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Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby mbell » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:22 pm

Has anyone here covered the contra bassoon part in the Poulenc Gloria on tuba? If so, does it work well on tuba? How critical is the part? I just took a quick glance at the score on IMSLP and the part does look to be reasonably independent. They will most likely not have a bass clarinet and possibly won't have a 2nd bassoon, so that could make the contra bassoon part even more important.

The regional choir here in Austin is doing a performance this weekend. Do to a miscommunication they are scrambling at the last minute for woodwind and brass players. I've been trying to help them out. Three tuba players answered the call. One will be covering the bass trombone part, which actually doesn't have very much to do.

Thanks for any tips

mike
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby bloke » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:39 pm

Having just taken a peek at the score, the contrabassoon part is certainly not difficult.
Based on the instruments you own, I'd probably recommend playing the part on your "piggy" down an octave from where written.
The ideal brasswind substitute for contrabassoon, in the opinion of bloke, is an F cimbasso with a Humes & Berg model 199 cup mute.
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby Mark » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:45 pm

bloke wrote:... is an F cimbasso with a Humes & Berg model 199 cup mute.


So, this mute will fit the Chinese cimbasso?
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby mbell » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks, Bloke. I was mainly concerned about a tuba playing the part and fitting in. We only have one rehearsal. I guess I'll see how it goes.

mike
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby bloke » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:24 am

From experience, most anything (if played stylistically correctly, the correct pitches at the correct times, in tune, and not too loud) will "fit" into "music".
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby UncleBeer » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:03 am

Don't forget: contrabassoon parts are played an octave below what's written.
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby mbell » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:46 pm

UncleBeer wrote:Don't forget: contrabassoon parts are played an octave below what's written.


Yup! Just got the part and the contra bassoon only plays in the first movement. I may be covering some 2nd bassoon in the other movements. I almost ended up playing timpani, but finally found a real percussionist to do it. I would have gotten the tuba part if I hadn't told them I could cover the timpani if needed. Should have kept my big mouth shut.

I agree with Bloke about the fitting in. I was just a little concerned since Poulenc's orchestration is not ordinary. I am sure it will be fine though. Should be fun.

mike
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby Ace » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:28 pm

You mention having to scramble at the last minute for wind and brass players. Panic time. However, in a large city such as Austin TX with flagship campus of gigantic University of Texas it is hard to understand the problem. There must be at least two or three competent contrabassoon players in town. Lure them with some money. Good luck with your performance.

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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm

I've done dozens of contra parts on tuba. Use a metal mute and it's a pretty good substitute
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Re: Poulenc Gloria Contra Bassoon Part

Postby mbell » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:05 pm

Area high school players were supposed to do this gig. It is for a high school regional choir. Apparently there was a miscommunication and all the high school wind, brass and percussion players are not available as they thought they would be. I am guessing there is some kind of marching band thing going on. At any rate, they did not realize the problem until just a few days ago.

Your key phrase though, "Lure them with some money", is not an option. There is none. Both no money and miscommunication are very common problems in the school district here. I work for them (not music) and deal with it all the time. We've rounded up some very fine community music players though and I think we should be OK. I'm happy I get an opportunity to play this piece.

mike

Ace wrote:You mention having to scramble at the last minute for wind and brass players. Panic time. However, in a large city such as Austin TX with flagship campus of gigantic University of Texas it is hard to understand the problem. There must be at least two or three competent contrabassoon players in town. Lure them with some money. Good luck with your performance.

Ace
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