Posted by Marty Neilan on September 22, 1999 at 11:56:46:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mouthpieces posted by Matthew Gaunt on September 22, 1999 at 11:08:34:
How interesting and true!!! Darker in and of itself is NOT always better! I feel obliged to share this anectdote. I attended the Juilliard PreCollege and continued subbing for them during my first year in college (Manhattan School of Music) Harry Berv led an orchestral rep class. He was very, very old school and had played horn with his brothers in the NBC symphony under Toscanini, among many other places. The first year I played for him, I played a 5/4 Mirafone with a medium deep mouthpiece, which gave a very cutting, bright edged sound. He loved the tone I got with that. The next year, I had a Bohm and Meinl which was basically an old York copy. He wasn't crazy about it, because it was darker and cut less. I remember coming in one week, with a larger leadpipe on that horn and a mouthpiece I had bored out the backbore (I was an ignorant college freshman, and I was foolishly trying for the darkest, most overtone free sound in the world thinking I could be the next Warren Deck). Needless to say, that combination of dark horn, bigger than stock leadpipe, and too open mouthpiece produced a sound that was ddddddark. He stopped the orchestra, told me I needed to practice more because my tone was terrible (you gotta love old school conductors) and once again began conducting. That day, I learned the meaning of MIDDLE GROUND, and learned it the hard way. I sold that mouthpiece and put the smaller leadpipe back on that horn (which some years later I traded for a Mirafone 1290)
Thank you for listening to my tale of humiliation
P.S. The new heavyweight mouthpiece I have been plugging recently is of no relation to the mouthpiece atrocity I played on in this story and gets a good balance of 'core' as well as darkness on my particular horn. But, I probably still wouldn't use it for the Vaughan Williams or Carnival of Venice.