Latest updated 30/12 2021
CONTENTS IN THIS CHAPTER:
1 – THE 20’ CENTURY (1900-) – SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS
2 – THE MAKING OF INSTRUMENTS
3 – NEW INVENTIONS AND NEW TECHNOLOGY
4 – SHORT-LIVED PROJECTS
5 – THE TRUMPET
6 – THE CORNET
7 – SIGNALING
8 – THE HORN
9 – THE POST HORN
10 – THE TROMBONE
11 – THE TUBA
12 – RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS CONCERTO FOR TUBA AND ORCHESTRA
13 – THE EUPHONIUM IN THE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
THE 20′ CENTURY I (1900 – )
1. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS
BRASS PLAYERS IN THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 1910
All instruments are ”modern” but the design is still like the German instruments from the time of Wagner.
On the other hand, the instruments have developed to be able to live up to new challenges. In the symphony orchestras it was especially Gustav Mahler (1860-1811), Austria, and Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Germany, who used the brass instruments in a rather new, challenging and brilliant way: long solos, extreme registers and a unique understanding of the character of the instruments.
GUSTAV MAHLER and RICHARD STRAUSS
Both Mahler and Strauss were also known as conductors, so they had a practical starting point for their ideas about instrumentation.
Mahler was in fact best known as one of the leading conductors of his time, but he had a dictatorial style that was compared to that of a lion tamer!
Although Strauss writes highly exposed to brass instruments, he stated: Never look encouragingly at the brass (so they play too loud), except with a quick glance to give an important cue. Once, when R. Strauss was critisized for making the trumpet- and horn parts too high and too difficult, he answered that that probably was right, but that the problem would be solved for sure, and he proved to be right.
BRASS PLAYERS FROM THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
– from the Herbert von Karajan Movie Documentary 1965-1966.
– THE TRUMPET SECTION
– THE HORN SECTION
– AND THE TROMBONE SECTION
Both the technique of the musicians and the use of instruments have changed. You could say that the original pitch of the instruments has been changed: The natural pitch of the trumpets and horns is higher now, and the pitch of the ”low brass” is lower. The re- introducing of the alto trombone and the further development of the bass trombone made the overall sound of the trombone group wider, and the preferred pitch of the tuba became CC/ BB in stead of F/Eb. Since the 1950s the bore on the trumpet and trombone became wider, from small bore over medium bore to large bore. The bigger bore has made up for the lighter sound in the higher tuning, not to be too light. The brass group as a whole has got more contrast, without losing the homogeneous sound.
THE BRASS GROUP OF THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 1978
– presented recordings with such a tremendous clearness, beauty and intonation that they have become the utmost example for the whole world. Characteristic of these brass players was to focus on the individual’s own part in the orchestra. The attitude is clearly reflected in the statement from the 2nd trumpet player in the Chigaco Symphony Orchestra 1952-1974 Vincent Cichowicz:
“The first rule of second trumpet playing is to check out your ego at the door” !.
BRASS PLAYERS FROM THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Back row from left: Edward Kleinhammer – bass trombone, Arnold Jacobs – tuba, front row: Adolph Herset and Vincent Cichowitcz – trumpet.
To be a soloist is always a challenge, but to brass players (and also to singers) it is a physical challenge to be able to end a piece with the same reserves of energy as one had at the beginning of the piece. In the culture of wind orchestras and jazz it has always been rather ”normal” to have many brass-soloists, but from the second half of the 20th century it became more common to see brass players as soloists in front of the symphony orchestras. Some brass players have even become full time star soloists.
2. THE MAKING OF INTRUMENTS
In the 1900’s American instrument firms came along seriously, not only in the USA but also in Europe. Some of the best known were: CONN, KING, HOLTON og BACH. Today they are all a part of the company CONN-SELMER. (Also look after BENGE under Sousas soloists The 20′ century II).
THE INSTRUMENT COMPANY CONN 1913
Fig.6 THE “TOOL DEPARTMENT” AT CONN
FROM THE CONN FACTORY, year?
CONN got big success with trumpets, horns, trombones as well as tubas
THE TROMBONE GROUP IN THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, about 1910
It was rather common to use well known musicians in advertisements for brass instruments
From left to right: Leroy Kenfield (bass trombone), August Mausebach (2nd trombone) and Carl Hampe (1st trombone)
in an advertisement for HOLTON TROMBONES.
ADVERTISEMENT FOR KING INSTRUMENTS
Coming out of the war, King instruments saw great popularity in the 40’s and 50’s with names like Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Ziggy Elman. From 1938 the King 2B trombone was made and and in 1952 the King 3B trombone was introduced, and today they are still the world’s top selling jazz trombones. These pictures show trombone player Tommy Dorsey and the trumpet player Harry James ain an advertisement for King instruments.
THE STAN KENTON TROMBONE SECTION IN AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR CONN TROMBONES.
VINCENT BACH (1890-1976)
– was born in Austria were he at a young age performed as a cornet virtuoso. Later he moved to the USA were he in 1918 set off with his firm making mouthpieces. Later he made trumpets and trombones as well and all his instruments became world famous, like a synonym for the highest quality ever. The series of his top-instruments was named after the famous old Italian violins: STRADIVARIUS.
In Europe there were still instrument firms in Germany, France and Engand, that were doing very well. In England BESSON continued to deliver instruments to the Brass Band Movement. In 1948, the group BOOSEY & HAWKES acquired the BESSON London brand. In 2006 the company Buffet Crampon acquires two famous brass instrument brands, ANTOINE COURTOIS Paris (created in 1803) and BESSON (created in 1837). The company became Groupe Buffet Crampon.
Til the end of the 1900’s it seemed that the USA dominated the marked for trumpet and trombone, while Europe was self supporting with horn and tuba. Today there are really lots of brass instruments companys and their quality is no longer depending on the geographical place of manufacturing. The Japanese brand YAMAHA was earlier manufacturing cheap instruments but is now the name for top quality instruments. In Europe there are some medium size firms, who built quality instruments, each with their own ideas and special design, for example the Spanish STOMVI (all brass instruments), the Austrian SCHARGERL (trumpets and trombones) , the Swiss HIRBRUNNER (euphonium and tuba), the Dutch ADAMS (euphonium, tuba, trumpet and trombone) and the German GEBR. ALEXANDER (waldhorn).
FRANZ AMBROS ALEXANDER
– established the firm ” Gebr. Alexander” in 1782 as a firm for woodwind instruments and was a family driven factory
EMPLOYEES AT GEBR. ALEXANDER, a picture from their 100 years Jubilee, 1882
It is evident that they still produce woodwind instruments at that time. From the 1800rds they started to produce all kind of brass instruments. It was a milestone when they got their double horn patented in 1919. Today Gebr. Alexander produces primarily horn and wagner tubas and they sell all over the world.
GEBR. ALEXANDER WORKSHOP 1909.
3. NEW INVENTIONS AND NEW TECHNOLOGY
In the beginning of the 20th century the overall design, function and technique of the brass instruments was of almost the same level as we know today. For example, all instruments had got a tuning slide, which made it possible to tune accurate, a special valve to remove condensation, and it was common practice to use mutes.
TUNING SLIDE AND WATER KEY FOR THE TRUMPET.
MUTES FOR TROMBONE
From left to right: Cup-mute, straight-mute and harmon-mute.
Modern technology made it easier to produce smooth and accurate metal parts, as well as making precise accoustic calculations. The best bells though are those who are hand made. Not only the bore but also the metal type has influence on the sound: Brass – light sound, gold brass – a bit darker sound, copper – a dark sound. The modern polished orchestral sound overrules the sound that Strauss and Mahler could have dreamed of, you can hear it in lots of film music, for example in the filmseries Star Wars, written by John Williams.
On the trumpet, cornet, flügelhorn, euphonium and tuba there often is a mechanism to lengthen the tubes of the valves, a so called “trigger”, just like the slide on a trombone, and it helps to improve the intonation.
“HEAVY WEIGHT” TRUMPET
The mass of the instrument has influence on the sound as well:a heavy instrument and mouthpiece makes the sound steady and dark, while a light instrument makes the sound more brilliant and light. This model from the firm MONETTE is extreme heavy with extra metal parts and a ”double bell”.
Later in the 2oth century valves have been constructed that are more ”open” and without dents or narrowings. The most radical is the “AXIAL FLOW ” trombone valve, which is invented in 1976 by Orla Ed Thayer, USA. With its straight lines in the cone – the valving house – there are no dents nor sharp curves in the tube.
An other new valve is the HAGMANN-VALVE, invented in 1991 by Rene Hagmann, Switzerland:
Both valve types are used on trombones. The Hagmann valve has also been tried on the Cimbasso
IMPROVEMENT OF EXISTING VALVE SYSTEMS
Many companies have been working to keep the tube diameter through the valves constant. Here is shown a kind of normal runs of tube trough rotary valves on a French horn:
– and here is the company Engelbert Smid’s design with smoother curves:
GERMAN ROTARY VALVE TRUMPET WITH SPECIAL KEYS
A refinement on the modern German trumpet is these keys that take away som natural tones and make som high notes more secure to play.
4. SHORT-LIVED PROJECTS
EXTREAMLY LARGE TUBA-BELLS
Like before there have been inventions and constructions which not lived very long.
The very large tuba-bells were made in the 1930-ies and 40-ies, but it was never a success.
DAVIS SHUMANN (1912-1966) AND HIS ERGONOMICALLY TROMBONE
Trombonist Davis Shuman was teaching at Julliard School of music and a pioneer in developing the solo literature for trombone through his activities in recordings and as a soloist. He is credited with giving the first full-length recital for trombone and piano 1947 in Town Hall, New York. He commission and premiered works by Ernest Bloch, Vincent Persichetti, Darius Milhaud and Tibor Serly.
Shuman created his ergonomically-correct “angular” trombone with the idea that: “The slide can be moved at an angle to avoid striking a person in front of the trombonist without the necessity of directing the bell away from the audience, and make the arm movement with the slide easier and more natural”. The patent US2669152, titled Trombone, was filed February 17, 1950 and granted on February 16, 1954, to Davis Shuman. There was actually not made many Schuman-trombones.
DRAWING FROM SHUMANNS APLYING FOR PATENT
SHUMANNS FREE VIBRATING TRUMPET BELL
In 1960, Shuman also patented a trumpet with a “free-vibrating sound” that was not attached more than necessary (US patent 2947211). This idea is actually passed on by many instrument makers later on to all kinds of brass instruments.
It has also tried out with the opposite: compact instruments that have small bore and little bell but even though they were quite popular for a timethey were of no particular importance. The most known performer on pocket cornet has been the avantgarde jazz trumpet player don Cherry (1936-1995) (SEE 20′ CENTURY II Fig.39)
OTHER POCKET-INSTRUMENTS: BABY FLÜGELHORN and MINI FRENCH HORN
When an F-valve was placed on the tenor trombone in 1839, the instrument was called the tenor-bass trombone. In the same way, a valve has been placed on the alto trombone and called the alt-tenor trombone:
ALTO-TENOR TROMBONE WITH VALVE
On March 3, 1906, german trombone player Robert Müller applied for a patent for his alto-tenor trombone build by the company Kruspe. It look a little like our times alto trombone with a Bb valve, but this model have a different valve location which has not been seen since.
ALTO-TENOR TROMBONE WITH 2 PARALEL SLIDES
History Museum, Basel, Sweitz
A completely different construction was the alt-tenor trombone designed by the trombonist player Alschausky (see 10 THE TROMBONE) who on 21 April 1920 applied for a patent at “Deutschen Reichspatent Pantentschrift nr.33441124 Class 51c Group 24. Here the valve tube was provided with a parallel slide. The instrument was built by Bohland & Fuchs but never really came into use.
BASS TROMBONE IN Eb
The Salvation Army has since 1878 a big and almost supreme organised Brass Band activities with their own music editors and since the 188oies their own instrument factory as well. Until the 1950ies the bass trombone in G with extra extension (see at Romanticism II) was used in England. As an experiment at the Salvation Army’s instrument factory a bass trombone in Eb was constructed in 1905, which with a smart system had a backwards slide as an extension to the main slide. The idea was that the sliding did not became too large but it all got too clumsy and complicated, and not many instruments were build. The Salvation Army instrument factory was sold to Boosy and Hawkes in 1979.
SALVATION ARMY INSTRUMENT FACTORY
Campfield, St. Albans, England. Photo from 1904
THE KING SYMPHONY MODEL ORCHESTRA BASS
– was a tuba designed in the 1930’s to enable a bass player to easily switch back and forth between a stringed double bass and a tuba. It was designed to be played standing up, and came with its own stand. This short lived instrument went away when tuba/double bass doubling fell out of fashion.
BOOSEY COMPENSATION CORNET c 1898
A compensation system similar to what is used on euphonium was also tried on cornet. It became too clumsy and never became popular.
HERR FRANZ SCHULTZ, principal tubist of the Schwerin Theater with THE AEROPHOR – a device invented in the early 20th century by Bernard Samuels, Schwerin, Germany, to give additional air to wind players. The AEROPHOR disappeared quickly again. Richard Strauss has provided for its use in his “Festival Prelude” in a passage marked “tuba con Aerophor”. Photo 1914.
RARE INSTRUMENTS FOR TUBISTS:
– BASS FRENCH HORN IN CC – idea: Roger Bobo (on the photo) , made by George Strucel and Larry Minick
FLUBA, A TUBA SIZED FLÜGELHORN IN F
– idea: Jim Self (on the photo) and made by Robb Stewart
A LONG-TERM SHORT-LIVED PROJECT: THE DOUBLE BELL INSTRUMENTS
The double bell brass instrument is an instrument with two belles – one larger bell giving a darker and more mellow sound and one smaller bell giving a brighter and clearer sound. The two bells can also be used for special effects, such as echoes, and using the distinctly different tone of the two bells for a single musician to give the effect of call and response. The idea has arisen many times:
A DOUBLE BELL CORNET
The double bell variation of the euphonium was an invention first produced by the Conn company in the United States in the 1880s.. Other major U.S. brass instrument makers followed and peak production of the instrument was from about the 1890s into the 1920s. . The instrument was first popularized by euphonium virtuoso Harry Whittier with the famous Patrick Gilmore band starting in 1888. Other bands of the time, including the famous John Philip Sousa Band, soon followed suit, and the golden age of the double bell euphonium would last until the early 20th century. While part of the Sousa and Pryor Bands, euphonium player Simone Mantia at times favoured the double-belled euphonium and he even composed a double-bell euphonium solo “Priscilla” in tribute to Sousa’s wife. The last double bell euphoniums were produced by the King company in the 1960s, and are now mostly sought after by collectors and euphonium enthusiasts
CONN’S “DOUBLE BELL” EUPHONIUM from 1920
CLEVELAND COLORED QUINTET, USA
With a double bell euphonium. Postcard from early 20th century
ECHO CORNET, build by FRANZ HOERTH (1862-1932), Saarbrücken
Echo-instruments were very popular, below a picture of the evangelical preacher and cornetist J. Manton Smith with such an instrument. The pictures are from around 1870 by the studio of Lambert Weston & Sons i Folkestone (UK).
THE JAZZOPHONE – A SPECIAL DOBBELT BELL INSTRUMENT
THE JAZZOPHONE is a trumpet shaped like a saxophone but with two bells. One bell sounds like a normal trumpet, the other like a muted trumpet. The Jazzophone was invented in the nineteen twenties as a cheap alternative to the then very popular saxophone. The Jazzophone is played with a trumpet-mouthpiece and has the three regular trumpet valves plus one valve upside down. When pushed down that extra valve switches between the two bells, one of which has a built-in wah-wah mute. Like other invented saxophone-like instruments from that period, The Jazzophone was not a success,
TANZ KAPELLE F. FISCHER. The only known picture showing an orchestra with a Jazzophone
Trompetenmuseums Bad Säckingen.
Another double-bell example is THE BELLOPHONE build by the American firm H.N. White (1893-1965) at the request of the tuba player William Bell (look at: pioneers in tuba playing). The idea lies in the combination of a C-tuba and a Bb-euphonium/baritone, this extends the register of the tuba. The instrument has two leadpipes, one for the tuba, and the other one to be able to shift between the tuba and the euphonium with a rotary change valve. William Bell performed on this Bellophone in The Cicinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Band of America and The Goldman Band.
DOUBLE BELL TROMBONE from the company RATH, ENGLAND
Double bells have also been used on trombone.
DOUBLE BELL ON TROMBONE
Here is Gérard Buquet, France, with a real rarity:
The world’s only double bell contrabass trombone.
5. THE TRUMPET
As a result of the new demand for a technical and stylistic scope the pitch in the trumpet became higher and higher. It happened little by little and it gave the trumpet a lighter sound. But Gustav Mahler was sorry not to have the dark sound of the low register of the Bb trumpet and he demanded a double 2nd trumpet part when conducting the symphonies of Beethoven. The French were quick to develop the C-trumpet that fitted quite well in the ideal French light sound. After some time even smaller trumpets came along and at last there was the small A/Bb piccolo trumpet. First it was mostly used in Baroque music but today it is also used in new and even pop music: it is used in the Beatles’ song Penny Lane. Today in most pieces is written for trumpet, which means that the trumpet player himself has to decide which trumpet fits best to the piece.
MODERN TRUMPETS WITH PISTON VALVES. From left to right: Bb, C, Eb and Bb-piccolo trumpet.
GERMAN TRUMPET WITH ROTARY VALVES AND WITH EXTRA KEYS
An extra finesse at the moderne German trumpet are the extra keys, which, when open, ”remove” some of the natural tones around the wanted tone, and in that way those are easier and more secure to play.
EDUARD SEIFERT 1870-1965
From 1898, until his retirement in 1938, he served as principal trumpet in Staatskapelle Dresden. The Dresden Opera and Royal Saxon State Orchestra were at the center of musical and cultural life in Germany. Both the orchestra and Dresden Opera were dedicated to, and focused on the music of Richard Strauss. Seifert mastered Strauss’ trumpet passages perfectly and never failed, so colleagues named him “Mr. Never-Miss” (“Der Unfehlbare”). Eduard Seifert worked in Dresden with conductors such as Ernst von Schuch (1846 – 1914), Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), Fritz Busch (1890-1951), Karl Böhm (1894 – 1981) and the composer Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949). Alongside his orchestral career, Eduard Seifert performed as a trumpet and cornet soloist playing turn of the century style music. He reintroduced the Haydn Trumpet Concerto to the public with a performance on F trumpet and was a trailblazer for baroque trumpet playing, performing many of the works of Bach, Stölzel and Händel on his Heckel F/G trumpet. He was one of the first to master the demanding trumpet part for Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto, which he frequently performed on tour.
STRASS PREMNIERES WITH EDUARD SEIFERT ON PRINCIPAL TRUMPET:
Feuersnot (21.11.1901 Dresden)
Salome (9.12.1905 Dresden)
Elektra (25.1.1909 Dresden)
Der Rosenkavalier (26.1.1911 Dresden)
Alpensinfonie (cond. Richard Strauss)
Intermezzo (4.11.1924 Dresden)
Die ägyptische Helena (6.6.1928 Dresden)
Arabella (1.7.1933 Dresden)
Die schweigsame Frau (24.6.1935 Dresden)
Daphne (15.10.1938 Dresden)
2 ENGLISH TRUMPET LEGENDS
Left: ERNEST HALL (1890-1984) was a giant that dominated the London symphonic trumpet scene for years. He first joined the London Symphony orchestra as principal trumpet in the age of 20 and later took the same position in the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He was teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, and it is said that in the 1950s he could go to any professional orchestra in Britain and sit on fourth trumpet in the sure knowledge that the first three had been taught by him, or by people who had been taught by him.
Right: GEORGE ESKDALE (1897 – 1960) was principal trumpet with London Symphony Orchestra from 1934 to 1956. He taught at Trinity College of Music from 1937 and the Royal Academy of Music from 1938. He is believed to be the first who made a recording of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in 1938 (2. And 3. Movement – later in 1954, Eskdale recorded the complete Concerto). He had a more lyrical cornet-like style in his trumpet playing than the more heroic playing of his predecessors.
ADOLF SCHERBAUN (1909 – 2000) A GERMAN LEGEND
Adolph Scherbaum was a pioneer in playing the baroque trumpet music on the modern piccolo trumpet and was called: “The man who rediscovered the baroque trumpet”. Adolph Scherbaum was born in the Czech Republic, but played mostly in Germany. He was solo trumpet in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1941-1945 and solo trumpet in Hamburg Radio Orchestra 1951 -1964. In more than 400 concerts, that took him through the whole world, he destroyed the legend that the 2. Brandenburg Concerto was unplayable and recorded it 15 times. For many years he was the only trumpet player in the world that performed this concerto live. Scherbaum played with famous Orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchester Santa Cecilia Rome, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and more, and under conductors like Karajan, Klemperer, Knappertsbusch, Schmidt-Isserstedt (who called him ScherSTRONG). In 1963, Scherbaum established his own group of baroque musicians with whom he undertook extended tours for many years through the concert halls of numerous countries in Europe and Russia. Maurice André once replied during a TV-interview to the question as to who was the best trumpet player ranking right after himself: “I am being followed by many, but I had a single predecessor, Adolf Scherbaum, to whom I owe it all – it was his playing that set the standard and shaped my style”.
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TRUMPET SECTION 1935
From left: Georges Mager, ROGER VOISIN, Rene Voisin and Marcelle Lafosse. ROGER VOISIN (1918 – 2008) – joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal trumpet in 1935 at age only seventeen, and became principal trumpet in 1950. He performed in the Boston Symphony for 38 years, until 1973. Voisin became chair of the New England Conservatory of Music brass and percussion department in 1950 and was the primary trumpet teacher at NEC for nearly 30 years. In 1975 he became a full professor at Boston University. Roger voisin is credited with premiere performances of many major works for trumpet including Paul hindemith’s Sonata for Trumpet and Piano (with Hindemith at the piano). Leroy Anderson’s A Trumper’s Lullaby was written for Roger Voisin in 1949. L. Anderson tells: I was sitting talking with the conductor Arthur Fiedler and the first trumpet of the Boston Pops, Roger Voisin. Suddenly Roger Voisin asked me why I didn’t write a trumpet solo for him to play with the orchestra that would be different from traditional trumpet solos After thinking it over, it occurred to me that I had never heard a lullaby for trumpet so I set out to write one — with a quiet melody based on bugle notes.
TIMOFEI DOKSHIZER (1921-2005)
At age 19, Timofei Dokshizer won the Soviet-Union brass instruments’ players competition and in 1947, Dokshizer won the International Competition in Prague, which jumpstarted his performance career. He frequently toured the USSR and abroad, winning acclaim from critics who praised his timbre, beautiful tone, unique phrasing, and filigree technique. In addition to his solo performances, Dokshizer worked more than 40 years at the Bolshoi Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Moscow. Here, he was revered for his brilliant renditions of some of the most difficult orchestral trumpet solos, particularly in Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” and “Romeo and Juliet,” Khachaturian’s “Spartacus,” and many others.
Nearly a quarter century of Dokshizer’s career was dedicated to pedagogical work, in many masterclasses and as a professor at the Gnessin Music Institute.
ADOLPH HERSETH (1921 – 2013)
Herseth was widely regarded as one of the greatest orchestral trumpeters of his generation. Already during his time in Boston as a student, he was invited to audition for the position of third trumpet at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Rodzinski. After hearing Herseth for about an hour, Rodzinski offered this young man — who had no professional experience at all — the job of principal trumpet. That was in 1948. As a 26-year-old, he joined the CSO, and remained principal trumpet for 53 years. He stayed on three more seasons as principal emeritus, and retired fully from the orchestra in 2004. He played as a soloist very often, but he loved to play in the orchestra and he never had plans to quit the orchestra to be a full-time soloist. As described in the Chicago Sun Times “For decades Herseth’s rich, golden tone and powerful yet expressive playing were a cornerstone of the ‘Chicago Sound.’ That brass sound drew worldwide attention to the CSO.tra’s reputation around the globe and made Chicago an international center for the study of brass instrument performance.”
MAURICE ANDRE (1933-2012) – A MUSICIAN OF WORLD CLASS
After having been a military musician and having finished his studies, Maurice Andre became principal trumpet in the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris in 1953. Later he joined the French Radio Orchestra and from 1962-1967 he played in the Opéra-Comique Orchestra. In 1955 he won the Geneva International Music Competition, and 10 years later he was asked to be a judge at the the competion: “Internationaler Wettbewerb” in München. He said no, because he rather wanted to play himself at the competition and he won! His wife and collegues pressed him to quit the orchestral duties and be a soloist.This was quite something for a brass player at that time, but he rose to the challenge. To become a person of importance, he had to be easy on the salary request, for a start anyway, but that changed very soon. He became extremely popular with his totaly ”easy” technique and his performances that were never heard before. Later his salary became really high, and the story goes that when, at a recording, people said that his demand was too big, he just answered that he would drop in salary, at whatever small mistake he would make, but there were none!
He rode the Baroque flow that flooded through the music life of the 1960ies. (do not mistake this period for the later popular ”old music” period with people playing on old or historical instruments.) In the Baroque repertoire M. Andre plays extraordinary elegant on his small piccolo trumpet, and not even that. Beside all original baroque pieces for trumpet, he also plays the transcriptions of the original baroque concerts for oboe, flute and violin. And he even played new music and light music. He was an absolut wonder as a brass player and he performed all over the world with the famous conductors of that time. He managed to do about 300 recordings as a soloist. Often he was presented as ”the leading brass player of the world”!
– where Maurice Andre plays together with Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra
MAURICE MURPHY (1935-2010)
– came from the British brass band movement as principal cornet in the Black Dyke Mills Brass Band . 1977 he was headhunted as principal trumpet in the London Symphony Orchestra. He became the leading British orchestral trumpet player of his generation. During the 30 years in which he was principal trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), he defined the sound of the brass section with the clarity, precision and diamond-sharp brilliance of his playing. In the concert hall he was an inspiration and could lift the orchestra with his exhilarating, visceral sound.
Millions have been thrilled to the ringing top Cs he played on the soundtracks for the Star Wars films. The blazing sonority of the brass section led by Murphy was the aural equivalent of spinning through space. For the composer of the scores, John Williams, Murphy was a “heraldic spirit” whose instrument articulated “the ideal voice of a hero”. After the first Star Wars film, Williams wrote the subsequent scores with Murphy’s sound in mind. In 2008 Murphy received the honorary award of the “International Trumpet Guild”, given to those “who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing”.
6. THE CORNET
From being regarded as being only a brass band or wind band instrument, the cornet is today used in many contexts as a mellow sounding trumpet. The cornet has, over time, been universally designed, except for the German KORNETT which has rotary valves.
THE UNIVERSAL DESIGNED CORNET
THE GERMAN KORNETT WITH ROTARY VALVES
The ”new” instruments that came along after the valve was invented became very quickly an important part of the wind ensembles, but little by little they can be heard in the symphony orchestras as well. Sergei Prokofiev shows the tremendous sound of the cornet in the beautiful solos in Lieutenant Kije (1932) and in the ballet music of Romeo and Juliette (1936). The Flugelhorn has been used rarely in the symphony orchestras. It is used at the Post horn solo in G. Mahler’s 3 symphony (1896) and Vaughan Williams has given it a long solo in his symphony no.8 (1956). In Ottorino Respighi’s (1879-1936) The Pines of Rome (1924) it is the flugelhorn that lays on top of the Sax horn/brass band instruments that illustrate 6 buccina’s.
Playing a signal horn or signal trumpet to communicate in the military was used until the end of the 19th century, when the radio took over. They used all kinds of signals for different information for such a long time that they even had a signal for aircraft attack.
TRUMPETERS PLAYING A SIGNAL HORN/BUGLE HORN (trumpet)
The last time the signaling was reversed military in the field was at the start of World War One in 1914
Shown here by the French Army’s light cavalry
Today the ”bugle horn” is mostly used by trumpet players at ceremonies all over the world.
SPANISH HORN (CARMEN CORNET)
– is a buglehorn in C with one single valve that raises the pitch a half tone:
A CIVILIAN SIGNAL: SIGNAL FOR DINNER 1870 Havard Art Museum
Fig.55 U.S. ARMY HERALD TRUMPETS
– an ensemble consist of trumpets and drums, is a further development in the signal and fanfare playing of the court trumpet corpses from the renaissance
Their trumpets have a banner similar to the old natural trumpets but they are also provided with valves – in practice a brass ensemble of trumpets in different sizes. The Herald Trumpets use a combination of E-flat soprano, B-flat mezzo-soprano, B-flat tenor- and bass trumpets All trumpets are custom-manufactured by Kanstul Musical Instruments.The ensemble is responsible for signaling the approach of the President of the United States at state occasions with entrance and exit fanfares.
8. THE HORN
FRANZ HECKER (1870-1944): SELF PORTRAIT 1904
At the time when the 19th century changed to the 20th the horn players in the orchestras felt pressed by the composers. In a orchestra it is normal to divede the parts between the players, but in the horn section it became rather normal to have a first hornplayer to play the most challenging part, and the other three some minor parts. It was as if the composer thought the first hornplayer to be more competent to play long and high range strong demanding parts. At the premiere of R. Strauss’ symphonic poem Don Juan (1888) one of the hornplayers was heard saying: ”what have we done that we shall be punished like this?” The horn players tried to make things easier for themselves by using the higher B-horn, like they had used for a long time in the military. But old directors like Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) did not tolerate that the sound became lighter. Together with the famous horn player Edmond Gumbert who served as third hornist in Meiningen, Germany, and was a nephew of Friedrich Gumpert from Leipzig (soloist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra and teacher at the conservatory in Leipzig (see ROMANTICISM II, THE HORN IN GERMANY) the German firm Kruspe build the first double horn, which made it possible with a valve to switch between a F-pitch and a high Bb-pitch. Those new models made it impossible to see which pitch was used. Richard Strauss recomended the use of the double horn, if only the horn player tried to minimize the difference in sound. (It was the firm Gebr. Alexander who got patented their designing in 1909 – see at ”The Building of Instruments”)
MODERN DOUBLE HORN
Later a compensation horn was build, which was not so heavy, but the tube goes many times through the valving houses. Today different horns are used: High F-horn (especially for Baroque music), Bb-horn, double horn in Bb and F, low F-horn and at last a Triplehorn in high F, Bb and low F. Stop horn is used when you stop the horn, which gives it a caracteristic snarling sound. Some horns have a stop valve that compensates the intonation problem of the stopped tone.
MODERN CORNO DA CACCIA HORN WITH VALVES MADE BY ENGELBERT SCHMIDT
THE EIGHT PART HORN SECTION WITH THEIR WAGNER TUBAS IN RECORDING MUSIC TO THE FILM “JURASSIC PARK”, 2015.
Today Wagner tubas have got a revival in film music made in Hollywood.
FRANS STRAUSS (1822-1905) –
To the left as a young man, To the right together with his son RICHARD STRAUSS (picture from 1905)
Frans Strauss was a horn player and a composer and called the ”Joachim of the horn” (Joseph Joachim was the most prominent violinist of that time). His taste was rather conservative and he could barely tolerate Brahms. As a soloist at the Court Opera in Munich and at the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra he played at the first performance of quite a few operas by Wagner: Tristan and Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), The Rhine Gold (1869), and The Valkyrie (1870). Wagner thought that: “Frans Strauss was a pain in the ass, but you completely forgot that as soon as he started to play the horn”. Frans Strauss on the other hand did not like Wagner at all, neither as a person, nor as a composer. F. Strauss got the last word: When the Court Orchestra heard that Wagner was dead, all people stood up to remember him with a moment of silence, – all people but not Strauss. Richard Strauss (1864-1949) wrote two horn concerts both in Eb – major. He wrote the first one, only 18 years old, for his father, the other 60 years later. Both horn concerts express with their dramatic and lyrical elements the true essence of romantic horn playing.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC HORN SECTION 1938
From left: Robert Schulze, Santiago Richart, Luigi Ricci, Bruno Jaenicke,
AUBREY BRAIN (1883-1956)
– father to Dennis Brain. Aubrey Brain’s professional career began at the age of eighteen when he was appointed by Sir Landon Ronald principal horn of the New Symphony Orchestra, in 1911. For over thirty years, he contributed his distinctive brand of horn-playing to numerous orchestral recordings and a handful of solo and chamber recordings that remain as bench marks of achievement for future horn-players to aspire to and to emulate. Characteristic for the time he had a marked preference for French instruments with smaller bore, and he played a hand horn from 1865 made by Labbaye , to which English-made piston valves had been added. He would never permit the use of large-bore German horns with rotary valves.
DENNIS BRAIN (1921-1957)
– came from a complete family of horn players. His grandfather Alfred Brain (1850-1925), his uncle with the same name (1885-1966) and his father Aubry Brain (1883-1956) were horn players. Dennis Brain was already as a very young person known as a soloist and he became one of the most prominent soloists in England, but his base was being a horn player in an orchestra, which was characteristic at that time. He switched playing between the National Symphony Orchestra (21 years old), The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Philharmonia Orchestra.
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) wrote a horn concerto for him and Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) wrote his: Serenade for tenor(-singer), horn and orchestra for Dennis Brain and Peter Pears. Together with The Philharmonia Orchestra Dennis Brain recorded Mozart’s horn concertos with Herbert von Karajan as a conductor, and R. Strauss’ horn concerts with Otto Klemperer as a conductor. In the beginning Dennis Brain played on a French horn with pump valves, but later he switched to a German “Alexander” horn with rotary valves.
PHILIP FARKAS (1914-1992)
– was a legendary horn player, a leading teacher, writer of books about horn playing and brass playing in general, and co-founder of the “Interational Horn Society”. He started as a soloist in the Kansas City Philharmonic 1933, and became principal horn in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (as the youngest musician in the orchestra), in the Cleveland Orchestra 1941-1945, in the Boston Symphony Orchestra 1945-1946, back in Cleveland 1946-1947, and at last back in Chicago 1948-1960.
BARRY TUCKWELL (1931-)
– Was born in Australia. After jobs in Australian and English orchestras he became principal horn in the London Symphony Orchestra in 1955. In 1968 he made the uncommon and very daring decision to become a full time soloist, without a base in an orchestra or being a teacher – the career continued til 1997. Barry Tuckwell’s full sound and virtuous play can be heard on many recordings, as a soloist, a chamber musician and as a member of the LSO.
TO THE RIGHT: A VERY YONG BARRY TUCKWELL
This photo shows the horn section from Sydney Symphony Orchestra 1950, from left: Douglas Hanscombe, Clarence Mellor, Claude Katz, principal horn Alan Mann and Barry Tuckwell. Alan Man was teaching his section at the time – all four were under twenty-one,
VINCE DeROSA (1935-)
– had a career of over 70 years, during which he played on many film soundtracks, recordings, and television programs, and he is probably the most recorded brass player of all time. Beginning in the late 1950ies, DeRosa played a CONN 8D horn, creating a sound composers favored and establishing what has become known as the L.A. horn sound. At DeRosa’s retirement composer John Williams wrote: “Vince Derosa’s contribution to American music can’t be overstated. He was the premier first horn player on virtually every recording to come out of Hollywood for over forty years. He represented the pinnacle of instrumental performance and I can honestly say that what I know about writing for the French horn, I learned from him. DeRosa was an inspiration for at least two generations of composers working in Hollywood and beyond. He is respected world-wide and universally regarded as one of the greatest instrumentalists of his generation. It has been a privilege to have worked with him all these many years.”
9. THE POST HORN
Painting from 1910 by Wilhelm Trübner (1851-1917)
THE LAST POSTILLION IN GERMANY: HERR OBERPOSTSCHAFFNER WILHELM KRUSE
He was in duty 1894-1938 in Sassnitz, Rügen, Germany – 44 years!
In the early 1900’s, the postillion disappeared and thus the familiar sound of the post horn
LOGOS with POST HORN
The post horn is history, but it is still alive in the post logos of various countries. From left to right: Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the German Railway-post.
Today the POST LOGOS are mostly seen on mailboxes:
10. THE TROMBONE
THE TROMBONE SECTION FROM THE TIVOLI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, DENMARK
PHOTO FROM 1899.
From the left: Carl Christensen – 1. trombone, August Petersen senior – 2. trombone and Anton Hansen – 3. trombone, all 3 playing on, more or less, the same kind of instrument. (at that time the bass trombone was not really regarded as a special instrument).
FOUR GERMAN TROMBONE PLAYING FIREFIGHTERS PLAYING CARDS
1900, Zittau, Germany
In the 20th century the trombone family practically got a wider sound spectre. The tenor trombones got a bigger bore and therewith a heavier sound, and that is why the alto trombone was reintroduced into the classical repertoire. The tenor-bass-trombone (now known as bass trombone) got also a bigger bore, and with an extra valve (either on the tube of the 1st valve, or on the main tube, independent) the bass trombone became full chromatic. The bass trombone now has got a special status, (like the viola compared to the violin) with its own repertoire and with a steady place in the symphony orchestras, wind orchestras and Big Bands. The tenor trombone has a few solo parts in the orchestral repertoire of the 20th century: A big solo in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 3 (1896) and a solo in Ravel’s Bolero (1928). There are also written solo concertos for trombone, some of the best known are the concerto by Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960), Denmark, and Lars Erik Larsson (1908-1986), Sweden.
MODERN ALTO-, TENOR- and BASS TROMBONE
The example of Verdi, using the contrabass trombone was followed by G. Puccini (1858-1924), who kept the Italian tradition in using 4 trombones instead of 3 trombones and a tuba..
MODERN CONTRABASS TROMBONE
(Trombonist: Javier Colomer)
In 1921 Ernst Dehmel used the principles of the tenor-bass trombone to make the improved version of the contrabass trombone which is still customary today: A bass trombone in F with two independent valves. Also R. Strauss used the contrabass trombone in the operas “Salome” and “Elektra” (low brass: 4 trombones and tuba) and in his Alpine symphony (4 trombones and 2 tubas). Today, the vast majority of contrabass trombones are in F but one also still see models in BB with double slide.
Today, the use of the contrabass trombone has had a flourished in music for films produced in Hollywood. Here it is quite common for freelance trombonists to have a contrabass trombone as a part of their instruments.
TROMBONE PLAYERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE RECORDING OF MUSIC FOR THE FILM “PLANET OF ABES 2001”
Here are 6 contrabass players with instruments in either F or BB.Trombone players: CHARLIE LOPER (1st Tenor), BRUCE FOWLER (Tenor), BRUC OTTO (Tenor), ANDY MALLOY (Tenor), BILL BOOTH (Tenor), DICK NASH (Tenor & Bass), ALEX ILES (Tenor & Bass), ANDY MARTIN (Tenor & Bass), BOB PAYNE (Tenor & Bass), STEVE HOLTMAN (Tenor, Bass & Contrabass), ALAN KAPLAN (Tenor, Bass & Contrabass), PHIL TEELE (Bass & Contrabass), BILL REICHENBACH (Bass & Contrabass), BOB SANDERS (Bass & Contrabass), JAMES SAWYER (Bass & Contrabass)
Even the Cimbasso changed from BB to F. It is normally used when tubists play cimbasso- and contra bass trombone parts.
MATTIAS CEDERBERG WITH CIMBASSO
Also cimbasso has been given new opportunities to appear, here together with WDR-big band, Cologne, Germany.
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA LOW BRASS RECORDING
From left to right: Edward Kleinhammer (bass trombone), Frank Crisafulli (2. trombone), Arnold Jacobs (tuba), James Gilbertsen (assistant principal trombone) and Jay Friedman (principal trombone). This recording was made in 1971 for the purpose of providing a better aural perspective of the trombone and tuba section in a symphony orchestra. It is perhaps the first attempt to present the sound of an orchestral section playing the standard orchestral excerpts, thus enable the listener to hear the approach to style and phasing.
THE TROMBONE AS A SOLO INSTRUMENT
In the first part of the 20. century others picked up the idea from Belcke and Quesser to use the trombone as a solo instrument. Some succeeded, but the trombone had a hard time to compete with the trumpet and the horn in the classical repertoire. At that time the trombone concertos by Vagenseil and Albrechtsberger were not found yet (they were found in the 2nd part of the 20th century) and the later – often played – concertos by Launy Grøndahl and Lars Erik Larsson were not written. Some people though succeeded being a soloist, and among their repertoire it was mostly the concerto by Ferdinand David that was played, but also other pieces, like the trombone concerto by Eugene Reiche (1878-1946) written somewhat like the concerto by David.
PROMINENT TROMBONE PLAYERS OF THE 20. CENTURY.
ANDRÉ LAFOSSE (1890-1975)
Left: :ANDRÉ LAFOSSE with students: Pierre AMBACH, Vinko GLOBOKAR, Roger TOUCHARD, Raymond PATRY, Claude DURAND, Raymond KATARZYNSKI, Maurice DELANOY, and Pierre GAUTHIER.
André Lafosse was Professor of Trombone at the Paris Conservatoire from 1948 to 1960, where he took over from Henri Couilaud. He wrote Méthode complète pour le trombone in three volumes published in 1921 (first two volumes) and 1946 (third volume). In it he famously describes the practise of playing with vibrato as vulgar (very strange with the French tradition of using vibrato in mind ) and glissandos of questionable taste. There are just three pages of an appendix to cover the bass trombone, probably because of the absence of the bass trombone in French orchestras before 1950. In the 1920s and 1930s Lafosse recorded in orchestras with Stravinsky. It has been suggested[ that he was the soloist in Stravinsky’s own 1928 Paris recording of Pulcinella where the trombonist omits the written glissandos – instead playing the notes staccato
P. PRESUTTI – BERLINER POSAUNENVIRTUOS
A postcard from the beginning of the 20th century. The term “Virtuoso” was often used at that time.
Pasquale Presuttis relative Aidria Astravas tells: He came from Sulmona Italy, worked in Bremen (Germany), then in Malmo (Sweden), then eventually he came to the Boston (USA) and worked in the Roma Band (a successor to Giuseppe Creatore’s band? See ROMANTICISM II ) as a conductor. Here is a poster from 1929:
Fig.80 SERAFIN ALSCHAUSKY (1859-1948)
– TROMBONE VIRTUOSO AND COMPOSER
Joseph Serafin Alschausky (1879 – 1948) is often mentioned as one of the greatest trombone soloists in the line of Friedrich August Belcke (1795 – 1874), Karl Traugott Queisser (1800 – 1846), and Paul Weschke (1867 – 1940). German Trombonist Hubertus Schmidt tell about Joseph Alschausky: (1879-1948): He came from Düsseldorf, Berlin, Halle and got the principal trombone job in the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester in 1918. Alschausky was not easy to get along with and was fired from most of his orchestra positions. He was known to play along with singers while they sang on stage and he in the pit! In 1923 he was touring in USA and played in the Cincinnati Symphony for a while. Here he performed the David Concertino under Fritz Reiner on November 18, 1923. He ended his career as a successful teacher, arranger and composer.
PAUL WESCHKE (1867-1940) ROYAL CHAMBER VIRTUOSO
– played also as a soloist, but played otherwise as a solo trombone player in the Statskapelle Berlin (1895-1929) and he was known as teacher at the Staatliche Akademische Hochschule für musik in Berlin (1903-1934). He spoke to Richard Strauss about writing a trombone concerto, but unfortunately it was never written.
Fig.82 VLADISLAV BLAZHEVICH (1881-1942)
– was a trombonist, teacher, conductor and composer. After obtaining his diploma at the Moscow Conservatoire in 1905, he became principal trombone in the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, where he remained until 1928. He was professor of trombone at the Moscow Conservatoire and in 1937 he was appointed head of the department of wind instruments in the military faculty of the Moscow Conservatoire and conductor of the state wind band. Blazhevich was one of the founders of the Soviet trombone and tuba school. He was a remarkable performer, a superb teacher and an outstanding composer in a romantic Russian style. As a composer he left many works of all kind. We might mention the “Collective Playing Method for Wind Instruments” (1939), the “Trombone and Tuba Method” and, pieces and studies for different instruments and nothing less than 13 concertos for trombone.
EDVARD KLEINHAMMER (1919-2013)
Bass trombonist in the Chicago Symphony orchestra 1940-1985. He was one of the first who by his playing and teaching got focus on the bass trombone as an orchestral instrument. Later, other bass trombone players – like Charlie Vernon, his successor in the orchestra – introduced the instrument as a solo instrument.
Fig.84 MICHAEL MULCAHAY and DENIS WICK
In the 20th century there were many very competent trombone players. A range of prominent teachers improved the trombone playing, as an orchestral instrument as well as a solo instrument.
MICHAEL MULCAHAY comes from Australia. He has been 2nd trombone player in the Chicago Symphony orchestra since 1989, and has been a teacher for a lot of trombone players from all over the world.
DENIS WICK was principal trombonist in the London Symphony Orchestra 1957- 1988. During his time with the London Symphony he played under many of the world’s greatest conductors. Denis has also been a member of the London Sinfonietta and, for a short period, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. In addition, he has made many appearances as a soloist. He has had concertos written for him by several British composers; among them, Gordon Jacob, Buxton Orr and Alun Hoddinott. Appointed professor of trombone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1967-1976, and has worked as a consultant professor and conductor since that time. His textbook, Trombone Technique is used worldwide with translations available in Japanese, German, Swedish and Italian. Denis Wick is perhaps best known for his line of brass instrument mouthpieces and mutes. In 1989, he received the ITA Award.
CHRISTIAN LINDBERG (1958-)
– re-established the status of the trombone as a solo instrument.
The Swedish trombone player Christian Lindberg is an unique soloist. He started to play the trombone rather late, being 17 years old, but already at 19 years of age he got a position in the opera orchestra of Stockholm. In 1981 (being 23 years old) he won a Nordic soloist completion and after that he started –rather unusual- a career as a full time trombone soloist. He has been playing all over the world and there are written a long range of pieces, especially for him. Today he is also a composer as well as a conductor.
11. THE TUBA
Little by little the tuba got difficult orchestral parts as well. Like for instance in the music of Prokofiev (1887-1053), and as early as 1888 there is a little melodic solo part in G. Mahler’s symphony nr. 1 (frère Jacques in minor). In Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps (1913) there are two tubas, like the French tradition with two ophicleides (The piece was written in France and at the premiere the tuba parts were played on two small French tubas). At the end of the 20th century the F-tuba was really used often in Germany and Scandinavia, but since than the deeper sound of the CC-tuba is getting more popular. In the USA the CC-tuba has always been very popular, whereas the Russians have always preferred the BB-tuba. In England the tuba was first en F (see fig.80) but later the Eb-tuba is mostly used, both with piston valves and a big bore.
Between professionals it is said that in the 1960s there was a real “tuba-explosion”, which means that there was really a lot of tuba playing. The reason could be the growing interest in chamber music for brass instruments and it was a breakthrough for the tuba as a solo instrument.
MODERN F-TUBA and C-TUBA WITH ROTARY VALVES
Just for fun some real huge tubas in CCC and BbBbBb have been produced, which means they are double as long as the contra bass tuba in CC or BbBb. Even if it is possible to produce a sound on these instruments they have never has been of any importance. Most of these monster-tubas are claimed to be the largest in the world.
A MONSTER-TUBA IN CCC
– build to John Philip Sousa’s band for a presentation at the World’s Exposition in Chicago 1893. Later the tuba turns up in Pasadena where it here is shown by the composer Harry S. Hobson. The instrument was given by Sousa to Hobson after the close of the Fair.
Another story about this instrument tells that the instrument was built by Sanders of Wolfstein, Germany as a presentation to Sousa to celebrate his visit to England.
In 1956 Gerard Hoffnung played the instrument in a live performance of Gordon Jacob’s “Variations on ‘Annie Laurie’.”
GERARD HOFFNUNG AND HIS WIFE ANETTA AND THE SOUSA-MONSTER TUBA
A third story tells that six of these monster tubas were made by Besson for the John Phillip Sousa Band. They got shipped to the United States but arrived right after Sousa died, so they were never used.
A Sousa scholar has indicated that the Sousa press machine was quite effective, and if the instrument had been associated with Sousa, it would have been in the press releases.
On a poster of Patrick Gilmore’s “One Hundred” band is a giant tuba at the back row:
PATRICK GILMORE’s ONE HUNDRED BAND 1892
On this close up the brand name “Besson” is very clear
Here is a photo which shows the engravings on the bell:
This giant tuba is today in possession of the Haward University Band.
BIG CARL – AN EVEN BIGGER GIANT TUBA
This instrument is pitched in sub contra BbBbBb, here seen with Derek Fenstermacher, principal tuba with the New Jersey Symphony, to test the instrument. BIG CARL was build by Bohland & Fuchs in what was then Bohemia, sometime around the beginning of the 20th century. Big Carl was sold or given to Carl Fischer, a sheet music publisher who opened an instrument repair shop in the East Village in 1872 and was Sousa’s first publisher. The instrument made an appearance at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Big Carl was later ensconced over the entrance to the company’s headquarters at Cooper Square from 1926 to 1999, then followed the publisher to Bleecker Street and in 2013 to 48 Wall Street, New York, but out of public sight, in a small conference room.
GERMAN GIANT MONSTER-TUBA
The picture shows professor Jörg Wachsmuth playing on a giant tuba produced by some German firms for the exhibition for music instruments in Frankfurt, Germany 1913. It is 2,05m high and the weight is 50kg.
PIONEERS IN TUBA PLAYING
Today there are many virtuous tuba players. These four tubists has been of uttermost importance:
WILLIAM BELL (1902-1871)
– was the premier player and teacher of the tuba in America during the first half of the 20th century. In 1921, he joined the band of john Philip Sousa, and from 1924 to 1937 he served as Principal Tuba with the Cicinanati Symphony Orchestra. In 1937 General electric’s David Sarnoff invited conductor Aturo Toscanini to select personnel for The NBC Symphony Orchestra. William Bell was the third musician selected by Toscanini. In 1943 he became principal tuba player for the New york Philharmonic. Leopold Stokowski invited Bell to perform and narrate Georg Kleisinger’s Tubby the Tuba, and to perform and sing a special arrangement of ‘When Yuba Plays The Rhumba on the Tuba”. In 1955 Bell performed the American premiere of Ralph Vaughan William’s “Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra”. He was tuba professor at the Manhattan School of Music until 1961, and Indiana University from 1961 to 1971.
ARNOLD JACOBS, USA, (1915-1998)
– was tuba player in the Chicago symphony orchestra, became a living legend. He was a charismatic teacher and he almost invented an art of breathing technique with ideas about a form of collaboration between the brain and the body. His ideas about breathing made him well known and helped not only for tuba players but all players of wind instruments and singers as well.
HARVEY PHILIPS, USA, (1929-2010)
– played the tuba in one of the pioneer ensembles in brass chamber music: “The New York Brass Quintet”. He became full professor at Indiana University and has traveled, performed and given masterclasses almost all over the world. Harvey Philips was very busy getting composers to write new music for the tuba, he once said, “I’m determined that no great composer is ever again going to live out his life without composing a major work for tuba”. Phillips is considered legendary among tubists. In 2007, Phillips was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, the only wind instrument player to receive this prestigious honor. “Tuba Christmas” was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. At this events really big groups of tuba- , euphonium- and baritone players meet at Christmas time and play Christmas tunes.
Harvey Phillips also introduced another rarity, the tuba recital. In 1975 he played five recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall in nine days.
IN 2018, A WORLD RECORD WERE SET UP IN A TUBA CHRISTMAS ENSEMBLE. In KANSAS CITY
THERE WERE IN TOTAL 839 TUBA PLAYERS.
JOHN FLETCHER, England (1941-1987) WITH HIS ENGLISH Eb-TUBA
He was a tuba player in The London Symphony Orchestra and a famous member of another leading brass chamber music ensemble: The “Philip Jones Brass Ensemble”. When Philip Jones was considering extending his quartet to a quintet he would first play with 2 trombones, because he didn’t mean the tuba would fit the ensemble sound (20‘ CENTURY II, 10 CHAMBER MUSIC). In 1963, Philip Jones heard a concert that made him change his mind. It was the concert at the American Embassy in London where New York Brass Quintet first performed Malcolm Arnold’s Brass Quintet. The concert received good reviews, especially the tubist Harvey Philips, described as: “Selfless tubist steals show”. Fortunately Philip Jones found a matching tubist at the same level in John Fletcher. His recording of Vaughan Williams’ tuba concerto was for a long time been a reference for tuba players.
MICHAEL LIND (1950-), DENMARK
– has played in the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and is now Head of Brass at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. As a musician he has performed worldwide with many famous musicians as recorded numerous CDs from classical works to jazz and popular music both . Lind has taught at Indiana University in the United States and is known worldwide as a teacher and soloist – often as a soloist with symphony orchestras. Lind has promoted and organized Workshops for tuba players and for brass players in general.
12. RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
CONCERTO FOR TUBA AND ORCHESTRA
When the tuba reached the age of about a 100 years old, people started to write other solos for the tuba rather than popular music. The most important man in the solo literature for the tuba is Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) who wrote his Concerto in F-minor for bass tuba and orchestra in 1954.
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958 )
AND TUBIST PHILIP CATELINET (1910-1995) WITH HIS PISTON VALVE F-TUBA
The soloist in this most famous concerto for tuba was Philip Catelinet. He came from the Salvation Army and studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, and the London Academy of Music. He became an arranger for the Salvation Army and composed or arranged over 100 vocal and instrumental pieces just for the Army – but he taught himself to play the tuba and euphonium. He started professional as an euphonium player in the military and in the 1950′ s he became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra (almost like a permanent associate assistant – at the same time in both orchestras) and often appeared as an extra with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In 1954 composer Ralph Vaughan Williams asked Philip Catelinet and the London Symphony Orchestra to premiere his new tuba concerto at the orchestra’s 50 years Jubilee Concert. Phil met with the composer at his residence and played through the work and consulted him during the preparations and rehearsals. The work’s world premiere came at the Royal Festival Hall on June 13, 1954 with Sir John Barbirolli conducting and Vaughan Williams in attendance.
Unsure of the audience’s reaction to a concerto for tuba, Philip Catelinet asked his wife not to attend the concert. In an article for the TUBA Journal, Philip wrote of the “belittling image invariably linked to both the tuba and tubists” and …I did not know how the public would react. If I had to suffer, I would rather suffer alone.” The music and Phil’s performance were both well received, and the orchestra and soloist held a recording session the following day.
In 1956 Philip and his family left England and moved to Pittsburgh in USA where he composed, conducted and worked for the salvation Army and in 1976, Philip and his wife returned to their native England and he remained active in his later years.
13. THE EUPHONIUM IN THE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
In his Don Quixote (1898) and Ein Heldenleben (1899) R. Strauss has given a part to the tenor tuba. Originally is should have been a Wagner tuba , but after the premiere he gave the part, following the wish of the conductor Ernst von Such, to the bariton/euphonium.. In G. Mahler’s Symphony no.7 (1908) and in the Planets (1918) by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) there is a solo for the bariton/euphonium. The dominant instruments for tenor tuba parts have all over the world been the English / American euphonium or the German oval baritone. They both come from the French saxhorn, which is now again reproduced by the French company Courtois.