Photo: Ulrich Ehret

Fridtjof Aurin   Traversos   Düsseldorf

P. Paulhahn, ca. 1750

Flauto d‘amore in  A

(lowest note B)

boxwood with silver key,  a= 415 Hz


nothing has survived

about the instrument maker

P. Paulhahn. There are no further

instruments known to have been built by

him, other than an oboe in the collection of Nikolaus

Harnoncourt and the flauto d‘amore that is described here.

This flute, currently in a private collection in Frankfurt, is in every aspect an exceptional instrument. While most of the known flauti d’amore are more or less proportionally enlarged transverse flutes, the Paulhahn flute is remarkably slender and thin-walled. Therefore it is actually lighter, despite its length, than most regular transverse flutes.

Those who might expect a thick and solid sound from a flauto d’amore, will be surprised by the vocal, and above all in the high range, exceptionally agile sound from the Paulhahn flute. Its highly resonant tone resembles more a renaissance flute, than a lower-pitched baroque instrument in the style of Hotteterre.

There is very little original repertoire for the flauto d’amore, but playing pieces in transposition, as recommended by Quantz, can yield very interesting results, especially with the fairly easy-speaking high register of the Paulhahn flauto d‘amore.

For the ornamental rings and the cap, I use a new material which has been specifically developed for my workshop. With its very high density it possesses similar physical qualities to real ivory.