seen in the collection at the University of Leipzig. Board of Trustees, 1984.
Source: André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 60.
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