Re: Re: Re: Arnold Jacobs recordings

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Posted by Richard on December 26, 1999 at 17:28:20:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Arnold Jacobs recordings posted by Jay Bertolet on December 26, 1999 at 12:28:54:

I have it from a record biz insider, who has played tuba professionally, once spoke with a member of the technical staff that produced and engineered the Jacobs VW Concerto for DG. It goes something like this. "Wow, you recorded the Vaughan Williams with Arnold Jacobs. What was that like?!!"

Response - "Ach. . .what a JOKE! A TUBA concerto! Really my dear. Whose idea could THAT have been? TUBA. Pffft Pffft Pffft (fart sounds) Ha ha ha. . ." Needless to say a disillusioning experience for my friend who must remain anonymous as he still works in the belly of the beast. But he's no longer under any illusions.

As Jay has said, we all agree that the DG VW does not represent the Arnold Jacobs we knew. It only shows that even the greatest players are vulnerable to circumstances beyond their control. It is also worth noting that in live performances, such as the one subsequently issued by the CSO, Jake always did his own version of the Finale cadenza that incorporated his triple-tounging routine and other liberties. The anal rententive self-important DG producers would have none of it. Real urtext guys. Play the ink and nothing but the ink. Yer on OUR payroll, bub.

As for Roger's Interlochen performance. When I told Roger I had a copy (around 1960 or so) he freaked. He would have preferred it be suppressed. He was being harsh on himself. He played it with a beautiful big tone, with a nice sense of flow and continuity, but the sound was awfully dark for a solo work, and he missed lots of notes. Still it's a great momento of a leading player at an early stage. Mr. Jacobs was mightily impressed by that recording. Tuba virtuosity and musical concepts at that level were extremely rare on tuba from high school kids in the late 50s.

I heard Mr. Jacobs perform the VW live in 1962 with the Chicago Civic under John Weicher. He played it on his big York. He WAILED. But as impressive as it was, those who will hear his Strauss 1st Horn Concerto for the first time whenever it is released, will hear something that goes beyond impressive.

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