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French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby Ace » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:52 pm

Here's an interesting video of a small ensemble playing Pictures excerpt, first with contrabass tuba and then with small French C tuba. I much prefer the big horn. It must have been a pain for olden day players to wrestle with the small C tuba.

https://youtu.be/-SFBH0lFCIw?t=57

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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby barry grrr-ero » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:36 pm

Actually, I'm quite amazed that the low notes are as good as they are on what's a essentially a big euphonium in C with lots of valves and tubing. It sounds pretty well in tune also. I'm impressed.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby joshealejo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:42 pm

That is the great work of Mr. UncleBeer. It sounds really great, he has another video playig Bydlo using that Couesnon bass saxhorn, souds great also!

It would be great to have more examples of music played side by side with "nowdays" CC tuba and french bass saxhorn (Please do It Mr. UncleBeer)
Last edited by joshealejo on Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby the elephant » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:45 pm

Impressive! Thanks for sharing. I, in turn, have posted it on FB.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby UncleBeer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:57 pm

That's Dr. UncleBeer! That recital pulled me over the DMA finish line. Now I have a piece of paper that says I can play an essentially obsolete instrument. :lol:

For those who are interested (pretty sure I've put these links up before), here is the French Orchestre National de la RTF in 1961 playing Pictures, using the French tuba for the entire piece: https://youtu.be/rp-vIzUbK-c

And here is a modern performance of the Rite using two French tubas: https://youtu.be/rq1q6u3mLSM
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby KiltieTuba » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:05 pm

I thought it sounded better on the French C tuba.

Funny, though, the trombones are a modern/louder version than when the French C tuba was used frequently. Perhaps, if the trombones had changed to a smaller bored instrument it would have helped the sound?
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby the elephant » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:15 pm

I preferred it on the French instrument. What brand and model is it, and what mouthpiece did you find worked the best?
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby barry grrr-ero » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:39 pm

My question is this: is there a recording of "Pictures" - presumably with a French orchestra - in which you can really hear the French 'petite tuba' in C played well?
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby UncleBeer » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:58 pm

KiltieTuba wrote:
Funny, though, the trombones are a modern/louder version than when the French C tuba was used frequently. Perhaps, if the trombones had changed to a smaller bored instrument it would have helped the sound?

Modern 'bones though are not twice as long as their predecessors though, as is the case of the CC BAT and the French tuba the whole piece was written for.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby TheGoyWonder » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:09 pm

I think the trombones balanced down for the little one. It did pretty okay...but I'd guess a regular comp euph on a bass bone mouthpiece would do about the same.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby barry grrr-ero » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:29 am

. . . yes, and it's one thing to play as a section in an empty room, it's quite another to play with the entire orchestra - percussion and trumpets included - in a hall full of audience members. That's why the tuba gods created 5/4 and 6/4 tubas.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby Casca Grossa » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:27 pm

Is there a recording of this instrument with brass quintet? ;-)
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby ken k » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:20 pm

how would this horn compare to a euphonium? Is the sound comparable, intonation?

It would seem to me that there are many more quality euphs made nowadays than CC tenor tubas.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby hrender » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:19 pm

KiltieTuba wrote:I thought it sounded better on the French C tuba.


+1
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby UncleBeer » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:49 pm

barry grrr-ero wrote:. . . yes, and it's one thing to play as a section in an empty room, it's quite another to play with the entire orchestra - percussion and trumpets included - in a hall full of audience members. That's why the tuba gods created 5/4 and 6/4 tubas.


Mmmm, no. I used this instrument for years with my orchestra when playing French repertoire. It balances just fine.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby southtubist » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:16 pm

Nice playing- I really liked the French tuba! It's like an old mountain howitzer- lots of firepower but in a surprisingly small package! I bet Bydlo is a little easier too!

Also, this shows that sound concept rules. You still sound like the same guy on both horns, and you also still sound plenty big on that little French tuba. Most untrained listeners wouldn't notice the difference.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby PaulMaybery » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:44 am

Carl, you make a very convincing argument for using the French tuba, and it does make sense on the appropriate French pieces. We are going on a similar trip these days with the cimbasso. And of course we have all the pros and cons. All that aside, if you have one, play it as well as your main instrument, then by all means use it where it was intended. From what I understand a certain company maybe coming out with a 6 valver in C sometime soon.
I suppose one in Bb might be more practical as many of us tuba freaks already play the euph. That would drastically reduce the learning curve, thus perhaps it might get used more often. But thanks so much for doing that recital.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby bloke » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:04 am

Great players (French tubas, ophicleides, serpents, contrabass trombones, or what-have-you), who are also familiar with the instruments, time-spent-wise, are the best for demonstrating (playable versions of) instruments with which most players of related-modern instruments are not familiar.

Instruments of antiquity end up with a bad rap when (ex.) musicologists demonstrate them in a classroom, on a stage, or via youtube.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby hrender » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:41 am

bloke wrote:Instruments of antiquity end up with a bad rap when (ex.) musicologists demonstrate them in a classroom, on a stage, or via youtube.


There is no instrument so good that it can't be played badly.
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Re: French C tuba vs contrabass tuba

Postby the elephant » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:46 am

Agreed. Only people who have figured out historical instruments ought to be posting examples of how they play. There are some hilarious examples of people who can barely play contemporary instruments trying to play the ancient stuff, then commenting on how lousy they play. An expert, however, can actually demonstrate why the instrument was used in the first place. Case in point:

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