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Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Sun May 13, 2018 9:21 am

' any reference recordings of this symphony with a really fine serpente player on board...??

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Reproduction-Church-Serpent-Grandfather-Of-The-Tuba/123129975992
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby UncleBeer » Sun May 13, 2018 2:53 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Mendelssohn-Symphony-Reformation-Overture-Prosperous/dp/B00UB1QSCC

I've performed this several times on French tuba, and Bloke (and others!) are in luck, as they're now available! :D
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Sun May 13, 2018 3:17 pm

Much of the W-offered gadgetry does not interest me...and some here know that I've sworn off 6/4-ery...but the "French" tuba...I would like to sit down and mess with one to see "what it's all about". :D

As a non-collector, everything labeled here as "mine" must earn its keep, or it's offered for sale.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby UncleBeer » Sun May 13, 2018 3:39 pm

That's absolutely the best thing about a salaried orchestra gig: being able to justify instrument purchases. In 15 years on the job with it, I'd played enough Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Gounod, Delibes, Saint-Saëns, Messiaen, etc. on it to easily say the French tuba had 'earned its keep'.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Sun May 13, 2018 3:51 pm

UncleBeer wrote:That's absolutely the best thing about a salaried orchestra gig: being able to justify instrument purchases. In 15 years on the job with it, I'd played enough Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Gounod, Delibes, Saint-Saëns, Messiaen, etc. on it to easily say the French tuba had 'earned its keep'.


I might (??) be examining it as a euphonium replacement for certain quintet works...particularly it
- offers accessible intonation
- plays a strong two-ledgers-below to three-ledgers above (bass clef) range (as does a bass trombone, as I would be looking to REPLACE the euphonium as a bass trombone substitute for the bass trombone oriented brass quintet literature.

Were it to impress me (and - my assumption - at this point - is not-at-all negative, believe me), I might (??) beg that a version be offered that provided a quicker learning curve (such as a 4+2 set up with an intervalic relationship to the typical 4+2 F tuba set up).
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby UncleBeer » Sun May 13, 2018 4:01 pm

I know you own a 3+1 Eb, so you're already good with that setup. The 5th is just as it is on any tuba (flat whole step). The only thing that takes getting used to is the 6th.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby tylerferris1213 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 pm

As my serpent teacher says about this piece, if you can distinctly hear the serpent, they're playing it wrong haha.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 pm

just fwiw,

Did Mendelssohn love the French C tuba, and hate the American 6/4 CC tuba?
Which one of the two was originally called a "serpente" ?
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby Snake Charmer » Thu May 17, 2018 1:22 am

Mendelssohn loved the English Bass Horn, even if he described it in a letter to his sister as a "type of watering can". But at the time were more serpent players around and the contrabassoons quite underdeveloped, so he combined them to a nice bass voice, playing in octaves.
Last year we played the Reformation, I used my Ophicleide for the Serpent part. (And for the Bass Horn part in the op.24 Ouverture). The recording is quite nice...
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby MTFULRUTUBA » Thu May 17, 2018 8:47 am

I was lucky enough to play this several years ago in a local orchestra. I remember packing up to go home and being handed the part by the personnel manager. It worked well on my F tuba, at least, I didn't hear any complaints. I've got the part laying around somewhere...
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby the elephant » Thu May 17, 2018 8:51 am

The serpent is just another gimmick. It'll never catch on with the kids.

Cool kids play the bombardon.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 am

Very cool... 8) :shock:
I prompted a "lurker" (and - it appears - a VERY interesting subscriber) to post !
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby iattp » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:13 am

the elephant wrote:The serpent is just another gimmick. It'll never catch on with the kids.

Cool kids play the bombardon.


Dude, bombardon is so overdone. It's so passé.

My cousin in Williamsburg plays the carnyx and gets all the chicks.

Step up your hipster game, yo.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bisontuba » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:09 pm

Carnyx....now we're talking.....
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby Wyvern » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:55 am

bloke wrote:Much of the W-offered gadgetry does not interest me...and some here know that I've sworn off 6/4-ery...but the "French" tuba...I would like to sit down and mess with one to see "what it's all about". :D

Joe, Are you at DC conference? If so, you will be welcome to try the French C, as well as the B&F style Kaiser BBb which is another I think may interest you...
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby bloke » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:11 am

Wyvern wrote:
bloke wrote:Much of the W-offered gadgetry does not interest me...and some here know that I've sworn off 6/4-ery...but the "French" tuba...I would like to sit down and mess with one to see "what it's all about". :D

Joe, Are you at DC conference? If so, you will be welcome to try the French C, as well as the B&F style Kaiser BBb which is another I think may interest you...


Thank-you, sir! Candidly, I'm quite interested in playing BOTH of those.

- Having gone through several 6/4-size, defacto raincatcher-sousaphone-belled, 3/4" bore piston C tubas, having played others that I've not owned, just not seeing any advantages, and hearing things I like in recordings emitted from the Kaiser Bb tubas of the finest continental European players, I am interested in checking out your Kaiser Bb, and...
- Lately (messing with another very different type of "bariton" - vs. my longtime-owned the-market-is-now-flooded-with-'em compensating euphonium), various config's of 9' long (sure: 8' long) tuba-like instruments HAVE peaked my curiosity.

Rather than (typically) dragging my rear end and arriving at the facility just in time to get everything set up in time for the midday opening, I'll see about being an early bird this time. (Thanks very much for your invitation to try out those two instruments! ...and I prefer not having to compete - sonically - with all the other elephants, which will be herding themselves in soon thereafter...and I also prefer to not try to test instruments after the entire herd of 250 - 300 lb. elephants have raised the room temperature up to 80° - which makes it somewhat difficult to evaluate intonation characteristics.) :D
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby Donn » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:58 am

bloke wrote:various config's of 9' long (sure: 8' long) tuba-like instruments HAVE piqued my curiosity.


Maybe Courtois or Willson will be there with a bass saxhorn.
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby Wyvern » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:32 am

bloke wrote:Rather than (typically) dragging my rear end and arriving at the facility just in time to get everything set up in time for the midday opening, I'll see about being an early bird this time. (Thanks very much for your invitation to try out those two instruments! ...and I prefer not having to compete - sonically - with all the other elephants, which will be herding themselves in soon thereafter...and I also prefer to not try to test instruments after the entire herd of 250 - 300 lb. elephants have raised the room temperature up to 80° - which makes it somewhat difficult to evaluate intonation characteristics.) :D

That sounds a good strategy!
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby iattp » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:32 pm

I made a recording two years ago of me playing it on my ophicleide. I know it's not the serpent, but it's closer than a bombardon. It's still not a carnyx, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoqfVOHZazk
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Re: Mendelssohn Reformation

Postby barry grrr-ero » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:18 pm

I had no idea Mendelssohn needed to reform himself. Perhaps he wrote a part for 6/4 tuba and got in trouble with the church.
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