Seven months ago I took the plunge and purchased a new triple horn, an Eb-Bb-F horn made by German craftsman Engelbert Schmid. This has been an interesting and enjoyable pursuit, which continues to present new challenges and opportunities. I have listed some of the pros and cons of my experience below, but first a little background.
I was first introduced to triple horns during grad school while studying with Bill Purvis at Yale. During that time he owned and regularly performed on two Schmid models, the F-Bb-F and the Eb-Bb-F full triple (and still plays the former). I always admired his tone, finesse, and versatility on these instruments. I was also fascinated by his successful use of a variety of alternate fingering combinations for challenging passages in the solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire (more on that later). For these reasons, along with a lot of curiosity and a thirst for new challenges, I decided it was time to give it a go. Below, I’ve listed some basic observations of my experience with the Schmid ES-4.