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Peter Bressan (1663 - 1731) was one of the most important baroque recorder makers.  He was born in France and  baptized Pierre Jaillard. In 1678 he was apprenticed to a wood turner in Bourg for two years; he then left Bourg, but it is not known where he learnt instrument making, although this was most probably in Paris. His treble recorders are similar to those of his contemporary Jean-Jacques Rippert. He came to England in 1688, and is first mentioned as Brazong or Bresong in English archives in 1691 as one of the 'hautboys' who accompanied William III to Holland. The James Talbot Manuscript (GB-Och Music 1187, c1695; see Baines) shows that he was already a leading London maker of flutes, recorders and oboes.

 

In the 16th and 17th centuries Bressan's residence had been the town house of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, although by Bressan's day it had been divided up; this explains the use of the red rose of Lancaster in his mark (P I/Bressan/cinquefoil rose).  Bressan was a friend of James Paisible, who in 1721 appointed him an executor of his estate in England (the other was Peter La Tour, later Bressan's principal creditor).

 

Bressan published violin sonatas by Castrucci (1718) and violin or flute sonatas by Barsanti (1724). He subscribed to J.C. Gillier's Receuil d'airs francois (1723) and to J.E. Galliard's Hymn of Adam and Eve (1728). His house contained a room large enough for exhibitions. In 1725 John Byrom, author of the epigram on Handel and Bononcini, bought a flute from Bressan, which cost five guineas. The London newspapers of about 6 May 1731 report his death in Tournai, describing him as 'that celebrated artist in making flutes'. An inventory of his house shows that he made all the contemporary wind instruments, and indicates his interest in the fine arts, itemizing some 76 pictures, prints, portraits and busts.

 

As to Bressan's instruments, some three flutes and 48 recorders survive. The recorders consist of one 4th flute (B), 20 altos (F), ten voice flutes (D), 11 tenors (C) and six basses (F). Except for the basses most are scaled in total external length in the ratios B: 3/4; F: 1; D: 6/5; and C: 4/3.

 

(abridged and adapted from Grove's)

Maker Recorder Model Recorder Size Pitch Material Pieces

Holes

Fingering

Comments

List Price

Our
Price

Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Ralf Ehlert Bressan Soprano A415

 
Soprano 415 European

Boxwood

Three DoubleEnglish New - Excellent tone! Incredible combination of power and subtlety. Very responsive! $1950$2150
Takeyama Bressan
Takeyama Bressan Alto A440
Alto 440 Maple Three DoubleEnglish New - Marvellous sound! Hand-picked at the Boston Early Music Festival! $1250 $1450
Takeyama Bressan
Takeyama Bressan Alto A415
Alto 415 Maple Three DoubleEnglish New - Marvelous sound! Hand-picked at the Boston Early Music Festival! $1250 $1450
Beha & Gibbons Bressan
Beha & Gibbons Bressan Alto Boxwood A440
 
Alto 440 Stained Boxwood Three, w/fitted hard case Double English  Used - Mint Condition. High-quality A440 alto for baroque music! NLA $1450
Joachim Rohmer Bressan
Alto 415 Maple Three w/Ivory thumb bushing DoubleEnglish Used - Mint Condition!
Lovely tone and very light weight. Great ergonomics! 
$1650 $1550
Paul Richard Bressan
Paul Richard Bressan Alto Boxwood A415
Alto415European Boxwood Three DoubleEnglish New - Lovely Bressan short-foot model with outstanding tone and response! $1550$1850
Takeyama Bressan
Alto 415 European Boxwood w/Ivory fittings Three DoubleEnglish New - Professional quality instrument. Marvelous sound! Hand-picked at the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival! $1650 $1850
Coolsma Bressan
Alto415Flamed Maple FiveDouble and Single English and Hotteterre Used - Excellent condition with ivory thumb bushing and expertly re-voiced by Lee Collins in June, 2007 to play better than new! Has two bodies so that you can also play with single holes and Hotteterre fingering! $2450

$2150

Pietro Sopranzi Bressan
Pietro Sopranzi Bressan Voice Flute A415
Voice Flute
Corelli sonata VIII op. 5
415 European BoxwoodThreeDouble English  Used - Very good condition with bushed thumbhole. Pietro Sopranzi is considered the premier Italian maker! $2450 $1950
Joachim Rohmer Bressan
Voice Flute 415 Plumwood Three Double English New - remarkably easy high notes with strong low notes. Plumwood has beautiful grain and color and is light and easy to hold. Includes three tuning rings so that octaves can be played in tune if the head needs to be pulled out! $2150

$2150

David Coomber Bressan

Alto

415  European Boxwood Three Double English New -  Beautiful instrument by the New Zealand maker David Coomber! $2450 $2350
Martin Wenner Bressan


Alto 415 European Boxwood w/Artificial Ivory Mounts Three DoubleEnglish New - Professional quality instrument. Marvelous sound! Hand-picked at the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival! $2250 $2450
David Coomber Bressan

Alto

415 Stained European Boxwood w/Ivory Mounts Three Double English New -  Beautiful instrument by the New Zealand maker David Coomber! $2950 $2750
Michael Grinter Bressan
Alto415European Boxwood ThreeDouble English Used - As New condition with ivory thumb bushing! Avoid his long waiting list! $3150

$2750

Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Ehlert Bressan Alto A392 Boxwood

 
Telemann Duo in F - Two Ehlert Bressan Altos at A392

Bach - Dorothee Oberlinger & La Stravaganza Hamburg
392Stained BoxwoodThree DoubleEnglish  New!Simply the best A392 recorders being made today. Combines sophistication, power, and responsiveness with dark tone perfectly suitable for either French or German music! $2450$2650
Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Oblinger/Ose Keller(X)
Eloy Cortinez/Bach(X)
Alto
415Lightly Stained Boxwood ThreeDouble English New - Perfect for Purcell, Handel, Corelli, and Hotteterre! Solid low g and f with no burbles! $2500$2750
Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Ehlert Bressan Alto A392 Boxwood

 
Telemann Duo in F - Two Ehlert Bressan Altos at A392

Bach - Dorothee Oberlinger & La Stravaganza Hamburg
392European BoxwoodThree DoubleEnglish  New!Simply the best A392 recorders being made today. Combines sophistication, power, and responsiveness with dark tone perfectly suitable for either French or German music! Hand-picked at Stockstadt 2010 $2650$2850
Ralf Ehlert Bressan



 
Telemann Duo in F - Two Ehlert Bressan Altos at A392

Bach - Dorothee Oberlinger & La Stravaganza Hamburg
392European BoxwoodThree DoubleEnglish  New!Simply the best A392 recorders being made today. Combines sophistication, power, and responsiveness with dark tone perfectly suitable for either French or German music! Hand-picked at Stockstadt 2012 $2650$3150
Michael Grinter Bressan

Alto

440/443 Grenadilla ThreeDouble EnglishAs New - Excellent tone from a master maker in Australia who has a several year waiting list! $3500 $3450
Fred Morgan Bressan



Alto

415  Stained Rock Maple w/Ivory thumb bushing Three Double English Used - in excellent condition! One of Morgan's earliest recorders! A True collector's item!! $NLA $6950 obo
Takeyama Bressan
Soprano 440Brazilian Boxwood w/Ivory fittings ThreeDouble EnglishNew- Professional quality baroque soprano. Hand-picked at Boston Early Music Festival 2013! $1250 Sold
Joachim Rohmer Bressan

Corelli
Corelli/Dorothee Oberlinger

Alto

415 Stained Boxwood Three Double English New - Complex-toned instrument. Perfect for Italian and French Music as well as Handel and Purcell! Listen to Dorothee Oberlinger play this model on her new Italian CD! $2050

Sold

 

Jean-Luc Boudreau Bressan

 
G-Alto 415 European Boxwood ThreeDouble English New - Beautiful tone speaking very easily on the highest notes. Perfect for Bach and Telemann. Hand-selected at ARS Portland, 2012. $1540

Sold

Stephan Blezinger Bressan
Stephan Blezinger Soprano A440
Soprano 440 European BoxwoodThreeDouble EnglishNew - exquisite tone - perfect for 17th c. Italian sonatas and trios $1520

Sold

Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Ralf Ehert Bressan Soprano A440

 
Vivaldi RV443 Largo (X)
Soprano
440 European

Boxwood

Three DoubleEnglish New - Excellent tone! Incredible combination of power and subtlety. Very responsive! $1750 Sold
Stephan Blezinger Bressan
Blezinger Bressan Voice Flute A415 w/Ivory Fittings
Voice Flute 415 European Boxwood w/Ivory MountsThreeDouble EnglishUsed - excellent tonal projection throught the entire range! Perfect for 18th c. French and German traverso sonatas. $2950


Sold

 

Ralf Ehlert Bressan


 
Oblinger/Ose Keller(X)

Eloy Cortinez/Bach(X)

Alto

415Stained BoxwoodThree DoubleEnglish Used - Revoiced by maker May, 2008. Slight warping of middle joint does not affect tuning. Perfect for Purcell, Handel, Corelli, and Hotteterre! Solid low g and f with no burbles! $2750Sold to the lady in Virginia
David Coomber Bressan
Alto415European Boxwood w/ivory thumb bushingThree DoubleEnglish New - Premium instrument from the workshop of New Zealand maker David Coomber! Typical Bressan sound, but a bit easier-blowing than the Ehlert Bressan $1950 Sold to the lady in Australia
Joachim Rohmer Bressan
Rohmer Bressan Alto A440 Boxwood
 
Alto 440 Stained Boxwood Three Double English  New!  One of a few A440 recorders that sounds and responds like an old pitch instrument. Perfect for French Music as well as Handel and Purcell! $2250 Sold to the professional recorder player in Valenciennes
Adrian Brown Bressan
Adrian Brown Bressan Alto A408
Alto408 BoxwoodThreeSingle HotteterreUsed - mint condition, as-new, excellent replica of Bressan at original pitch and fingering! $2450


SOLD to the gentleman in Rio
Hiroyuki Takeyama Bressan
Takeyama Bressan Voice Flute Maple A415
Voice Flute415  MapleThreeDouble EnglishNew - rich tone, easy to hold maple. Hand-picked at the Boston Early Music Festival. $1250 SOLD to the lady in Australia
David Coomber Bressan
Alto440European Boxwood w/ivory thumb bushingThree DoubleEnglish New - Premium instrument from the workshop of New Zealand maker David Coomber! Typical Bressan sound, but a bit easier-blowing than the Ehlert Bressan $1950

SOLD

Joachim Rohmer Bressan

 
Alto 440 Ebony Three Double English Used - Mint condition. One of a few A440 recorders that sounds and responds like an old pitch instrument. Perfect for French Music as well as Handel and Purcell! $2350 SOLD
Morgan-Ronimus Bressan
Morgan-Ronimus Voice Flute A415
Voice Flute 415 Stained Maple Three Double English Used - Mint condition! Has the second style of Morgan voicing, which is more open and a little breathy, rather than the narrower windway with more resistance and focus. This allows for quite a bit of projection. The waiting list for Morgan-Ronimus instruments is now 3-4 years, so get this while it is available! $3250 SOLD
Joachim Rohmer Bressan

 
Alto 440 Stained Boxwood Three Double English New - One of a few A440 recorders that sounds and responds like an old pitch instrument. Perfect for French Music as well as Handel and Purcell! $1950 SOLD
Beha-Gibbons Bressan
Beha-Gibbons Bressan Alto A415 Flamed Boxwood
Alto415European
Boxwood (flamed)
ThreeDouble English Used- Mint Condition! - Revoiced by Femke Bergsma $1950 SOLD
von Huene Bressan

Boismortier

Voice Flute

415 Stained Boxwood w/art Ivory Mounts Three Double English Used - mint condition. Thumbhole in pristine condition! Very strong tone for a VF throughout the range! Same kind used by Paul Leenhouts. $2500 SOLD
Ralf Ehlert Bressan

Ehlert copy on top, Bressan original in Dayton Miller Collection on bottom, shown for comparison purposes.
Eloy Cortinez/Bach(X) 415Lightly Stained Boxwood ThreeSingle Hotteterre Used - Revoiced by maker May, 2008. Slight warping of middle joint does not affect tuning. Perfect for Purcell, Handel, Corelli, and Hotteterre! Solid low g and f with no burbles! $2750 SOLD 3/05/2009
to the gentleman in Rio de Janeiro.
Fred Morgan Bressan
Soprano415 Ebony
ThreeDouble English Used - VERY RARE!! Excellent condition. Suitable for Collectors and Professionals. Very minor wear to thumbhole and slight discoloration of lip (see photo).$5,750 O.B.O. SOLD 1/17/2009
to the gentleman in Nagoya.
Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Soprano 415 Stained Boxwood Three DoubleEnglish New - beautiful Bressan sound for solo sonatas! $1850 SOLD7/22/2008
to the professional recorder player in Atlanta.
 
Joachim Rohmer Bressan
Tenor 415 European Boxwood Three Double English New - Full-bodied keyless tenor in beautiful European boxwood!. The instrument has remarkably easy high notes with strong low notes. $2450 SOLD 6/23/2008
to the
gentleman
in St. Louis
 
Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Soprano 415 Stained Boxwood Three DoubleEnglish New - beautiful Bressan sound for solo sonatas! $1950SOLD 6/21/2008
to the Oberlin Conservatory
Ralf Ehlert Bressan
Oblinger/Ose Keller(X)
Eloy Cortinez/Bach(X) 
415Lightly Stained Boxwood w/Artificial Ivory MountsThreeDouble English New - Perfect for Purcell, Handel, Corelli, and Hotteterre! ! Solid low g and f with no burbles! $2650 SOLD!  to the gentleman in Sweden 3/22/2008
Tim Cranmore Bressan
Alto
Bressan (X)
405Boxwood w/artificial ivory mounts ThreeSingle Baroque New - Exact copy of original Bressan recorder at the original low pitch! You can play this recorder along with CD's made with original Bressan instruments by such players as Frans Bruggen, Hugo Reynes, Walter van Hauwe and Kees Boeke. $2050
SOLD!  to the Japanese Gentleman in Cambridge 11/15/2007

 

David OhanessianBressan
Alto392 Stained BoxwoodThreeDouble English Used - lovely dark tone which is perfect for French baroque music at Opera Pitch. Revoiced by Patrick Von Huene June 2007 for fuller sound. $1850 SOLD!
to the gentleman in Valenciennes, France

10/10/2007

Ralf Netsch Bressan
Voice Flute (Tenor in D) 415 Flamed Boxwood with artificial ivory thumb bushing Three Double Baroque New - Wonderfully rich tone and excellent intonation make this a perfect instrument for the baroque flute repertoire. $1500 SOLD!
to the gentleman in Italy

08/19/2005  

Fred Morgan Bressan
Alto415 Boxwood (detail of thumb hole)
ThreeDouble English Used - VERY RARE!! Pristine condition. Excellent for Collectors and Professionals. Beautiful haunting tone with full low notes and singing high notes. $5,000 SOLD
to the professional recorder player in Belgium
07/09/2005
Fred MorganBressan
Alto415/440 Boxwood (detail of thumb holes)
 
ThreeDouble English Used - VERY RARE!! Two centers AND foot joints! Pristine condition. Excellent for Collectors and Professionals. It plays beautifully at A415 and is the nicest baroque recorder I have ever seen or heard at A440 after successful revoicing by Ralf Ehlert! $6,500

SOLD to the gentleman in Japan
07/07/2005
 

Ralf EhlertBressan
Alto415 BoxwoodThreeDouble English New - Superb tone quality! Perfect for Handel and Corelli $1950 SOLD to the gentleman in New York
07/02/2005
Joachim RohmerBressan
Alto415 Stained BoxwoodThreeDouble English New - Dark toned instrument. Perfect for Handel and Purcell! $1750 SOLD to professional recorder player in the SF Bay Area
3/07/2005
Ralf EhlertBressan
Alto415 Stained BoxwoodThreeDouble English New - Superb tone quality! Perfect for Handel and Corelli $1950 SOLD to the traverso and recorder playing gentleman in Hawaii 7/25/2004
Joachim RohmerBressan
Tenor415 PlumwoodThreeDouble English New - remarkably easy high notes with strong low notes. $1550 SOLD to the gentleman in Southern California 7/17/2004
Beha & Gibbons Bressan
Alto415 Stained BoxwoodThreeDouble Baroque Used - Full rich tone, reminiscent of Prescott $1500 SOLD to upper intermediate player 6/23/2004
KinoshitaBressan
Alto415 BoxwoodThreeDouble English Used, excellent condition $1500 SOLD to  recorder player in Japan
9/10/2003
Fred
Morgan
Bressan
Alto415 Ebony
w/Ivory Beak
Three SingleEnglish Superb early Morgan $5000

SOLD to collector in Hawaii
12/31/2001

 

Picture

Original CopyComments
Bressan DMC 0127 - Middle Top: Ehlert, Bottom: CranmoreNote: the Ehlert and Cranmore instruments were NOT modeled on the DMC Bressan! Instruments shown for comparative purposes only. Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan DMC 0127 - Middle Left: Ehlert, Bottom: CranmoreNote: the Ehlert and Cranmore instruments were NOT modeled on the DMC Bressan! Instruments shown for comparative purposes only. Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan  DMC Voice Flute, stained boxwood with ivory mounts.  Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan  DMC Voice Flute heads (top and bottom) compared with Ehlert Stanesby VF head.  Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan  DMC Voice Flute center compared with Ehlert Stanesby VF center  Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan 4th Flute, Oxford The 4th flute is a soprano in Bb, useful for Dieupart suites.  Stained boxwood. EhlertPhoto by Charles Fischer
Bressan Alto, Oxford - Stained boxwood with ivory mounts Cranmore, Ehlert Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan alto in boxwood and ivory, Musikinstrumentenmuseum, Berlin Many makers produce Bressan copies, but not necessarily this specific instrument. Photo by Charles Fischer
Bressan - Paris  All the pictures from the Paris Museum are far too small. If anyone has better digital pictures PLEASE email them to me and I will update them on this site!!!

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. Baines: 'James Talbot's Manuscript, 1: Wind Instruments', GSJ, i (1948), 9--26

E. Halfpenny: 'The Bass Recorders of Bressan', GSJ, viii (1955), 27--31

E. Halfpenny: 'Biographical Notices of the Early English Woodwind-making School, c.1650--1750', GSJ, xii (1959), 44--52

M.A. Byrne: 'Bressan', GSJ, xxxvi (1983), 2--28; xxxvii (1984), 102--11

W. Waterhouse: 'A Case of Flutes by Mr Bressan', GSJ, xlvi (1993), 162--3

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