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Thread: Harold Brasch - Carnival of Venice

  1. #1

    Harold Brasch - Carnival of Venice

    This is with band, from Brasch's LP of the International Music Camp band. I HAD to upload this track first!! It is Harold's own arrangement as is impressive. At around 4:00 a piccolo joins in with some counterpoint to the solo, and I'm pretty sure the player must have grabbed the wrong picc (like Db vs. C) or maybe picked one up that had gotten really cold. You'll see what I mean!

    https://youtu.be/l9WpFUg0LUM

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    This is with band, from Brasch's LP of the International Music Camp band. I HAD to upload this track first!! It is Harold's own arrangement as is impressive. At around 4:00 a piccolo joins in with some counterpoint to the solo, and I'm pretty sure the player must have grabbed the wrong picc (like Db vs. C) or maybe picked one up that had gotten really cold. You'll see what I mean!

    https://youtu.be/l9WpFUg0LUM

    I didnít hear anything unusual there. Horrendously out of tune, stilted, and vulgar is every piccolo, surely?
    1983 Boosey & Hawkes Globe Sovereign
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  3. #3
    Funny you mention the piccolo part on this solo. I have this exact solo (obtained from Harold and the Navy Band) (I also have the LP that you have) and accompaniment, and this is the solo that I played during the final phase of a rotten cold one time. And the first section, the opening, was really rough (totally dry mouth from taking cold remedies) and caused me to go grab a trombone player's water bottle and give myself a few squirts after the opening section and during the band interlude, problem solved going forward. Moral: Always have water available when performing a solo (and I do to this day).

    Anyhow, about the piccolo part, it is written that way, really. I have played this solo in 2 or 3 different places with 2 or 3 different bands, and the piccolo part always sounds the same. It is highly dissonant. Not sure if that was the intention, but that is the way it is. My latest band director wanted to change the part or eliminate it, but we kept it.

    The cadenza near the end sound familiar? From one of the variations of Picchi's (arr. S. Mantia and edited by H. Brasch) Fantasie Originale. I included that in the version I played as well.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 02-21-2021 at 11:19 AM.
    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)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Anyhow, about the piccolo part, it is written that way, really. I have played this solo in 2 or 3 different places with 2 or 3 different bands, and the piccolo part always sounds the same. It is highly dissonant. Not sure if that was the intention, but that is the way it is. My latest band director wanted to change the part or eliminate it, but we kept it.
    Well, that's another case of "never assume" I guess. I'd love to see the score at that point and try to figure out why it grates on me so much! Thanks for clarifying!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  5. #5
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    Mr. Brasch sounds great, but I’m with Dave on the piccolo part. Hurts my ears in parts.
    Rick Floyd
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Well, that's another case of "never assume" I guess. I'd love to see the score at that point and try to figure out why it grates on me so much! Thanks for clarifying!
    Wish granted, Dave!! Although the score is a condensed score, without the piccolo part. So I copied the pertinent page of the euphonium solo and the piccolo part so you could examine them. If you are looking at the euphonium part, the piccolo comes in at the end of the eighth measure after F. I didn't have anything to do for a couple hours, and this seemed like a fun project!

    Euphonium Part:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Euphonium Part.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	1.46 MB 
ID:	8190

    Piccolo Part:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Piccolo Part.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	1.03 MB 
ID:	8191

    And here is a video of a MIDI compilation I did of the two parts (not great quality, I held the camera while the MIDI piece played, but it works). It is also slowed down for two reasons, 1) so you can hear the parts better, and 2) to spread out the pain on your ears:

    Last edited by John Morgan; 02-21-2021 at 05:12 PM.
    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)

  7. #7
    Thanks, John! That helps clear it up. It is at the very least "dangerous" writing, IMHO, because of the diversity of range and color. The live version still sounds worse, but I think a cold instrument could have accounted for that. Perhaps that line was inspired by "The Elephant and the Flea" (or "Fly" in some versions), but my first instinct as a conductor would be to have the flute try it, so it would sound an octave lower.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Thanks, John! That helps clear it up. It is at the very least "dangerous" writing, IMHO, because of the diversity of range and color. The live version still sounds worse, but I think a cold instrument could have accounted for that. Perhaps that line was inspired by "The Elephant and the Flea" (or "Fly" in some versions), but my first instinct as a conductor would be to have the flute try it, so it would sound an octave lower.
    In "Bolero," Ravel scored a passage played by winds in the middle range, with the same rhythm played by flute (or piccolo, I forget) at a fixed interval above. The idea (whether scientifically derived or just instinctual by Ravel's extraordinary ear) was to strengthen one of the upper harmonics of the melody note, thus created a new instrument (i.e., the combo of the lower and upper voices) that had a ratio of overtones unlike any instrument that existed (this works with flutes and piccolos, since their tone is closest to a pure sine wave). Looking at part of this piccolo part, it seems like Brasch was doing something similar. If any of you have ever played a Hammond organ, it creates its different sound by choosing the ratio of overtones using a drawbar interface.
    Dean L. Surkin
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  9. #9
    At that wide a spread, minor thirds and any sixths will take on a dissonant quality, even if perfectly in tune. Strong overtones of a major 3rd and perfect fifth from the lower instrument will create audible seconds against the fundamental of the higher instrument. This is extremely noticeable when the euph is playing a low A against the picc C. The C# overtone is grating against the picc note quite audibly to me.

    So, that's about 80% of the grating quality in Brasch recording. The other part is that the piccolo negotiated the first couple of bars of the solo very poorly, missing several intervals before settling in.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
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  10. #10
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    And a great tone from that New Standard.

    Reminds me a bit of Mr. Baglin's playing.

    GD
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

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