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Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Dave Detwiler » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:58 pm

Hi all,

As I continue to research Herman Conrad (1867-1920), who I have dubbed "the forgotten giant of the tuba," I have tracked down a Victor recording of him playing a solo (at least that's what they called it) with Sousa's Band in 1902.

Here's the youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi0MK2AErH8

And here's the listing for the recording in a Victor publication from around that time (scroll to the bottom of the list, for recording no. 1446):

IMG_4704.jpg
IMG_4704.jpg (205.88 KiB) Viewed 1746 times


Let me know if you hear anything that sheds light on Conrad as a player (although, of course, there is no way his tone can be captured in this old recording).

Enjoy!
Dave
Last edited by Dave Detwiler on Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Frank Byrne » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:43 pm

Having performed this work, I believe it is the entire section vs. one player on this part.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:52 pm

Frank Byrne wrote:Having performed this work, I believe it is the entire section vs. one player on this part.

I thought that too, from listening. And yet the "liner notes" if that is what it is, clearly say it's a solo by Conrad. :|
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Dave Detwiler » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:55 pm

Keep in mind that the recording was likely done by a subset of Sousa's Band, so there may have only been Conrad on tuba. Victor hadn't yet figured out how to properly record a large ensemble until a number of years later.
Played an F. E. Olds 4-valve BBb in high school (late '70s)
Led the USC Trojan Marching Band tuba section (early '80s)
Now playing an F. Schmidt (=VMI) 3301 and goofing around
on a 1927 Pan American 64K Sousaphone Grand
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby bisontuba » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:10 pm

Great find!
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby tofu » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:39 pm

Absolutely great stuff! We don't value enough these days those who have gone before and whose shoulders we stand on. Thanks for doing this kind of research for the benefit of the greater tuba community.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby tuben » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:46 pm

He sounds GREAT! Gutsy and VERY clear.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Donn » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:52 pm

ValveSlide wrote:I hear "soli" and I hear octaves on my little iPad speakers. Fwiw


I thought there was a trombone with him most of the time, but could have been a valved brass.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Alex C » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:13 pm

In the picture in the youTube video, there appears to be a contrabass sarrusophone next to the tubas. God help us, a sarrusaphone.
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Alex C » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:15 pm

Here is some information on Conrad, who was cited as the first person to play Sousa's sousaphone.

http://tubapastor.blogspot.com/2016/06/ ... onrad.html
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby Dave Detwiler » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:21 am

It's been over a year now since I posted this, and I've continued to collect information about Conrad's life and career in music. I'd love to hear if anyone else out there knows anything about him - or would like to comment on his playing in this recording. I'll be writing my article shortly!
Played an F. E. Olds 4-valve BBb in high school (late '70s)
Led the USC Trojan Marching Band tuba section (early '80s)
Now playing an F. Schmidt (=VMI) 3301 and goofing around
on a 1927 Pan American 64K Sousaphone Grand
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Re: Want to hear Herman Conrad back in 1902? Done!

Postby roughrider » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:32 pm

Thank you very much for your detailed research regarding Herman Conrad! I really enjoyed listening to the clip. I am a Sousa enthusiast and can highly recommend the books by Paul Bierley which you probably have already read. Please continue to unearth these gems that are so important in our understanding of the development of the sousaphone and the tuba!
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