Laurens and his double horn

In the series 'Musicians on their instrument': Laurens Woudenberg on his double horn and descant horn - built by Klaus Fehr, Sibbe - acquired in 2014.

Laurens and his double horn
image: Laurens woudenberg

These instruments suit me…
… like horns suit a cow! I could do without them, but a part of me would soon feel like it’s missing. Not to mention that these particular instruments fit me like a glove, since Klaus Fehr built them to my own specifications.

A memorable concert…
Mozart’s Second Horn Concerto, when I performed for the very first time as a soloist with my own orchestra. The new double horn gave me both confidence and inspiration.

How I travel with my instruments…
For years, I’d ride about 100 kilometres a month with my horn in a crate attached to the front of my bike. Until very recently, that is, when I discovered a small dent in the bell which caused the threaded rim to buckle. Since then, I’ve decided it’s safer just to carry it on my back.

Reactions from family members…
Sometimes one of my kids will walk into the room while I’m practising and say, ‘Dad, you really do play the horn beautifully!’ Wonderful!

The character of my instruments…
I’d call the double horn masculine and the descant feminine. They were both cut from the same brass plate and complement each other. The double horn, with its low register, is heavier, sounds a bit bigger and is more expansive. The descant, on the other hand, easily ascends into the upper register and sounds elegant and clear. I don’t mean to insinuate anything, but although the descant may be more flexible, I still find ‘her’ to be a bit stubborn at times.

A nice compliment…
Once, after a concert, a colleague came up and hugged me, tears running down her face. She had been moved by my playing and by the sound of the instrument. I can’t think of a nicer compliment than that.

The relationship I have with my instrument…
I enjoy the sound of my instruments, the smoothness and coolness of the shining metal, and their shapes and curves. At the end of the season, I like to put them to one side, but even after the holiday has only just begun, I start longing to play them again.

over Laurens Woudenberg