"With these new timpani, the possibilities are endless."

Thanks to a donation from the Stichting Instrumenten Fonds, we were able to expand our instrumentation with a set of new timpani. These are specifically for music from the Baroque to early Romantic periods.

The Adams Schnellar 'Classic' timpani are a very welcome addition. "Five years ago we received a fantastic set of timpani from the Friends of the Residentie Orkest. That is a set with large boilers. The kettles of the new Classic set have about half the volume, making them ideally suited for music with smaller string ensembles," explains Principal-pauken Chris Leenders.

"In smaller ensembles, we overplay the orchestra very quickly," adds colleague Martin Ansink. "With these new timpani, the possibilities are endless. Also, there are now goatskins stretched on the kettles. These offer a very nice compact sound, which on the one hand stands on its own but also still mixes well with the sound of the orchestra."

Radio recording
To get into the purchase, Martin and Chris listened a lot to other orchestras. That's how Adams' set came into the picture. Chris: "We were able to get the set on trial for a few weeks. In this process it is also very important to listen carefully to each other: the sound experience while you are playing can be very different than in the hall. Fortunately, we were able to use the trial set during the Sunday morning concert on January 17 last. I immediately listened back to the radio recording to hear how the timpani sounded."

General and artistic director Sven Arne Tepl is also very enthusiastic about the new set, calling them revolutionary. "The sound is very precise, with little distortion. It is a tremendously valuable addition to our instrumentation for music from this period. Wonderful that through the support of Stichting Instrumenten Fonds our artistic ambitions can be realized."

What is Stichting Instrumenten Fonds?
Stichting Instrumenten Fonds for the Residentie Orkest was established to improve the quality of the musical instruments on which the members of the orchestra play. This can be done through a loan or a donation. Annually, the Friends Association donates a portion of its income to the Instrument Fund. 

Chris Leenders, Principal timpani, behind his new instruments in progress. The timpani seem to be ready but there are still some changes and perfections being made to the base of the instrument. The new parts for that are being produced but that will take some time. By the way, in the background is the place in the factory where the bowls are hammered, polished and varnished.

The goat skin has already been fitted. This skin provides a very distinctive short sound, very suitable for the classical repertoire with smaller ensembles. Chris wanted to be able to switch between a goat skin and a calf skin so that he has access to a broader timbre. He can easily change these skins himself and you need different tensioning screws and tensioning hooks for that.

Tuning of these Classic Schnellar timpani is not done through a pedal but by turning a lever on the side of the instrument. The tuning must be adjusted according to the kind of sheet used, and this too the timpanist can do himself by means of a simple turning system.
Thanks to a donation from the Instrument Fund Foundation, we were able to expand our instrumentation with a set of new timpani. Want to contribute as well? You can!