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Thread: Oval Baritone

  1. #11
    notaverygoodname - I had a conversation with Mr. Alessi last summer about this very thing, about how the ovalform Bb tenorhorn you can buy today isn't all that different from the instrument available in the early 1900s for military bands when the symphony was written, and how it's really a very different instrument than the british baritone horn. Suffice it to say, he was not particularly receptive!

    I suspect that while a yamaha neo baritone is fairly easy to get at Dillon music just outside of New York City, it'd be an item they reguarly stocked, a Bb ovalform tenorhorn would probably not be. I do applaud his use of an instrument that is smaller than euphonium for the part as it's more difficult to play that way and I do think it sounds better.

    Nevertheless, I do think it sounds spectacular played by him on this instrument. I'd love to hear him do it on a Miraphone 47 or similar.
    --
    Barry

  2. #12
    For the record, I like Bydlo on euphonium for particular reasons. The partial series of the euphonium is closest to that of the tuba Ravel had in mind. Going to a longer horn puts you up in the close partials sooner. It's like playing an Eb trumpet part on Bb trumpet. A good Bb player can do it accurately, but it won't sound the same.

    For Mahler 7, I think the German tenorhorn would be a good choice. The German horns or either size are conical, while the British baritone has more conical tubing. Actually, the closest match that is commonly found in the USA would be an American baritone/euphonium. Still conical, but smaller bore than the euphonium I play.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    For the record, I like Bydlo on euphonium for particular reasons. The partial series of the euphonium is closest to that of the tuba Ravel had in mind. Going to a longer horn puts you up in the close partials sooner.

    <snip>

    but it won't sound the same.
    See, that's exactly why I like it on tuba. It gives it an unwieldy quality. The good players can make it sound easy but still somehow clumsy. And just the volume and breadth of the sound while still sounding like it's being played gently is a great effect. It really works in bydlo. I'm aware that the french tuba is a smaller instrument in many ways than today's euphonium, and I'm usually the first one to argue for at least giving some thought to authenticity when choosing instruments, but I think it just works really well that way. And also, keep in mind that the french tuba even though it was an instrument with a fairly small bore and bell compared to modern instruments was played with a larger more tuba-like mouthpiece, which changed the way it sounded.

    Here it is played really well on a C bass saxhorn (aka french tuba) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3xo6zGPbQI
    --
    Barry

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    See, that's exactly why I like it on tuba. It gives it an unwieldy quality.
    I see your point, but here is another point. For example, the movement "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" is usually, I assume, played on instruments that are as facile as any used in Ravel's time. One would not intentionally choose an instrument that was more difficult to make it sound like awkward poultry. Does that work?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    ….Here it is played really well on a C bass saxhorn (aka french tuba) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3xo6zGPbQI
    Thanks, Barry for that link! That is a great performance of Bydlo!! On my speakers, which are pretty good, but not stellar, it sounds a lot like a euphonium. Maybe the combination of slightly smaller bore and larger mouthpiece? I don't know much about French tubas and have never had the opportunity to play one, but I would surely like to. I guess Wessex sells one. The Wessex model has six valves, but it looks like this one in the video has three up and two on the side. And this horn looks "smaller" than the Wessex French tuba. Maybe you can sort that out for me, Barry.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  6. #16
    I think Corentin Morvan's instrument has four valves up top and two on the side and I suspect is similar to the Mahillion in the Simonetti collection:

    https://simonettitubacollection.com/...uba-6-pistons/

    or maybe it doesn't! really hard to tell from that video!

    Note the large bore, larger than most euphoniums. The Simonetti collection also has a Couesnon from 1985 with an even larger yet bore.

    The Wessex is based on an earlier instrument from the 1930s. Much closer to Ravel, but a smaller bore and bell too.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 04-28-2020 at 01:49 PM.
    --
    Barry

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I see your point, but here is another point. For example, the movement "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" is usually, I assume, played on instruments that are as facile as any used in Ravel's time. One would not intentionally choose an instrument that was more difficult to make it sound like awkward poultry. Does that work?
    totally agree, and I think the french tuba is a great thing to use when the rest of the brass section also plays scaled down instruments. But tubists really like a big grand orchestral contrabass tuba when it comes to catacombs. Usually what you'll find is they will use a big CC tuba for the whole piece and then either pass Bydlo to a trombonist doubling on euphonium or switch to a small(er) F tuba for the movement.

    If those are my two choices and I'm the trombonist, I'm all for the euphonium! If those are my two choices and I'm in the audience, I love to hear it done well on a smallish F tuba.

    I would LOVE to hear a tubist do the whole suite on french tuba. But it would be best if paired with appropriate small-bore trombones. A big modern bass trombone would blow a french tuba out of the water.
    --
    Barry

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