Re: Arnold Jacobs recordings

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Posted by Brian Frederiksen on December 27, 1999 at 09:52:42:

In Reply to: Arnold Jacobs recordings posted by Bill on December 23, 1999 at 14:01:36:

To clarify a few things, here is the section on Jacobs as a soloist from Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind:

As a Soloist
The tuba has never been considered a solo instrument such as the violin, piano and, in the brass family, the trumpet or horn. But with a great artist such as Jacobs, the Chicago Symphony has featured him as a soloist.
Within his first three seasons (1944-47), he recalls performing Arcady Dubensky’s Fantasy on a Popular Folk Song for Tuba and Symphony Orchestra. He had previously performed this work in 1938 with the Indianapolis Symphony {see: Professional Experience: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra}. It was performed as part of a Saturday night popular series with Desire Defauw conducting.

He also recalls performing Florian Mueller’s Concert Music for Bass Tuba and Orchestra [completed October 12, 1946] and at Ravinia, he performed the Elephant and the Fly with Pierre Monteux conducting.
Jacobs performed the first major concerto for the tuba, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra, on the following occasions:

Pops concert, Morton Gould, Conductor, January 27, 1968
Chicago Heights, Illinois, Morton Gould, Conductor, January 29, 1968
Quincy, Illinois, Henry Mazer, Conductor, May 7, 1972
University Night concert, Henry Mazer, Conductor, October 25, 1978
Subscription concert, Henry Mazer, Conductor, October 26-28, 1978
Evanston [Illinois] Symphony, conducted by CSO principal
cellist Frank Miller, December 11, 1978

On March 27, 1977, Jacobs recorded the concerto with Daniel Barenboim conducting the CSO. The previous season, a scheduled performance was canceled as Barenboim was needed at the bedside of his terminally ill wife, cellist Jacqueline DuPre. Prior to the recording, Jacobs was given a few weeks notice; there were no performances and little rehearsal time was provided.
At the recording session before actually recording, Jacobs played through the cadenzas unaware that Deutsche Grammophon’s engineers were recording. When he asked to record the cadenzas, they told him that they had already recorded them. Jacobs was generally disappointed with the recording. Later, the Chicago Symphony released a significantly better recording from the live performances of October 1978 with Henry Mazer conducting.
For the recording and the 1978 concerts, Jacobs used an F tuba made by Boosey and Hawkes [Besson]. It is the instrument for which Vaughan Williams composed the concerto. On the other occasions, he used his York CC tuba.

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