Re: F tuba Dilemma

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Posted by John Swadley on September 28, 2001 at 16:41:31:

In Reply to: F tuba Dilemma posted by Andy Smith on September 28, 2001 at 16:02:24:

Dear Andy,

I would have thought that any conductor who has problems with an F tuba on Symphonie Fantastique has unrealistic conceptions of the amount of weight that should be in the sound. If you have a close look at the score, the fourth movement solos are scored fairly thin so that the tuba (ophicleide) can come out. I'm sure your high chops are excellent, but I've never understood conductors who want so much tuba weight on 19th century pieces, which a 621 is excellent for, especially considering the tessitura of the piece as a whole. Probably you'll be taken to task for being behind, especially in the first movement with the bass trombone. The last time I looked Berlioz was also still a French composer who wants some lightness and quick movement in the tone production and sound of his pieces. Anyway, if the conductor insists on the CC for its weight and power, maybe you should try for some lightness in the tone as well.
Instrument switching always causes intonation problems. A good strategy is to tune all the fifths as C G C B F# B descending, etc. and see if the problem is not the fifths. If not you might also try the pattern of seconds C D E D C and then C Dflat Eflat Dflat C carefully listening to the seconds on each instrument. Anyway good luck and don't let any conductor get you down cause the stick don't make no noise! John

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