Besides Klaus Gutjahr of Berlin, who works on new constructions since
many years, the Carlsfeld people is anxious of having back their traditional
The start made Mr. Rockstroh of Carlsfeld in 1997, producing a handmade bandoneon. It was tuned by Dieter Seidel, former tuner of the Arnold factory after the war. With this prototype he could demonstrate to own the necessary know how for building instruments. However, in this case the heart of the instrument, the reed boards, are still original Alfred Arnold's. I had the opportunity to play this instrument and I must say, that besides some necessary mechanical improvements, the sound is quite close to the original.
A further trial was made by Uwe Hartenhauer of Klingenthal, the big accordion center near Carlsfeld, and who is bandoneon serviceman since a long time, skilled enough to direct a future bandoneon manufacture. Uwe Hartenhauer went to Buenos Aires and Montevideo contacting professional bandoneonists and possible future customers exploring the commercial possibilities.
However, it turns out to be difficult to find the needed
customers to insure a bandoneon factory. The actual professionals do not
need additional instruments and the youngsters don't have the money
for new ones. Additionally the needed investment for tools and
equipment will raise to about 1 million Deutsche Mark (about 570 000 us$).
Only one tool for one single of the 15 different reeds is about 9000 DM worth.
He needs to produce about 500 instruments a year to offer the product
at a competitive price. That is the reason why he did not produce
a prototype to demonstrate the sound qualities.
It comes out that under such circumstances Mr. Hartenhauer is not able to carry the whole risk of such a project by his own. He needs investors able to support that challenge.
In spite of the problems he announced on February 2002 the presentation of a new octave tuned 142 voice model with zinc reed boards, the way the traditional instruments were made. It will be presented at the Frankfurter Musikmesse on March 13 - 17th at Halle 1.2 Stand E 37.
In parallel a sponsored project of the Vogtländischer Förderverein
für Musikinstrumentenbau und Innovation e.V.
became public on October 7th 2000,
on occasion of the annual Carlsfeld Bandoneon Meeting,
where two newly made pupil instruments were presented.
They were built by specialists of the Institut für Musikinstrumentenbau Zwota applying the know how of the previous mentioned HARMONA factory. The keyboard design of the 110 voices is based on the Einheitsbandoneon, permitting thus to be used by local young pupils like at the introduction ceremony.
In spite of the used aluminum reeds, the sound of the new instruments
is quite promising.
A short sound check was particularly pleasant for the treble side of the
smaller of the both specimen.
Images of the new instruments:
The increasing interest in bandoneons during the last years may be
helpful to promote this instrument. The town hall recognized the need
of creating a bandoneon museum. In spite of the actual strong economic
problems which passes the region, Carlsfeld made it possible to occupy
several people working on this task.
They collect several specimens and sheet music which is
hosted for the moment by the local
grammar school which makes it impossible to allow public traffic.
After solving the uncertain property conditions of the original
Alfred Arnold house which is expected to be the future museum,
the new institution may be established.
Meanwhile Mr. Wallschläger
built up a small private museum located in
Carlsfeld, Hauptsrasse 7, where you can visit his collection.
He will give detailed information about the bandoneon history.
The front of his house is decorated with a large painting showing a
Since 1993 bandoneonists from Germany and other countries meet
once a year during a weekend in October in Carlsfeld to exchange
ideas, sheet music and, of course, play their music. The meeting
is held in German, but many visitors from abroad make the
meeting international. Martina Zapf of Carlsfeld tells about
the 8th Bandonion Treffen in 2001
The 2002 Meeting will take place from October 11th to 13th.
For information and hosting please contact:
phone +49 377752 2000