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"cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:42 pm

Can anyone refer me to a photograph of a c. 1870 low brass instrument (in F, Eb, CC, BBb, or any other key) that is configured like this... (??)

Image

thanks.
Last edited by bloke on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby pierre » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:11 pm

There's also one on the wall at Dillon's that looks quite old.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:01 pm

Thanks for the picture. It is similar in shape, and appears to be a baritone.

It that what these "cimbasso" players (who use them on opera excerpts, for doubling pay, etc.) should actually be using to please Verdi...9 foot bugle Bb instruments?
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby fairweathertuba » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:04 am

Cimbassos are typically used to deafen New Yorkers on busy street corners are they not?
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby fairweathertuba » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:11 am

http://maillists.samford.edu/pipermail/ ... 17843.html" target="_blank" target="_blank

Apparently the modern version of the cimbasso wasn't invented until the 1950's or so. I'm just going by some random webpage that google found for me, for all I know it could be complete baloney but it sounds plausible.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby KiltieTuba » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:30 am

All those old instruments are irrelevant. This is like the thread on bringing back the ophicleide into the modern orchestra - there's a reason why we don't see old designs used regularly... Hence why bloke probably won't find a photograph like the picture posted.

I blame the 1960-80s generations for all the loud music and louder music that has caused the older instruments, like the ophicleide, to be replaced by louder versions to accommodate for the new generation of people with hearing problems... :tuba: :tuba:
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby goodgigs » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:53 am

KiltieTuba wrote:All those old instruments are irrelevant. This is like the thread on bringing back the ophicleide into the modern orchestra - there's a reason why we don't see old designs used regularly... Hence why bloke probably won't find a photograph like the picture posted.

I blame the 1960-80s generations for all the loud music and louder music that has caused the older instruments, like the ophicleide, to be replaced by louder versions to accommodate for the new generation of people with hearing problems... :tuba: :tuba:


+1 "I heard that"
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby imperialbari » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:01 am

From an older eBay auction:

tuba--cimbasso--trombone verdistowasser 4 cilindri

Description()revisedRaro strumento! Stowasser 4 cilindri! nikelato! da revisionare, alcuni pezzi mancanti come evidenziati in foto.

l 10-dic-03, il venditore ha aggiunto le seguenti informazioni sull'oggetto:
Raro strumento,CIMBASSO-TROMBONE VERDI BBb contrabbasso!!! 4cilindri,diam. campana 27, tutte le pompe sono estraibili non presenta ammaccature,lo strumento è in buono stato,mancano due tappi cilindri.Perfetto per il repertorio di VERDI e VAGNER.Necessita di piccola manutenzione ordinaria.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby imperialbari » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:05 am

Bell engraving.jpg
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:46 am

Klaus,

I guess I want to believe, but that just looks like (though perhaps cobbled together with 50 - 90-year-old stuff) another (recently) homemade whatchamadiddle.

Image

bloke "Does anyone remember the 'genuine Bach' one that appeared awhile back?"
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby imperialbari » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:55 am

Using parts from Stowasser’s department in Verona? Like the Czech original company hardly known since WWII aside from the name been used on some Chinese stencils. And the nickel plated?

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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:58 am

Klaus,

Whatever it is, I see old baritone horns that look like that bugle/bell combo on flea-bay fairly regularly. (I have a similar one here...about that age with a bunch of stamping and engraving all over the bell.) ...and the rest of it looks as if it was "borrowed" from one of those valve bass trombones (again, seen fairly regularly on eBay). Nickel plating...?? cheaper/easier than silver plating...' looks fine with a crappy buffing job (which is why mechanisms on cheap saxes are nickel plated). :|
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby imperialbari » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:27 am

Bell diameter is 27cm.

What pitch of this instrument does that measurement make likely when comparing to valve lengths?

Does this instrument look narrow-bore like most German-Czech valve trombone?

From which pitch of tubas do we mostly know that bulb profile in the 2nd slide?

Photo quality isn’t impressive, but didn’t come better.
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby k001k47 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:54 am

What's that, the score calls for ophicleide? I'll take my subcotrabass tuba anway. :x :tuba:
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby pjv » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:20 am

http://www.dillonmusic.com/p-12518-pari ... basso.aspx" target="_blank

Dillons used to have two of these. Matt might know the dates of this one and the one that sold.

Heres another Stowasser;
http://www.horn-u-copia.net/display.php ... imbasso%22

My 2 cents;
if I made brass instruments and someone asked for a special order contrabass valved bass-trombone, I'd use as many parts available from existing instruments. As well, brass manufacturers often buy parts from other manufactures if at that point in time its to their advantage.

As many here already know, the contrabass valved-trombone or the cylindrical tuba (or the almost very much cylindrical tuba) became popular in the 2nd 1/2 of the 20thC and certainly thrived in the film studio industry. My gut feeling says it wasn't too popular before then because of the limits of brass technology at the time. The longer the cylindrical brass instrument the stuffier it tends to play. With the advancements in brass making it becomes easier to make cylindrical contras that play, well, like a musical instrument should. Again, this is just a spilling my guts feeling.

I've know idea why all the cylindrical contras are made in cavaliers trombone form. The Jimbasso form seems to me to be better balanced less fragile. But I feel that the only interesting question an orchestra/opera tubist and/or conducter should ask themselves is whether or not they feel that an orchestration calls for the use of a cylindrical contra or not. What it looks like is for the most part secondary, isn't it?

What I do know is that I'm happy to own one and use it a lot, but never on Verdi (I never play Verdi).

Cheers, Pat
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby Jay Bertolet » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:15 am

‘I wish to insist once again on a fourth trombone. That bombardon is not possible……I would prefer a trombone-basso which is the same family as the others; but if this turns out to be too much trouble or too difficult to play, then get one of those ordinary ophicleides that go down to low B.’

I don't know, Verdi seems to be pretty clear here. Just because it took decades for the right instrument (that matches Verdi's conception) to be reliably produced seems less important to me than the fact that it may have been produced. Having played Verdi's works on both bass tubas and a cimbasso, I can confirm that there is no question about the difference. I presented a masterclass at the 2002 ITEC in Greensboro and said as much there. I even demonstrated with a trombone section (thank you North Carolina Symphony trombone section, you guys were great!) the difference in sound with 2 different bass tubas and then a cimbasso on the same Verdi excerpts. The audience seemed to get it too, when presented with a clear cut, side by side comparison. The cimbasso that we have access to today feels to me like a totally natural fit to Verdi's works where the tuba simply does not.

It seems to me that the only argument that can be plausibly made is that maybe a bass trombone would be an equally valid choice. Considering the technical duress these parts would cause, I wouldn't advise it as a viable option, though I'm sure anything is possible with a quality player. Also, people seem very hung up on the term cimbasso. Considering that nobody can provide an accurate derivation of the word, James Gourlay's writings on the matter may be exactly right. It may be that the term was copyist shorthand and simply denotes the bass instrument in the trombone section. However you wish to call it, the intent that Verdi called for is clear and that seems a worthy enough goal for anyone wishing to perform his works.
My opinion for what it's worth...


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Tuba/Euphonium Instructor - Florida International University,
Broward College, Miami Summer Music Festival
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby bloke » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:47 am

so...

Which of these modern contraptions (which modern players choose to call "cimbassos") did Verdi "like", and which tubas (Hirsbrunner? B&S? Conn? King? Miraphone? Jinbao?) did he "dislike" ? Who played them? How well could they play?
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby Bob Kolada » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:26 am

I've know idea why all the cylindrical contras are made in cavaliers trombone form. The Jimbasso form seems to me to be better balanced less fragile. But I feel that the only interesting question an orchestra/opera tubist and/or conducter should ask themselves is whether or not they feel that an orchestration calls for the use of a cylindrical contra or not. What it looks like is for the most part secondary, isn't it?


Fwiw, I've got an (up bell) Eb being made in the same shape. It seems the only reason to have a bent valve trombone is for it to look kinda like a trombone. :D
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Re: "cimbasso"/"Verdi hated the tuba"/etc.

Postby KiltieTuba » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:16 am

Bob Kolada wrote:
I've know idea why all the cylindrical contras are made in cavaliers trombone form. The Jimbasso form seems to me to be better balanced less fragile. But I feel that the only interesting question an orchestra/opera tubist and/or conducter should ask themselves is whether or not they feel that an orchestration calls for the use of a cylindrical contra or not. What it looks like is for the most part secondary, isn't it?


Fwiw, I've got an (up bell) Eb being made in the same shape. It seems the only reason to have a bent valve trombone is for it to look kinda like a trombone. :D


How's that going Bob - any pictorial updates?
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