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Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Postby Full Metal Ratchet » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:10 am

Philharmonia Orchestra, Andre Cluytens, cond.
EMI, recorded November 1958

MP3 downloads also available from the site.

A quick search didn't provide any lists of past players. Whoever it is, it is a combination of good mic placement and some killer playing.

On a side note, do you think this is Public Domain. Recorded 1958 in England, but it looks like also published in US via Columbia if this info I found is correct. I'm guessing it isn't public domain in the US, but it is for England since it went public (2009) before assimilation into the new EU copyright laws in 2013. I had to spend some time looking that up, and who knows if the websites are accurate.

4,5th Nov. 1958, Kingsway Hall, London
* with Philharmonia Orchestra
* Producer/Engineer ; Walter Legge & Walter Jellinek/Harold Davidson
* LP ; Columbia 33CX 1673, Pathé-Marconi SAXF 123, EMI CFP 168
* CD ; EMI CDZ 7 62605 2 / CES 5 69020 2, Toshiba TOCE-3065 / TOCE-7107 / TOCE-13009
Full Metal Ratchet
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:51 pm

Re: Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Postby Andrew » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:01 pm

Almost certainly this is John 'Tug' Wilson. The date is right and his highly distinctive, pungent and precise sound and playing style certainly is. Tug had been the renowned solo euphonium player in the Central Band of the Royal Air Force in the 1930s/40s. He then entered the orchestral world at the end of WW2 beginning with the London Philharmonic Orchestra where his extraordinarily 'telling' sound can be heard on the Vaughan Williams Symphonies under Boult from around 1953. If anyone's curious in what British orchestral tuba playing was like pre-Fletcher listen to Tug's playing! John Fletcher was an ardent admirer of Tug's playing and was certainly influenced by him. Very sadly Tug never recorded the VW Concerto. He mostly played on a large 5-valve Besson 'Barlow' F tuba (without compensation) built around 1930 but he also recorded on standard British F tubas (with compensation). He played on very small mouthpieces of his own manufacture and it's a perennial mystery how he managed to get the huge 'singerly' presence of sound he did. He retired from professional playing around 1965 and joined the bass section of his local amateur brass band - incognito until he was eventually recognised as the legendary orchestral tuba player of the 1940s-1960s
Audio (mostly in mono)....
1) Frank Symphony 1959 (recorded in the same year as the Berlioz)
2) Wagner Meistersingers Overture 1960
3) Walton Portsmouth Point 1954
4) Elgar In The South 1955
5) Bruckner 7 1960

Video (featuring his Besson 'Barlow' F tuba).....
Mussorgsky Pictures 1964
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Location: Oxford, England

Re: Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Postby Full Metal Ratchet » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:10 am


Thank you so much for replying to this query, and with such detail! I check this post about once a week. I've never heard of "Tug" but I like his style and will definitely check out the other recordings you listed.

:tuba: :tuba: :tuba:

Full Metal Ratchet
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:51 pm

Re: Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Postby eupher61 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:02 am

that's a great performance!

Who's the bass trombone/euph player? It looks like HE influenced Fletcher a bit, too!

Big patterns with a long baton make for a tired conductor. He was working his butt off, and certainly put on a show. But, the result was even better.

Thanks for posting this. I'm also not familiar with Tug aside from this, but it's very impressive. I'd enjoy having one of those Barlow Fs, just to see how it compares with my old Barlow pocket knife.
6 valves
6 valves
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Re: Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

Postby tuben » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:01 pm

Full Metal Ratchet wrote:On a side note, do you think this is Public Domain.


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