What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

in that recording
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Tubainsauga
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Tubainsauga »

Heretical Opinion: Many tuba players could stand to player smaller equipment and generally play quieter. Prokofiev 5 isn't a solo and the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Ace »

Tubainsauga wrote:Heretical Opinion: Many tuba players could stand to player smaller equipment and generally play quieter. Prokofiev 5 isn't a solo and the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
+1

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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by timayer »

Tubainsauga wrote:the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
The first time I heard a recording of this with ophicleids, I gave up ever doing it justice on the tuba. And, to make it topical for this post, it brought me back to a point Roger made during a master class years ago - The tuba tends to be too pretty.

Especially in the (written) range of the Dies Irae, the tuba will never actually do the part justice. The Dies Irae needs to sound low, which no tuba does in that range. Any tuba in that range will sound mid-to-high range, and it won't have the same edge/vibration (for lack of a better word) in the sound that bassoons and ophicleids have (because they are playing lower in their range). And, as said above, because the tuba can be SO present in that register, it will cover up those colors from the bassoons.

Gene Pokorny's solution - to play it in the pedal register on a bass tuba - addresses those issues to a great extent. I think that should be a much more accepted/universal way to play it. It also wouldn't offend me, for the same reason, to try it played an octave-below-written on a euphonium. But to get the right color, again in my opinion, it needs to be done in the lowest possible octave (within reason....for all of you who can play the insane C in Encounters II...) on the available instrument.

I think the bass tuba is a good fit for most of that part, but the Dies Irae is always a minefield for the tuba, and the tuba frequently (in my opinion) ruins it.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by timayer »

bloke wrote:There's an old video (online - B&W) of the Boston Symphony performing it.
The interpretation and tempi are a bit "odd" (as interpretation of most all major works has been reduced to "play it like the record"), but interesting.
One of the tuba parts is covered by a 4-valve (Conn...??) American-made bell-front baritone, with the other instrument - apparently...?? - being a 3+1...?? ("double"...??...nor not?) F tuba.

Image

Thank you for posting this! Interesting tempo choices for sure....apparently the witches had somewhere to be after the sabbath.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Gravid »

timayer wrote: 1. The 184/185s are not York-o-phones. (I know, starting out with some controversy here).
2. That's not a bad thing.
3. Not every piece that calls for a contrabass tuba needs a 6/4 contrabass tuba.
4. Sometimes the tuba doesn't have to be the "bottom of the orchestra" and can simply be the bottom of the trombones, or even a solo bass voice.
4a. Even when the tuba is the "bottom of the orchestra" it rarely has to serve that function without the double basses and bassoons. I.e., the tuba rarely, if ever, has to by itself lay a foundation for 100 other musicians.
5. This is one of those pieces that in many parts allows the tuba to be a soloistic bass voice, the bottom of the trombones, and part of the bottom of the orchestra.

I have always said that anyone will like any music as long as it is done well. And usually that theory has been proven right. The tuba performance in this recording is very, very unique. It happens to not only be very unique but is also executed extraordinarily well. It is a very compelling demonstration of a way to play tuba that has fallen out of favor over the last 30-40 years.
Well-stated, sir.
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