Saturday, May 10, 2014
I’ve been asked a few times if I have demo recordings of BMB tubas. I don’t. And I don’t find demo recordings useful. Jake sounded like Jake no matter what he played. Microphone placement is more important than tube on a recording. I listen to old recordings of me in the quintet and honestly can’t tell if I was playing my 184 Miraphone or my Holton/York 345. Not that the horn doesn’t matter. Just that on a recording, without defining microphone placement, the ears can be deceived. That said, there is a broadcast coming up of the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Pokorny used a BMB J-765 for the Scriabin Divine Poem. Not a piece I knew. I was fortunate to have heard it live in the hall. It is a real showpiece for the tuba from the very beginning. This is Chicago live so microphone placement is what hangs in the hall every day. And it is in context with the rest of the orchestra without unusually highlighting any instrument. If it is anything close to what I heard in the hall, you are in for a treat. It should be a great example of what the BMB BAT sounds like in the hands of a great player. May 25, 2014 Muti and Izotov: the Martinů Oboe Concerto Riccardo Muti, conductor Eugene Izotov, oboe Haydn: Symphony No. 48 in C Major, Maria Theresa Martinů: Oboe Concerto Scriabin: The Divine Poem Tune in for a treat: http://www.wfmt.com/main.taf?p=12,11,3,1 To be clear, Gene does not endorse BMB or any other tuba. He primarily uses the York tuba that the orchestra owns. He has on occasion used a BMB tuba because it fit the needs of the situation, piece, or conductor. This is one example of which I am aware and am pleased to alert you to it.
Posted by Richard Barth at 6:30 AM
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I received a couple of unsolicited comments I have to share (with permission, of course.) Dick, We just finished a long recording session for an upcoming Pops disc, the 6/4 was incredible to play on it! Listening to the playbacks, it was shocking the presence that horn has! Tons of fun! Carson McTeer, Cincinatti Symphony The J445 and I are in with Wexford Opera Orchestra this week on Rusalka and I'm enjoying the range of timbres and accuracy of intonation that the tuba offers. The score uses the contrabass register and a lot of meaty unisons with double basses - the J445 blends wonderfully. I've never owned an instrument nimble enough to handle the huge variations in tuba writing in an opera score, from trombone section chorales to bass clarinet / bassoon responses and 5th horn roles. Your design yields warm, rich, resonant sound throughout. I'm beginning to appreciate the practical acoustic advantages of the utility F tuba as practised in Germany and apparently early 20th century UK orchestras prior to the now ubiquitous Eb. I also use this experience as another example of my belief in the superiority of a 5 valve system over compensation, having paid my dues on the Besson Sovereign / Imperial and its progeny! All best, Alex Kidston, Ireland
Posted by Richard Barth at 4:53 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Alex Kidston sent these links from his new recording in Ireland. He recorded these on is BMB J-445sp F tuba. Give a listen. They're really good. Give 'em a listen. Thanks, Alex. Brassy Fusion https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/brassy-fusion Mad Clowns https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/mad-clowns I Got a Lot https://soundcloud.com/willgrovewhite/i-got-a-lot
Posted by Richard Barth at 12:14 PM
Thursday, July 18, 2013
First some stories: Vince DeRosa was at the Conn factory when a college girl came in to pick out an 8D. “Mr Derosa! What an honor. Would you pick out my horn for me?” He walked over to a display; picked one up at random and handed it to her. Said she,“You don’t understand. I mean play them and tell me which one I should buy.” Said he “You don’t understand, honey. I picked mine out like this and got used to it. You take this one and get used to it.” Note: I met DeRosa at a convention and asked him if that story were true. He said he had never been to the factory but it did sound like something he would have said. Perhaps it was at a music store. This story may have been exaggerated by the time it reached me but I believe the essence is correct. Rafael Mendez was at the Olds factory testing trumpets and did not like any that were presented to him. An engineer stayed back when they went to lunch. He discovered that Mendez’s old trumpet had leaky valves so he lapped some extra play into a new trumpet. When Mendez came back and played the new one he was upset that they let him test all morning when the good one was in the back. Totally factual or not, the point is that instruments are like shoes. Nothing feels as good as the shoes you’ve been wearing. Bob Giardinelli, when he had his famous music store in NYC had many, many Bach Strad trumpets in stock. Customers would ask how many he had, wanting to try them all to find the magic trumpet. More often than not he would declare his inventory to be three or four, knowing that trumpets could be like perfume at the cosmetic counter. After three, the senses become confused. Of course he couldn’t afford to maintain his low prices and clean his entire inventory after each customer. Asked what he did with the dogs, the lemons, he said sooner or later someone would declare it the best instrument he’d ever played. I went to NYC looking for a CC tuba in 1965. There were two for sale. (My how things have changed. Of course I could drink a case of beer back then but you could only get Schlitz, Schaefer, Bud and Pabst. Now there is a plethora of great micro beers and my capacity has shrunk to two. Life isn’t always fair.) Anyway, Bill Bell’s old Cerveny was for sale for $425. The horn with the rubber band on the water key that he played in the NBC Orchestra. You know, the one pictured with him in a tux. I found it too frail for a college student. The other was a Mahillon about which Walter Sear said “Here’s a horn you can take on the Subway.” Not planning to take a tuba on the subway, I passed. Sear did say something relevant to our topic. “When the chips are down, you turn to the horn you’ve played on most of your life.” He was referring to Harvey Phillips and his old Conn and Arnold Jacobs and his famous York.
Posted by Richard Barth at 5:54 AM