What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

in that recording
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What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by doddyhop »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq5NzLaGLuQ" target="_blank

I know that Bobo played this. I want to know the tuba he used. I think it is called Hammer, but he sounds sort of like a bass trombone on the low notes.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by tclements »

At the time, Roger was playing a 184 ALMOST exclusively (I COULD be wrong on this), but he also used a 186.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by DylanTuba »

AFAIK Tommy Johnson was also playing the bass tuba part with Roger hence the extraordinary volume on those low notes. As to what tubas they are playing I am clueless.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Norm Pearson »

Two tubas on this recording.

Roger Bobo: Mirafone 184
Tommy Johnson: Mirafone 185

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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by bort »

Dayum! :shock:

Reminds me kind of the Mnozil guys... Super loud, in your face, and a wall of sound. Very bright.

Makes a lot more sense to hear it from a small tuba than to try to overblow hard a 6/4 tuba. That's hard to do, and a fast track to...
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by EdFirth »

Yeah, that 10 pounds of sh#t in a five pound sack sound is a real classic. It certainly caught on in the big American orchestras. So why do the unwashed masses seem to mostly play instruments that sound like tubas now? Mabye they didn't get the memo or they and their associates in the orchestra like a big, rich, deep tuba sound.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by barry grrr-ero »

Roger Bobo sounded (sounds) great on whatever tuba he played (plays). Same for Tommy Johnson, Jim Self and Norm Pearson. Yes, the instruments matter, but these are GREAT players. They'd probably sound almost as good on beat-up, 3 valve BBb tubas.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by timayer »

bloke wrote:Most everyone's sonority in this performance - as well as the way this recording was engineered - is very much on the "bright" side.

The tuba sound is a perfect match, and - without the clarity - the tuba would have been lost in the midst of all of the "white noise" generated by everyone else. This much clarity (with the tuba's overtones not muted via a sousaphone-size instrument - as overtones are the context clues people generally use to interpret low frequencies), though, requires spot-on intonation (as was achieved, here).
I keep debating whether to post this because it could easily turn into an off-topic debate. But here goes.

1. The 184/185s are not York-o-phones. (I know, starting out with some controversy here).
2. That's not a bad thing.
3. Not every piece that calls for a contrabass tuba needs a 6/4 contrabass tuba.
4. Sometimes the tuba doesn't have to be the "bottom of the orchestra" and can simply be the bottom of the trombones, or even a solo bass voice.
4a. Even when the tuba is the "bottom of the orchestra" it rarely has to serve that function without the double basses and bassoons. I.e., the tuba rarely, if ever, has to by itself lay a foundation for 100 other musicians.
5. This is one of those pieces that in many parts allows the tuba to be a soloistic bass voice, the bottom of the trombones, and part of the bottom of the orchestra.

I have always said that anyone will like any music as long as it is done well. And usually that theory has been proven right. The tuba performance in this recording is very, very unique. It happens to not only be very unique but is also executed extraordinarily well. It is a very compelling demonstration of a way to play tuba that has fallen out of favor over the last 30-40 years.

I had the opportunity for several months to play an old 184CC with a 2-3 fifth valve in left hand years ago. As I've said before, it was a blast, and probably the most fun I've had playing the tuba. I also very quickly realized that it was an entirely different instrument than the Rudy 5/4 I also played at the time. I know. Again. The controversy. I had to think about parts differently and play them with a different function in mind, but it worked for what it was. There are some pieces where a 184 wouldn't be the right instrument at all (ex: A performance of the Ring Cycle, Prok 5, Ilya Murometz). But there are pieces where I think it would be the more appropriate instrument (The Planets, Brahms 2, Bruckner 7, Short Ride). I short, I think having a 184 along with the standard F and large CC tubas would not feel like "too many" tubas, and they would all have a distinct function.

All that to say. I love this recording. I think it is simply great tuba playing. It provides a very good argument for a different style of playing. And it's a nice respite from the all-encompassing sound that seems so universally desired these days.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by PeteDenton »

Also worth remembering that Holst was a trombone player and would have almost certainly had a smallish British style F Tuba in mind when he wrote this.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Wyvern »

Do remember Holst ‘Planets’ was written to be played on a British F tuba (that is what was used in UK orchestras at the time of composition) - it is a bass tuba, rather than contrabass tuba part. Therefore a smaller tuba will provide the most appropriate tone for the music
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Tubainsauga »

Heretical Opinion: Many tuba players could stand to player smaller equipment and generally play quieter. Prokofiev 5 isn't a solo and the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Ace »

Tubainsauga wrote:Heretical Opinion: Many tuba players could stand to player smaller equipment and generally play quieter. Prokofiev 5 isn't a solo and the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
+1

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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by timayer »

Tubainsauga wrote:the Dies Irae sounds better when you can actually hear the bassoons.
The first time I heard a recording of this with ophicleids, I gave up ever doing it justice on the tuba. And, to make it topical for this post, it brought me back to a point Roger made during a master class years ago - The tuba tends to be too pretty.

Especially in the (written) range of the Dies Irae, the tuba will never actually do the part justice. The Dies Irae needs to sound low, which no tuba does in that range. Any tuba in that range will sound mid-to-high range, and it won't have the same edge/vibration (for lack of a better word) in the sound that bassoons and ophicleids have (because they are playing lower in their range). And, as said above, because the tuba can be SO present in that register, it will cover up those colors from the bassoons.

Gene Pokorny's solution - to play it in the pedal register on a bass tuba - addresses those issues to a great extent. I think that should be a much more accepted/universal way to play it. It also wouldn't offend me, for the same reason, to try it played an octave-below-written on a euphonium. But to get the right color, again in my opinion, it needs to be done in the lowest possible octave (within reason....for all of you who can play the insane C in Encounters II...) on the available instrument.

I think the bass tuba is a good fit for most of that part, but the Dies Irae is always a minefield for the tuba, and the tuba frequently (in my opinion) ruins it.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by timayer »

bloke wrote:There's an old video (online - B&W) of the Boston Symphony performing it.
The interpretation and tempi are a bit "odd" (as interpretation of most all major works has been reduced to "play it like the record"), but interesting.
One of the tuba parts is covered by a 4-valve (Conn...??) American-made bell-front baritone, with the other instrument - apparently...?? - being a 3+1...?? ("double"...??...nor not?) F tuba.

Image

Thank you for posting this! Interesting tempo choices for sure....apparently the witches had somewhere to be after the sabbath.
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Re: What Tuba did he use in LA Phil 1971 The Planets?

Post by Gravid »

timayer wrote: 1. The 184/185s are not York-o-phones. (I know, starting out with some controversy here).
2. That's not a bad thing.
3. Not every piece that calls for a contrabass tuba needs a 6/4 contrabass tuba.
4. Sometimes the tuba doesn't have to be the "bottom of the orchestra" and can simply be the bottom of the trombones, or even a solo bass voice.
4a. Even when the tuba is the "bottom of the orchestra" it rarely has to serve that function without the double basses and bassoons. I.e., the tuba rarely, if ever, has to by itself lay a foundation for 100 other musicians.
5. This is one of those pieces that in many parts allows the tuba to be a soloistic bass voice, the bottom of the trombones, and part of the bottom of the orchestra.

I have always said that anyone will like any music as long as it is done well. And usually that theory has been proven right. The tuba performance in this recording is very, very unique. It happens to not only be very unique but is also executed extraordinarily well. It is a very compelling demonstration of a way to play tuba that has fallen out of favor over the last 30-40 years.
Well-stated, sir.
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