alf Ehlert handmade recorders, A440, A415, A392

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Lazar's Early Music

Martin Shelton

761 N. Cherokee Rd, Suite C

Social Circle, GA 30025

(770) 366-8596

(866) 511-2981



Late Baroque Era Recorders

Peter Bressan

J.C. Denner & Jakob Denner

J. H. Rottenburgh

Thomas Stanesby Sr. & Jr.

Baroque Consort @ A392

Early Baroque Era & Renaissance






Special Requests


Instrument Maintenance





Ehlert Recorders

'Roadrunner' (~12 ' tall), I-10 Mesilla Valley Rest Stop, overlooking Las Cruces, NM, 2006, Bill Lazar

Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (1589-1662)

Beggars Playing Pipes and a Hurdy Gurdy

Alsek River, Alaska, August, 2012

The recorders Ralf makes today are replicas or near copies of the original instrument played in the baroque era.

It might seem unnecessary to make five alto instruments all in the same pitch, but he thinks we should maintain the diversity of the past. The stylistic differences between the various recorder makers were enormous, especially when they worked long distances from each other and were influenced by different musicians and composers of the day.
That is why each instrument not only had it's own unique sound and look, but also it's own individual feel to it when played. We can sometimes only guess at the use made of a particular instrument by studying it's measurements.
If you have questions concerning the intonation, pitch or response of the various instrument, please contact Ralf. The past masters made their instruments according to the needs and wishes of the musician, and that is the way it must stay.

Late Baroque Era Recorders

Peter Bressan


The instrument maker, Peter Bressan, who emigrated from France to England, appears to have made only recorders. This fact explains the extremely high quality he achieved, to be seen on his instruments in museums and collections. My instruments are based on recorders that are held in the Breuggen and Bate Collections, and also on instruments to be found in the museum for Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, and the Museum de la Musique in Paris.

All my copies have a fullntonation.

Bressan mounted wide ivory rings on most of his instruments. If requested, I will mount rings of either imitation ivory or fossil mammoth ivory.

Sopranino A440 or A415 European Boxwood $1969
Soprano A440 or A415 European Boxwood $1999
Fourth Flute A415 European Boxwood $2104
Alto A440 European Boxwood or Grenadilla $2119
Sound File: Bach English Suite # 3 Prelude, Eloy Cortinez, recorder Alto A415 European Boxwood or Grenadilla $2313
Pictures: 1,2,3

extra cost for ivory fittings

Alto A392 European Boxwood $2447
Voice Flute A415 European Boxwood

ivory is extra

  C Tenor A440 European Boxwood $2627
C Tenor A415 European Boxwood $2851

Johann Christof Denner & Jakob Denner

Johann Christoph Denner, born 1655 in Leipzig, was a member of an acknowledged instrument maker family. After his apprenticeship as a horn turner and maker of hunting signals he specialized in the making of woodwind instruments. It is assumed that he adopted the new type of baroque recorder, three part instruments with narrow conical bore as known from the Hotteterres in France, and made them to perfection. His workshop in Neurnberg produced a large number of recorders, giving him an influential reputation even during his lifetime.

A very renowned alto recorder was made by his son, Jakob Denner, who, together with his brother, took over their father's workshop when he died in 1707. The original instrument, an exhibit in the Musikhistorisk Museum in Copenhagen, responds quickly and precisely in the top range and has a wonderful tone.
My instruments are almost exact copies, the original pitch of approximately 413Hz making alterations nearly unnecessary.

The voice flute exhibited in the Germanischen Museum in Neurnberg was made by their father J.C. Denner. It is probably not the usual type of voice flute used in England at that time, but rather more a high tenor in c#. It's strengths lies in the middle and lower range with its intense and warm tone.

Alto A415 (J. Denner) European Boxwood or Grenadilla $2313
Voice Flute A415 (J.C. Denner) European Boxwood $2552

Joannes Hyacinthus Rottenburgh

Initially from Salzburg, Austria, the members of the Rottenburgh family were renowned as musicians and composers as well as makers of woodwind and string instruments.

The models for my instruments originate from Joannes Hyacinthus Rottenburgh and are both to be found in the Museum Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin

The alto recorder is tonally very well balanced and usable for all purposes with a perfect response in all ranges. If required the instrument can be made to original pitch (approx. 406Hz.) and with two rings of fossil mammoth ivory.

The voice flute (Rottenburgh) is one of the few existing originals that can easily be played over more than two octaves. It's bore and measurements are comparable to a low pitched descant recorder. The finger holes are extremely easy to reach and it has a beautiful sound.
Alto A415 European Boxwood $2313
Voice Flute A415 European Boxwood $2552
Thomas Stanesby Sr. & Jr.
Thomas Stanesby senior, was born in 1668 in Moorly Lyme, Derbyshire. Little is known about him, apart from the existence of 20 of his instruments (eleven recorders), some of them of superb quality.

He established his workshop in London and was succeeded by his son after he died in 1734. The recorders were then stamped Stanesby junior.

My alto recorder after Stanesby senior is also based on an equally well known recorder from the same collection. Used by Frans Breuggen for unforgettable recordings, it has a very low pitch which offers the possibilities of a model in 392Hz. Even with a modern pitch of 440Hz, it still has a very warm and full tonal character.

The voice flute cannot be seen as being a copy, because there are not any original instruments with the same perfection as the alto recorders. Structurally the voice flute has a typical baroque bore based on other recorders from Stanesby. It has a warm, loud and convincing tone, especially in the lower range, combined with a perfect intonation.
It can be considered, without question, to be the ideal voice flute.
Alto A415 European Boxwood or Grenadilla $2313
  Alto A440 European Boxwood $2119
Voice Flute A415 European Boxwood $2552

Baroque Consort A392

There is extensive 18th century evidence of recorders made not only for solo playing, but also for use in consorts. Not only have treble recorders been handed down, but also descants, tenors and basses, and in the case of Johann Benedict Gahn (Nuremberg) even a complete quartet of matching instruments. Some baroque composers such as J.-B. Lully, M.P. de Monteclair, A. Marcello and G. Ph. Telemann specify the use of a recorder ensemble.
I have pitched the recorders of this consort at a=392 Hz (the so-called French chamber pitch), so as to give the consort a warm and full sound. This also helps to integrate the descant, which often stands out like a solo instrument.
This quartet of instruments was originally developed for the musicians of Flautando Koeln. They use the instruments regularly for their concerts and recordings.
Descant after P. Bressan European Boxwood $2164
Treble after P. Bressan European Boxwood $2447
  Tenor after J. Hotteterre Zapatero Boxwood $2911
  Bass after J. H. Rottenburgh Maple $4405

Early Baroque Era & Renaissance


In 1978, Eva Legne, discovered two ivory recorders that had been stock-listed since 1673 at Rosenborg Castle (near Copenhagen).
The two instruments differ strongly in quality. The better of the two was playable over more than two octaves with standard baroque fingering. It is probably the type of recorder mentioned by J. J. van Eyck in the preface to the work 'Fluyten-Lusthof'. The Rosenborg recorders can be seen as the link between the uncomplicated one-piece renaissance instruments and the multi-pieced baroque type recorders.
Soprano in C A460 A440 A415 European Boxwood $1880


In 1985 an antique dealer discovered in a Venetian Palazzo a two-section descant recorder, which must have been made in the second half of the 17th century.

This instrument is in the private collection of Peter Thalheimer, who lent it to me and encouraged me to make a copy of it.

The original instrument is at c''420 Hz and is in an astonishingly good, playable condition. I have developed an instrument with two lower sections in 440 and 415 Hz. The instrument has a range of more than two octaves including c-sharp'''' and is therefore suitable for early baroque music and for pieces written for "per soprano solo".

Soprano A415 A440 European Boxwood $1730
  Additional lower section for alternate pitch   $397


Sylvestro Ganassi dal Fontego describes in his treatise 'Opera intitulata Fontegara' instruments that can achieve a scale of more than two octaves with the help of special fingerings. Only a few of these recorders have survived until today and it is not clear to what extent they were used in renaissance times, nor whether they were used as solo instruments or in consorts.

Nowadays these Ganassi instruments are used not only for example for 'Ricercate, Passagi e Cadentie' (Giovanni Bassano) and for the pieces from the collection 'Il Dolcimelo' (Aurelio Virgiliano), but also for playing contemporary works.

These instruments have huge dynamic capabilities and a full, round and loud sound. They have a very wide bore which is almost cylindrical, and a flared bell.
  Soprano C'' A466 A440 A415 Plum $1506
  Additional lower section   $334
  European Boxwood $1730
  Additional lower section   $397
  Alto in g' A466 A440 A415 Plum $1805
  Additional lower section   $382
  European Boxwood $1880
  Additional lower section   $556

Instrument Maintenance

Wood is a natural material and needs regular care. Recorders are exposed to great strain through breath moisture. To preserve their tone quality and to avoid cracks they should be treated with almond oil at regular intervals. (An exception are instruments of impregnated maple or pearwood, which need not necessarily be oiled, even if it will do them no harm.) We cannot make rules concerning the frequency of oiling. In general, however, one can say that the inner bore should always be slightly greasy, without any oil coming out of the bore or the finger holes.

The first oiling should be carried out immediately after purchase.
Take the middle joint and foot, apply a few drops of oil to inner bore and spread it evenly with the coarse brush enclosed in the maintenance set. Then introduce the still oily brush into the head joint without touching the block, since no oil must get into the windway. The labium must be oiled with equal care. Please keep the head joint upright to prevent oil flowing into the windway. If the outside of the instrument is not varnished, it can be rubbed with a little oil as well.
If water has accumulated in the windway, please suck it back quickly. You can also take off the headjoint, put your hand over the bore and blow into the labium. Never touch the labium with your fingers because it will easily warp when damp, and you might spoil the instrument.
In persistent cases of hoarseness please let a few drops of the enclosed anti-condense trickle through the labium into the windway. Hold the head joint with the upper end downward and blow out the surplus liquid. After this treatment it is necessary to let the instrument dry thoroughly outside its case (just as after practicing).

Should you have any problems with your instrument please do not hesitate to send it in (address see below). Alterations concerning sound and response are not unusual during the first months. We grant a 2 years guarantee. The table below tells you how long you can play on your instrument during the first weeks. However, this can only be a recommendation. We recommend using the high register sparingly at first and to extend the range gradually.

1st week 5 min daily max.
2nd week 10 min daily max.
3rd week 15 min daily max.
4th week 30 min daily max.
5th week 40 min daily max.
6th week 60 min daily max.

If you still have questions concerning your recorder we will be happy to help.

Repairs (on my instruments)

  General revision - intonation, voicing and response   $58
  thumbhole bush replacement   $41
  thumbhole bush replacement   $15
Special Requests

Four-part imitation ivory rings (instruments after Bressan)

  Soprano   $433
Alto   $598
  Voice Flute   $777


  3 part case for alto or voice-flute   $67
  4 part case for alto recorder with 2 headjoints   $90
  3 part case for soprano Ganassi and early baroque soprano   $67

Ordering Information                                                                                                                                                Top of PageSubcontrabass recorder in Bb, by Adriana Breukink

Email, call or write me to order or discuss your needs.  You can't order from my web site--I like to discuss your order with you first.

Many people have told me how much they enjoy my bringing my 'store' of instruments to workshops so that they can try many different ones over the course of a few days.  This makes their decision-making process much easier. 

Obviously, when ordering by mail, I can't send you my whole 'store' of instruments to try, but I do try to come as close as is reasonably possible.  All instruments can be ordered on approval.  I am happy to send out two or more instruments for you to compare.  For instance, I could send out two or three rosewood altos, or rosewood, pearwood, grenadilla and  boxwood altos for you to sample.  Then you can play them (please, no more than 15 minutes per day, just as if you were starting the breaking-in process), let your friends try or listen to them, and let a teacher try them.  This gives you some feedback on your choice, and gives you more confidence in your decision. 

I want you to be satisfied with your instrument, and feel under no obligation to buy it if you don't like it.  A normal time for deciding is approximately one week.  I, of course, expect any returned instruments to be in like-new condition (see below).  Whether you decide to buy an instrument or not, all I ask is that you pay for shipping costs both ways.

Once you have decided on a purchase, I will bill you. 

Email, call or write me to order or discuss your needs.  You can't order from my web site--I like to discuss your order with you first.


I had an instrument returned that smelled of cigarette smoke.  The customer did not smoke, but a visitor did.  I haven't yet succeeded in removing the smell.  I can't sell a smoky instrument, so I do not want to send instruments on approval to households where people are allowed to smoke.  If a smoky-smelling (or mildew-smelling) instrument is returned to me, I will not accept it, and you will have bought it, since it is no longer in like-new condition.  In my experience, hardly any recorder players smoke, so this should be a rare occurrence.  So please, no smoke, mildew or lipstick, and brush your teeth before playing--all things you should do if the instrument were yours.  I hope you understand this policy.


I don't give out customer contact information to other companies.


I accept personal checks, money orders or cashiers checks.  
I accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. VisaMasterCard  


Martin Shelton

761 N. Cherokee Rd, Suite C

Social Circle, GA 30025

(770) 366-8596

(866) 511-2981


OPEN BY APPOINTMENT-Call--I'm here most of the time, 6-7 days a week


To order, email, phone or write me your request.


I don't give out customer contact information to other companies.

Warranty                                                                                                                                                                                Top of Page

Ralf Ehlert's instruments are warranted for two years from the date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship, as well as tuning and voicing.  Ehlert instruments should be returned to him in Germany for warranty service work.

Ralf Ehlert warranty service:

Ralf Ehlert
Meisterwerkstatt fur Blockfloetenbau
Gartenkamp 6
29229 Celle/Bostel

+49 0 51 41 93 01 81