Dolmetsch recorder

Contributed by Haslemere Museum

Recorder  made by Carl Dolmetsch during the early 20th century.  Copyright Haslemere Educational Museum.

The Dolmetsch family began the Haslemere Festival of Chamber Music in 1925 which continues today.This recorder belonged to the Dolmetsch family. Arnold Dolmetsch was a famous French musician, who settled in Haslemere, Surrey in 1917 and established an instrument-making workshop in the town. He proceeded to build copies of every musical instrument dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries, including the viol, lute, recorder and early keyboard instruments. In 1918 he built his first modern recorder and this was followed by descant, tenor and bass recorders. He also began the Haslemere Festival of Music in 1925 which was devoted exclusively to early instrumental chamber music. In 1925 Arnold passed over the management of recorder production to his son Carl. During World War Two Carl used the family's workshop for making parts of aircraft. This introduced the family to lots of 'new' materials including plastics and after the war he developed the inexpensive plastic recorder which did much to promote the use of the instrument in schools.

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