Here's what professionals have to say about their horns form my shop:
I don’t know what you’re building into your horns to make them great, but I like it! I sold my Berg and my Rauch horns because I like my Cantesanu horn much better. Enough said!
I love playing my Model C horn. Its sound is vibrant, colorful, and clear. It carries effortlessly in the concert hall. At the same time, nuance and finesse in the chamber music setting is so easy. Its response, flexibility, and intonation are outstanding. I love this horn.
I am very happy with my new Model C. My goal was to switch to a Knopf/Geyer type horn in yellow brass (having played ambronze horns a long time), and the Model C is great for me because it plays rather free and open, with quick response and excellent intonation. In the mid and low range, I’m able to choose F or Bb fingerings as needed for technique or color. The valves are of the highest German quality, and I really like the mechanical action. No more strings!The instrument feels plenty powerful in the orchestra, yet I can blend into the textures easily. The Model C is a really fun horn to play!
My Cantesanu Model C horn has been a joy to play on. When I first tried a Cantesanu horn, I was impressed with the open, ringing quality of sound and the incredible evenness through the entire range of the instrument. Now, I am equally confident playing high or low, loud or soft and this horn has allowed me to take my playing to the next level. It is a great instrument! Thank you Felix, for your fine craftsmanship and skill in creating a truly wonderful horn.
When I ordered my Model C horn I didn’t know much about it at first, I just listened to the good things I heard about Felix Cantesanu and his skill as a horn maker.I played many different European and American types of horns before. My Model C was beyond any expectation from the first note, from the first second... Why? because for me, the C plays just the way I blow, it plays the way that I play; there are many great brands of horns out there but in my experience you have to make some adjustments to play those, not in this case, the C plays just the way I want a horn to play.Besides the craftsmanship, The C model offers a full color palette in all the registers to bring alive my musicianship. In large orchestra situations, chamber music, solo work or Latin jazz band I always find that that the C is capable of everything.In the end I believe C stands for Confidence.
One week in early 2008, on a free week with the MSO, I went to play with the Alabama Symphony, and the section was raving about a new horn, Felix’s first instrument. I have the utmost respect for each member of that section. If these outstanding players, using different instruments (one Rauch, one Schmid and two Paxman 25L’s) with different approaches to playing, all agreed on one horn, I knew I’d be happy with it too and ordered one the next week.The Principal Horn of the section had already ordered one, so when his arrived I tried it. It was a pleasure to play, with a warm sound and easy response. Most notable was the free blowing feel - I started yoga classes the next week so I’d be ready to control the airflow properly! (Best thing ever - thank you, Felix!) I love that this horn demands that one play correctly, yet makes it easy to do so.When my horn was ready I was on vacation with family (including my brother who also plays horn, and my vocalist mom and niece), and, hearing the Model C side by side with the Paxman, they agreed that Felix’s horn had the more lively sound that really gets your attention. Back in Jackson, my colleagues in the MSO were also impressed with the beauty and liveliness of the sound, my increased endurance, better accuracy in the high register and ease of playing.Felix’s horn has enabled me to give freer, more musical performances because I’m less worried about what the horn is going to do, or not do. The horn responds willingly. The tone can be huge or delicate; it can come from everywhere or out of nowhere. It comes through with power for Mahler 5, yet I can match anyone in my wind quintet.
The Cantesanu Model C horn is a versatile instrument capable of a wide range of styles in music. It is very easy to play lightly and delicately in a Haydn symphony, bold, dark, and powerfully in Wagner, and brilliantly and bright in music of the 20th century and beyond. I feel equally comfortable on this horn in chamber orchestra or large symphony orchestra. I have been fortunate to have always owned fine instruments on which to perform, and the Model C is no exception. The extreme ranges of the instrument are spectacular. The low notes are easy to play with a full, rich sound, and the high notes are clear and well in tune. The amount of resistance is just right to allow soft, secure attacks, yet the horn doesn’t feel tight when playing loudly, as it has just the right amount of freedom to put as much air into it as you want to without feeling like you are wasting any. I have had the rare opportunity to play four of these horns at the same time, numbers 1, 37, 38, and 40. Number 1 being Felix’s personal instrument, 37 (mine, I am the 2nd owner, but play tested it as new,) 38, the shop’s trial horn, and 40 the day it was finished being built. If I were blind folded, I would not have been able to tell the difference between them. The build quality and playing consistency from one to the next is superb. I cannot say enough great thing about these Model C horns. I have play tested many of the latest “Geyer” style horn copies, and this one is the best choice for me.
Dear Felix,I absolutely love my Cantesanu. The sound is rich and easy, the response is very fast and the intonation is excellent. This combination of playing characteristics makes the horn a wonderful tool for everything from solo recitals to large orchestral works. You have managed to build an instrument that combines a wide palette of expressive capabilities with the mass and presence to project in any situation. This horn has made me a better player.
The horn for me is a perfect blend of the free and open qualities of a conn 8D and the beautiful colors and overtones of the old Geyer horns. I played an N series 8D before this and I had absolutely no problems in the switch and have not played an 8D since. The horn is very stable throughout all registers making it feel very comfortable and slotted!! There is virtually no feeling of “guessing” where the notes are! Low register in particular is the most fun!! The horn speaks instantly and slurring is just so easy, meaning there is very little to no tension in the design. But the biggest plus for me is the sound! Being a freelance player in NY, I am constantly playing in very diverse situations. It has this unique ability to blend with any other horn type effortlessly and then shine out gloriously when needed. For me it basically takes away the mechanical and technical aspects of playing the horn and frees me up to just concentrating on playing music and having fun doing that! I have played My Model C serial #19 with the hand hammered bell continuously since I picked it up from Felix over 5-6 years ago now. Thank you, Felix!
I received my horn a little over a year ago and I can’t stop singing its praises. Felix’s horn plays evenly throughout all registers and feels very free blowing. The low register is big and open, and the high register is very secure. I love all of the colors I can get with my sound on this horn as it is very flexible and blends well with many other models.The horn also looks as pretty as it plays. The attention to detail and craftsmanship put into the horn are outstanding. You can really tell that Felix takes great pride in the product that he is putting out there. Everyone that sees my horn comments on how beautiful it is.Thank you Felix for designing a truly beautiful instrument. I look forward to playing it for years to come.
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