The bulk of the musical talk
Reminds me of a phone conversation I had years ago with our esteemed TubeNetter, Roger Lewis. He said a big percentage of his professional playing, including orchestras, was done on his Cerveny Piggy.
PK took one on tour (decades ago) with Philly...
It was heard.
It was neither (to my teenage ears) a "glorious" nor a "bad" sound.
bloke "not judging...just reporting"
As I was walking up to the hall (past the stage door), Ormandy stepped out of a cab and tripped (double curb) - heading for the pavement. I caught him.
Controlling for the vast difference in user ability both in the tuba player and the orchestra as a whole, that's pretty much my assessment. No problem being heard. Not a half bad sound.
The above poster is correct. For about 20 years my only CC tuba was a Walter Sear piggy. I won Tanglewood on that horn and an older Perrantuci F tuba. I played it with the Boston Pops that summer and it worked fine. The piggy is a horn you can "push". You can play it a lot bigger than it looks. Sometimes though it depends on the player. Great horn and still using it today.
When one of my orchestras scheduled Mahler 2, that's when the Yorkbrunner joined the family.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S Thompson
I played a piggy for 18 years in an orchestra. A couple times I wish I had more firepower (Pines of Rome) but it served me well. I did get a massive amount of compliments on the tone of my 601 when I made the swap, but I thought the blend with the trombones and horns was better on the piggy
The only catch is that "603" and "piggy" have been applied to a number of designs. All similar, they have changed significantly several times over the years. Good or bad or just "different" is up to the player, I suppose.
The first two I ever saw/heard were
- one belonging to a kid with the Australian Youth Orchestra (on tour, young man - my age - stayed at my parents' house). It was the first "really large bore" tuba that I ever played. This was probably in 1974.
- (again) the one that PK took with him on tour with Philly (same year)...
...so those to which I referred were from that era, and sported four rotors.
I believe they attracted a great deal of interest because they were powerful sounding, looked different, felt different to play, sounded different (bell so close to the player's ears), and were well under $1500.
Some of those made in the 1970's sported an extremely sharp 2nd space C.
Mark's post demonstrates how much they actually differed, so any generalization about "intonation characteristics of a Piggy" is likely an overreach.
The main difference between the two I've had with an intention to keep and play is the position of the valves. On this one, the main tuning slide is shorter and the leadpipe is longer, and the valve set is a little lower on the body.
The previous one (picked up in a trade generously hosted by bloke, complete with excellent BBQ) was ergonomically unworkable for me. No amount of shifting it around put my wrist at a viable angle.
I think that would have been Peter Sykes, he was later to join the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and I bought that piggy when Peter bought one of the first batch of Yorkbrunners. I played the piggy with the Sydney Symphony for about 3 months and won my job on that horn in 1983.
It had a lovely sound, intonation in the middle of the stave was a challenge. Times have changed - I don't think anyone would win a job playing all the excerpts on a piggy these days....
Last edited by cambrook on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
yes...It was Peter.
I sometimes hesitate to mention specific people here when they aren't part of the conversation...but I'm sure it's perfectly fine to mention him.
I'm also reminded that an outdoor party was thrown for the Australian Youth Orchestra, and the River City Six (a fabulous Memphis-based jazz band of the past) entertained. I sigh, because all of those wonderful friends/colleagues/gig-buddies (except for that band's drummer, who is still alive and doing well) have passed away...
...Here's a youtube video of the band's leader, Emil Orth (trombone), guest-appearing with another band at some jazz festival (probably c. 1978 or so). He was one of the last to pass away just a few years ago. A couple of years before he passed away, he was suffering from Alzheimer's but (just like Carl Fontana) he could still play his tail off. Before his health completely deteriorated, I would pick him up and take him (when we were both involved) to gigs. His wife would get him to play several tunes the night before he had a gig, and - the day of the gig - she would make certain that he was dressed and ready to go. ...He had about a 3-minute recent memory... not quite enough to last through a tune, so (occasionally, during his late-life Alzheimer's era) he would play two solos.
Last edited by bloke on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
That makes perfect sense...and wow: MM...I really didn't meet very many of them, because (even though he and another young man were staying at our house) I was working in another jazz band at a brand-new-that-year theme park (long since shuttered) in Memphis called "Libertyland"...me: age 19
This probably won't fit on most computer screens:
weird factoid about the old wooden roller coaster (which was sold, and reassembled in Wisconsin)
bloke "We played on the porch of that building with four columns (near the entrance, near the Pippin roller coaster, and in 'Colonial Land'."
In the past decade, for several years, the tubist for the Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestra used a Cerveny Piggy...no issue hearing him...
Dr. James M. Green
Low Brass Professor--Ohio Northern University
Gronitz PF 125
Most of you know that the bore of those Piggys(dubbed that by John Fletcher at Walter Sear's shop and referred to by Walter and the Cerveny company as the Opera Model) is right around .835. It doesn't get much bigger than that. They were designed to be an orchestral sounding tuba for use in limited space. Paul K(Philly) was at Walter's place the day before I went down and he took six with him. I heard him play Finlandia on it and still think it was the best I ever heard from him sound wise. I'm pretty sure that if you handed one to Chester Schmitz or Arnold Jacobs before a concert they would sound like themselves. I think many of us have begun to listen with our eyes in this regard. In today's terminology they are a 5/4 in 3/4 clothing.FWIW, Ed
The Singing Whale
Though .835" bore, I found that they were outfitted with the 681 model's .795" bore rotors (except with .835" bore knuckles brazed to the outsides of the .795" bore rotor casings).
I wondered if that was (eventually) yours. A fine example of "it's the plumber, not the plumbing!"
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