Oboe/Rigoutat Classique


Dear Geoff
After reading some of your posts, i have taken a bit of a gamble and bought a Rigoutat Classique from e-bay it has a serial number of 082 JJ, looking on various sites I think it was made around 1977.
This oboe is to replace a TW5 Ward and Winterbourne.
I have actually only paid 950 for this instrument, and am very pleased with it, it plays so much better than my old instrument.  
The sound is so much better and running passages so much easier.
The high C sharp is a little different, but I think that I need to look at new types of reed.
I am very pleased with this instrument, and I chosse this down to some of your earlier posts.

It is lacking a left hand F, but to be honest I never seemed to use that key anyway.

What it does have though is a 3rd Octave key,
This is something tottaly new to me.

Can you tell me when and how I should use this key,

Thanks for your excellent posts and all your help

Dear Paul

A Rigoutat Classique is a good buy especially at the price you paid!

If it needs some TLC it might be worth spending a little on that - if you can bear to put it down for a week or so!

The third octave key really improves the response of notes from high E upwards. Look at a fingering chart and try some out. Makes them much easier.

The top C# is always a problem note. The fingering on the Rigoutat that might work best is as follows.

o-x-x/x-o-o/C key

Make sure the LH first finger plate is lifting and not screwed tightly down. In the schema above "o" means finger OFF and "x" means ON.

The "normal" English system top C# is reliant on accurate adjustment of the middle finger right hand plate being almost touching with the C#key pressed with the little finger. Usually you find that owing to play in the key system it isn't. There is a screw on the bar of the C key which will adjust this but don't overdo it or the C key won't go down properly.
The French oboes like the fingering I have given you for top C# so try that one.

I am surprised that there isn't a left hand F but that is no great drawback if the forked F is OK.

Stick with the reeds that you are used to and see how it goes before changing reed styles.

Best wishes and thanks for the kind words



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

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