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Holton Farkas Horn Mouthpiece

$59.00 $83.00

Item Details

This is a group of mouthpieces made and sold by Conn-Selmer in Elkhart, Indiana, USA.  The designs are about 60 years old, and were made to the specifications of Philip Farkas, horn player in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Notes below are culled from Wikipedia.

We normally stock the most popular sizes: MC and MDC.  If you would like something specific or a mouthpiece in gold plate, please contact us directly.

History of Holton-Farkas

The production of the Holton-Farkas was an opportunity for Holton to overhaul its line of French horns with the help of a renowned horn player, Philip Farkas. Farkas and personnel from Holton worked closely together on all aspects of the line. In the business agreement, Farkas agreed to advise, test, and assist in the creation of the horns, and once created, to endorse and market them. In exchange, Holton agreed to furnish these horns for Farkas' personal use and pay him a percentage of the net selling price.

 

Conception

The creation of the Holton-Farkas line was a product of chance. In early 1956, Farkas and two executives from Holton, Elliot Kehl and Theodore Kexel, were invited to dinner with Traugott Rohner, who published the magazine The Instrumentalist. Both parties were there for his own reasons: Farkas because he was writing an article, and Kehl and Kexel for discussions on advertising. The idea for a partnership came about over dinner conversation. Farkas recollects:
As we sat around talking, one of them said to me, "You're a horn player, what do you think of the Holton horn?" I replied, undiplomatically, "I think it's one of the worst horns I've ever played." Instead of getting mad, they looked at each other and grinned. "Well," one of them said, "I guess that's the reason why we only sold eight last year." They then asked me to design a horn for them.

Despite the chance nature of this meeting, Farkas had already considered the idea of creating a horn earlier in his life. This being so, he promptly agreed to Holton's proposal.

 

1956–58

The foundational work on the Holton-Farkas line took place from 1956 until the first model (77) was released in 1958. The Holton-Farkas line was given much attention during this phase by both Farkas and Holton. Farkas, Arvid Walters (Holton's lead designer), and Elliot Kehl met several times a week to collaborate. Also, Holton produced entirely new tooling in order to consistently produce the quality of horn that Holton and Farkas sought after. The leaders of this project quickly formed a smooth working relationship. Of the work environment in this early stage, Nancy Fako, the author of a biography on Farkas and one of his former students, said,
Phil impressed everyone with his constant attention to the smallest details and his unflagging search for perfection. Elliot Kehl was the perfect person with whom to collaborate, as he also demanded perfection in all that he undertook. For this reason many people found him difficult to work with, but he and Phil formed a solid, efficient team.
Renold Schilke, another prominent musician and entrepreneur, also aided in the work on the new Holton-Farkas horns in August 1956.

 

 

Model Cup Depth Rim Shape Cup Diameter Inside Cup Diameter Outside Throat Diameter

SC

shallow

medium-wide

16.87mm (.664")

24.80mm (.977")

4.32mm (.170")

Extremely clear high register with clean attacks. Ringing tone but not shrill. Excellent for high baroque music or extremely high technical passages.

 

MC

medium

medium-wide

16.81mm (.662")

25.20mm (.992")

4.62mm (.182")

No extreme features. Round, ringing tone with a touch of velvet in all registers. Well suited for all-around symphony or solo playing. A very popular model.

 

MDC

medium-deep

medium-wide

16.21mm (.638")

24.33mm (.958")

4.62mm (.182")

Sensitive yet comfortable. Good response in entire range. For players who desire a slightly darker tone than that of the SC or MC models. Slightly narrower rim than SC or MC models.

 

DC

deep

medium

17.07mm (.672")

24.64mm (.970")

4.83mm (.190")

Produces very clean attacks and a large resonant but velvety tone. Popular with both high and low horn players because it plays well in all registers.

 

VDC

very deep

narrow

16.71mm (.658")

23.16mm (.912")

5.23mm (.206")

Large teutonic tone. This basically dark tone is very helpful for the player who has a too-bright tone since it mellows the tone significantly. For the robust mature player.

 

XDC

extra-deep

medium-narrow

16.94mm (.667")

24.20mm (.953")

5.23mm (.206")

Extremely deep cup and very large bore produces a rich, heroic tone. Superior mouthpiece for the player who wishes to play in the grand manner of the "Helden" horn players. Also produces a soft and mellow tone for the player who might have a naturally bright or shrill tone. The depth of this cup will mellow even the hardest, overly brilliant tone.

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