Well, the debate continues. After reading this article http://m.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/flatulent-contrabassoon-gets-a-modern-second-wind-20101015-16nin.html and the comments on the sound of the contra bassoon I was intrigued to find http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-classical-beat/2010/10/contrabassoon_contraforte_audio.html where you can actually hear Lewis Lipnick sounding fantastic on BOTH instruments.
I did try the contraforte at IDRS in Birmingham in 2009 and really couldn’t see how we could use it in place of the contra as it is SO very different. But from these audio clips the difference is not as huge as I thought. I would be interested to hear from contra players who have played a contra forte and especially from those who have played it in a professional orchestra and why!
http://www.guntramwolf.de/englisch/f_modern.html#kontraforte has Guntram Wolf’s information on the development and http://www.Eppelsheim.com/kontraforte.php?lang=en has sound links.