Roger Bobo

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Roger Bobo

Post by Peach »

Two questions:
1. Did Mr Bobo exclusively use Miraphone 184 and 186's as Contrabass tubas in Orchestra through his career?
2. Apart from the Planets(!) could you name a few recordings that show off Mr Bobo at his best in the Orchestra.

Thanks!
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Peach »

Quick look on UK iTunes offers slim pickings:
Prok 5/Previn
Nielsen 4/Mehta
Tchaik 6/Giulini

And not a lot else...
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Norm Pearson »

He played a Mirafone 188 prototype around 1979-80 and a production 188 in starting in 1981

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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Peach »

Norm Pearson wrote:He played a Mirafone 188 prototype around 1979-80 and a production 188 in starting in 1981

Norm Pearson
Great, thank you.
Thereafter did he tend to use the slightly bigger equipment? I know he had the Imperial Eb bell put on (one of?) his 184's.

Any must-have recordings at all?

Thanks again
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by barry grrr-ero »

Roger Bobo was never a 6/4 size player, if that's what you mean. I think the Nielen 4th with Mehta (Decca) shows him off to great effect. I haven't heard Bobo in Bruckner, but I could imagine him sounding awesome in Bruckner 4.

I could be wrong, but I think Bobo plays on many of the early Bernard Haitink/Amsterdam Concertgebouw Mahler recordings on Philips. If so, try Haitink's first Mahler 2 that he did. It's great. Mahler 7 too - the first one.

https://www.amazon.com/Eloq-Nielsen-Sym ... lsen+mehta" target="_blank
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by daktx2 »

His playing on Zubin Mehta's Tchaikovsky cycle is just awesome. Miraphone Power Sound!
And as a bonus, 1812 overture and March Slav are in this set as filler.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E0LB90

And a fun one of him in the 80s (on the 188) is the DG Rhapsody in Blue / Symphonic Dances from West Side Story with Bernstein at the piano.
https://www.amazon.com/Gershwin-Rhapsod ... B003L6WK62

Happy listening!
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Peach »

barry grrr-ero wrote:Roger Bobo was never a 6/4 size player, if that's what you mean. I think the Nielen 4th with Mehta (Decca) shows him off to great effect. I haven't heard Bobo in Bruckner, but I could imagine him sounding awesome in Bruckner 4.

I could be wrong, but I think Bobo plays on many of the early Bernard Haitink/Amsterdam Concertgebouw Mahler recordings on Philips. If so, try Haitink's first Mahler 2 that he did. It's great. Mahler 7 too - the first one.

https://www.amazon.com/Eloq-Nielsen-Sym ... lsen+mehta" target="_blank" target="_blank
Thanks for these links.
No, I knew Mr Bobo never went 6/4. I was asking whether he tended toward the 188 once that was an option.

I'd love to hear his thoughts though on choice of tuba. I would guess he at least tried 6/4 horns as they gained in popularity but obviously not the sonic route he looked for.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by kathott »

I heard Mr. Bobo live on a few occasions: in LA, LA on tour, in recital (Conferences) and in the single lesson I had with him. I enjoy the early LA recordings, some classic sounds.
In addition to some of those mentioned, my favorites include Arcana, Nielsen IV, Ives No.1 and the Wagner sessions with Leinsdorf.
Last edited by kathott on Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by poomshanka »

kathott wrote:Wagner sessions with Leinsdorf.
Unless I'm mistaken, the Wagner/Leinsdorf recording was Tommy Johnson playing on his Mirafone 190CC. I used to have a recording of it somewhere, but can't seem to find it. I might be able to tell if I listened to it. Tommy got a unique sound on his 190CC that's hard to mistake for anything else.

...Dave
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Mike-Johnson-Custom »

Peach,
On one of the masterclasses Fletch gave when I was a student. He commented that Roger was the most exciting Tuba player in the business at the time!
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Michael Bush »

daktx2 wrote:His playing on Zubin Mehta's Tchaikovsky cycle is just awesome. Miraphone Power Sound!
And as a bonus, 1812 overture and March Slav are in this set as filler.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E0LB90
I went straight to the fourth symphony. The first movement is breathtaking. The last four notes of the opening fanfare let you know what is to come. Thanks.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by doublebuzzing »

daktx2 wrote:His playing on Zubin Mehta's Tchaikovsky cycle is just awesome. Miraphone Power Sound!
And as a bonus, 1812 overture and March Slav are in this set as filler.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E0LB90

And a fun one of him in the 80s (on the 188) is the DG Rhapsody in Blue / Symphonic Dances from West Side Story with Bernstein at the piano.
https://www.amazon.com/Gershwin-Rhapsod ... B003L6WK62

Happy listening!
While I agree the tuba playing on the Tchaikovsky symphonies with Mehta is nice, the overall recordings themselves are some of the most underwhelming performances I've ever heard from a group of this stature. No excitement in Tchaikovsky! They are just going through the motions. Makes no sense. Having this be my first set of Tchaikovsky symphonies almost put me off to Tchaikovsky entirely. Very surprising from this group because at that time they made some extraordinary recordings such as the Mahler 3, 5, Strauss, etc.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by doublebuzzing »

Here is Roger playing probably that B&S F and sounding like only he does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC4DMdULlcc" target="_blank
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Norm Pearson »

Roger did not get his B&S f tuba until the summer of 1980 after he wa a judge at the Markneukirchen Competition. It was probably his Mirafone 180 f tuba with a Besson bell or even his 184 CC wth a Besson bell.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by barry grrr-ero »

I know from second hand information that Roger Bobo equated the increase in cases of focal-dystonia, to the increase in usage of 6/4 size York copies. Again, that's second hand info, so it might not be quite right.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Iliotuba »

If Wikipaedia is correct, Mr. Bobo played for two years in the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Haitink made very few recordings during this period. It appears that the only work with tuba during this period was the Mahler 1st symphony.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Iliotuba »

Eugen Jochum was also a conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra during Mr. Bobo's time there. Mr. Bobo may be on their 1964 recording of Bruckner's 5th Symphony for Philips (now Decca)
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by timayer »

If I sounded like that on a 4/4, I wouldn't play anything bigger either.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by barry grrr-ero »

Thank you for straightening me out on that topic. I'm wondering if Donald Blakeslee was the tuba player I was hearing on those recordings, or if he came on-board later.
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Re: Roger Bobo

Post by Terraplane8Bob »

I had the pleasure of being a classmate of Roger Bobo when I attended the Eastman School of Music in 1956-1961. It was amazing to me that a Freshman in our class was the tubist with The Rochester Philharmonic, but such was the talent of this amazing guy. Technically, Roger was a student of my instructor at ESM, Donald Knaub, who was the bass trombonist of the Philharmonic at the time. Many times during our lessons, Don would make reference to Roger and to the incredible talent he was. I have a reel-to-reel tape recording of Roger's concerto performance to earn the "Performer's Certificate" from ESM. He played the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto. For years I would play that tape to other musicians asking them to identify the instrument that was playing. Almost no one was able to do so because of the incredible sound and technical mastery that he managed to pull out of the tuba. Such power, such focus, such finesse ---- seemingly all without precedent. I remember when his beloved Heissner [sp.?] tuba literally wore out from use and he became the American "rep" for Mirafone. I bought a Mirafone "Bass Trumpet" from him [a tenor horn identical to the one that the "Lonely Boy" of the Mnozil Brass uses] and enjoyed it for years. It is still in my possession although I specialize on bass trombone and rarely play it. At one point, Roger showed up with a contrabass trombone that Mirafone made up for him. I recall him sitting in a concert with the ESM Symphony Band using that contrabass trombone which programmed a Clifton Williams piece, the title of which escapes me at the moment, and covering the entire ensemble with a couple of exposed pedal notes. Truly unbelieveable ! The next I heard of his use of that instrument was in the famous Leinsdorf/Wagner album on Capitol Records. Any accolades that you may have heard about Roger Bobo are well deserved !
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