Basset Horn

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Related to basset horns: Corno di Bassetto

Basset Horn

 

alto clarinet.

At the end of the 18th century the basset horn consisted of two straight sections arranged at an angle, a mouthpiece with a single reed, and a bell. The modern basset horn is similar to a bass clarinet but smaller. Its timbre is soft, deep, and somber. During the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century it was used as a solo instrument and in the orchestra. Since the second half of the 19th century the basset horn has seldom been used.

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But heat doesn't suit basset horns, and took its toll in the form of persistently sticking pads and some wayward tuning.
Nicholas Cox (who can be heard in the Mozart Clarinet Quintet on February 21, later led a trio of players on basset horns, now rarely featured but said to be Mozart's favourite instrument.
The Lichfield Garrick hosts Sinfonia VIVA in wind chamber music by Mozart, a Divertimento for three basset horns preceding the masterly Gran Partita in B-flat for 13 instruments, K361 (3pm).