Popular Oboes: Marigaux 901
The Mariaux 901 Oboe is a staple among the line of the Paris oboe-making powerhouse.
Marigaux manufactures distinguished orchestral instruments for musicians from all over the world, with professionals from Sydney to Berlin playing their instruments.
Notable players that play on Marigaux instruments: Diana Doherty, François Leleux, and many others.
The oboe stayed relatively the same for one hundred years, until Marigaux drastically changed the way they manufactured one of their models.
Their M2 model has interchangeable headjoints and a longer body that changes where the joints connect - they completely rethought the way an oboe is laid out.
I say this to show the direct impact this brand of oboes has made on the oboe world, and to show their authority in this area.
Let’s explore a bit more at the specifics of what the Marigaux 901 model has to offer.
The Marigaux Line: 900 Line
The Marigaux 901 is the most popular oboe in many orchestras worldwide. The instrument carries the original sound of Marigaux oboes according to one of the founders, Mr. Jules Marigaux’s vision.
The line features a semi-automatic system, made with grenadilla wood from Mozambique, and silver-plated keys. They very specifically pick out their wood, and let it dry for four or more years.
These oboes are manufactured in accordance with their tradition of oboe making, with a stable low register that plays with ease and have a high register which is even and direct.
The Marigaux 901 is praised by professionals for its homogenous tone, and ease of playing. It provides a dark, rich tone that is sought for by every oboist.
This line provides oboes that are excellent orchestral oboes, and are played in the greatest ensembles worldwide.
This particular line has a third octave key, and left-hand F key.
Here is an example of what the Marigaux 901 can sound like.
To talk more about why he chooses to play a Marigaux oboe, here is a video of Peter Cooper who is the principal oboist of the Colorado Symphony.
The thing I like about his statements surrounding choosing an instrument is that he will never say one brand is the best - different players are happy on different instruments.
To drive this point home, Marigaux oboes are a lot more popular in European countries than in the United States.
This might be because of the different scrapes of reeds: European vs. American. The two different types require different embouchures and change the overall way you play the instrument.
With different types of oboe reeds, the oboe might need to compensate for different things to create the desired sound.
For example, if you have a reed that is harder to blow on, you might want an instrument that is brighter and more free to combat that.
To have a combination of a harder reed and a more closed instrument might not be the most comfortable to play on, or create the sound you want from your instrument.
There are many great oboe makers out there - it’s just a matter of finding an instrument that suits you, your anatomy, and your reeds.
To have an idea of what to keep in mind when choosing an oboe and what brands to look out for, read this article top five oboe brands.
Peter Cooper recommends exactly what I tell anyone looking for to buy an instrument: try as many out as you can.
Don’t just play an oboe because it’s what your teacher plays, or because it was on that one recording you liked.
You want to make as informed a decision as you possibly can when choosing to spend money on an instrument.
Oboes are not a one size fits all sort of situation. What works and speaks to you might not be the same as your section mate.
You have to find the right combination for your anatomy, your oboe reed, and the sound you are going for.
For many people, a great choice is the Marigaux 901. It is a popular model, that is extremely reliable and more importantly, sounds phenomenal.
Have fun trying out all of the different types of oboes, and search for the one that amplifies your voice and thoughts the way you want it to.
Trust me, there are so many beautiful instruments out there - it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.