…except for recorders, of course. A casualty of a fragile economy and a fragile musical ecology: both the employees of that department are retiring, without having trained anyone to take their places. This was a misstep, somewhat like the one they did in the 1990s in taking recorder distribution out of the hands of recorder specialists and putting it in the hands of a music publisher.
Despite all our efforts, the number of customers and people interested in these unusual instruments has always remained small. Our idealism always weighed in favour of their production and keeping tradition alive as opposed to the dictates of economy.
However, both the employees entrusted with the making of these instruments are now taking their well-earned retirement. Thus the point in time has arrived where we are discontinuing the production of these instruments, which were always more admired rather than acquired.
Spare me the sob story. The windcap instruments were competitive in quality and price, and easily available. There are probably more people out there playing Moecks than anything else. Of those, the rauschpfeifen were handicapped because Moeck long ago ceased making an alto to serve as bass of an ATTB consort, forcing anyone wanting to use a consort instrument as a consort instrument to buy used or go to Moulder (and if you’re going to Moulder, why not Moulder all the way?). I suspect that if income were broken down, the buzzies paid for themselves. And losing those would be a loss indeed.
As for “admired but not acquired”…”ve make der gut Englisch yoke, ya?” but for their other instruments, “admired” was never in it. Name me one professional playing a Moeck shawm or cornetto, or any of the baroque woodwinds. I always thought the phrase “Moeck dreck” was unfair, but why buy a Deutsche shalmey or “ciaramella d’amore” when for similar money you could get a real shawm from Moulder, Hanchet or Cronin? Or a McCann or West cornetto? OK, we’re losing the world’s sole producer of the Baroque rankett. That’s an instrument of critical importance, to be sure. Maybe the German government can offer them a bailout. There’s a critical military need at Guantanamo Bay.
But this highlights a far deeper problem than Moeck’s failure to compete in the marketplace. Where are the young instrument makers? Moulder, Hanchet, Marvin, Cronin are all at or past retirement age. Prescott and Hailperin are close. I don’t know the ages of Praetorius or Wolf, but Beekhuizen and Breukink seem not to be too old. But where are the up-and-coming makers in their 30s or 40s? Is Renaissance wind making a hippie-generation thing, destined to die out with the Boomers?