1. BY FABIO CROCE (60 minutes) €18 plus postage
Available in English, German, Spanish, Italian from:
Fabio Croce
Gochsheimerstrasse, 48
75038 Oberderdingen
West Germany
Tel: 00497258 926400

Fabio Croce is an Italian born oboist who now works in Germany after studying there with Georg Meerwein at Karlsruhe Hochschule. In this DVD he demonstrates a style of reed making reflecting a standard German method with a short scrape of 10 mm, thin tip and a V-shaped hump behind.
As with all method explanations pictures are much more revealing than words. In this video every process is painstakingly shown. The camera work is mainly very good to excellent and only occasionally does lack of focus intrude in the close up shots. The pace is very measured and clear with a commentary in English.
There are interesting ideas promulgated for cane preparation prior to shaping; for instance soaking damp cane in a sealed environment for 12 hours, making sure the dimensions are correct in the gouge by using a scraper and finishing the inside surface with fine sand paper. Tying on is very well shown with an old method of wrapping a cut piece of twine around the forearm (over a towel to prevent cuts!) in order to gain the necessary tension. The formation of the scrape is well demonstrated and the finishing explained in detail. The largest part of this DVD is the scraping process and how to adjust the almost finished reed to make it play. The final chapter has Tips and Tricks for improving the finished reed.

About £23 plus postage from Australia.
Available directly from Linda Walsh at the web site.

The commentary is available in four languages - English, French, German and Spanish; you choose the appropriate one at the outset after it loads in your DVD player.
This DVD demonstrates comprehensively the construction of a European-style oboe reed and is beautifully produced. The tying on and scraping process is well explained and I feel this would be a very useful introduction to reed-making for newcomers to the Art.
The chapters making up the DVD include: An Introduction, Tools, Tying on, Scraping, General Tips and cane selection. There are sections on American style reeds from Martin Shuring, cor anglais reeds from Bram Nolf of the Belgian National Orchestra and the ever problematic business of knife sharpening.
But the real coup de grace is the contribution made by the guests to this video. This is an enormous bonus. The DVD includes filmed comments on reed making from eight outstanding oboists such as Francois Leleux, Nicholas Daniel, David Walter, Sebastian Giot and others. There are also scenes in the film from technical experts, Udo Heng of Reeds n’ Stuff and Dimiter Jordanov of Roseau Chantant. They demonstrate cane-processing machines and give very helpful insights into their use.
As commented by Francois Leleux there are no definitive answers to the problem of making oboe reeds! Each player has to find his own way. On the other hand these two DVD’s go far along the journey in helping us oboists find a method we can trust to at least approach a reed nirvana. They are both well worth the investment.

Geoffrey Bridge