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Desperately Seeking Really Good Tubas


Barry Jordan

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Hello all,

 

our job here is slowly reaching completion, and the flues are almost fully done.

 

The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

If anyone has any good tips as to particularly good examples, especially of the heroically ringing (as opposed to the very closed, dark sounding) type, that Matthias Schuke and his crew could hear and see - it is important that they should be able to get their hands on them. please let me know. Contact details would be very helpful, especially of the organ builders caring for the instruments in question.

 

Thanks

Barry

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Hello all,

 

our job here is slowly reaching completion, and the flues are almost fully done.

 

The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

If anyone has any good tips as to particularly good examples, especially of the heroically ringing (as opposed to the very closed, dark sounding) type, that Matthias Schuke and his crew could hear and see - it is important that they should be able to get their hands on them. please let me know. Contact details would be very helpful, especially of the organ builders caring for the instruments in question.

 

Thanks

Barry

 

Durham Cathedral has 4 fabulous examples of Willis/Harrison Tuba ranks: the ones on the Bombarde are particularly heroic and ringing and I'm sure are what you describe. There is an Orchestral Tuba (enclosed) on the Solo which is quieter, but a bit rounder and the 32'/16' Ophicleide unit which defies belief! As another thought, at the same time your builders could also look around Harrisons' works and see what they do/say. PM me if you want me to put you in touch with James Lancelot (Cathedral Organist) and/or Mark Venning (MD of H & H). About 1 hour down the road is Ripon which also has two very fine Tubas (One Enclosed, One unenclosed), and having heard the Glasgow University Chapel Organ for the second time last Saturday I was again very impressed by the Tuba Minor and the Tuba Major on the Choir Organ there too. I apologise to John Mander for mentioning only Harrison jobs here: its simply that I don't think I've played a Mander Tuba yet (except St John's Cambridge which is so long ago I simply can't remember!). Hope this helps,

 

Charles

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Durham Cathedral has 4 fabulous examples of Willis/Harrison Tuba ranks: the ones on the Bombarde are particularly heroic and ringing and I'm sure are what you describe. There is an Orchestral Tuba (enclosed) on the Solo which is quieter, but a bit rounder and the 32'/16' Ophicleide unit which defies belief! As another thought, at the same time your builders could also look around Harrisons' works and see what they do/say. PM me if you want me to put you in touch with James Lancelot (Cathedral Organist) and/or Mark Venning (MD of H & H). About 1 hour down the road is Ripon which also has two very fine Tubas (One Enclosed, One unenclosed), and having heard the Glasgow University Chapel Organ for the second time last Saturday I was again very impressed by the Tuba Minor and the Tuba Major on the Choir Organ there too. I apologise to John Mander for mentioning only Harrison jobs here: its simply that I don't think I've played a Mander Tuba yet (except St John's Cambridge which is so long ago I simply can't remember!). Hope this helps,

 

Charles

 

 

============================

 

 

What about the copper Tuba en Chamade at Sheffield?

 

I'm sure Neil Taylor could be persuaded to part with it.

 

B)

 

MM

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Why not go for the real thing, not simply a loud

french-like big Trompette ?

 

Here is an outstanding compromise, not fully closed toned,

but 100% british:

 

http://www.walckerorgel.de/gewalcker.de/De...20-%20Paean.mp3

 

Ask Cynic for details!

 

Pierre

 

We hope that that is what we've got or will get, when it is properly finished.

 

B

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Durham Cathedral has 4 fabulous examples of Willis/Harrison Tuba ranks: the ones on the Bombarde are particularly heroic and ringing and I'm sure are what you describe.

 

Talking of heroic sounds... The idea of a Heroic organ - ein Helden Orgel - in a castle wall surrounded by mountains and pine forests - appeals to the Romantics in all of us - but does it work in practice? Has anyone heard the Helden Orgel at Kufstein? Is it worth a trip - as they say? B)

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OK, then; it is a stop by John Compton !

(Downside Abbey).

It seems there are still some examples to be find.

 

Pierre

 

Although I do not like such stops, I would recommend either Exeter or Salisbury - there is less 'honk' and a little more brightness.

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The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

Dear Barry,

 

It is a shame that Schuke reed voicers didn't attend the Harrison Reed Voicing work shop, held this month. It was oversubscribed many months back. Some Americans were there to 'learn' how to make Willis reeds for a large concert hall organ they're doing.

 

I realise this is no help whatsoever, sorry. I did write to you on the subject of British Organ Building some years back, but you never replied. Perhaps if you had, we could have sorted out your current problem.

 

I'm sure eventually what you end up with will work well with the rest of the instrument.

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Talking of heroic sounds... The idea of a Heroic organ - ein Helden Orgel - in a castle wall surrounded by mountains and pine forests - appeals to the Romantics in all of us - but does it work in practice? Has anyone heard the Helden Orgel at Kufstein? Is it worth a trip - as they say? B)

 

I heard the Kufstein instrument about 10 years ago and I must confess I was slightly underwhelmed. The pipework is in a round tower high up on a cliff and the sound is pretty coarse at close quarters.

 

The console stands about 100ft below in sort of summer house built of brick and tile. Even with all the windows open I can't imagine the organist has a true impression of what he is playing.

 

When I heard it, the repertoire of the short daily recitals seemed to be mainly composed of sentimental folk and soldiers' songs such as 'Ich hatte einen Kameraden' - appropriate maybe for a Heroes' Organ, but not very inspiring listening.

 

JS

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We hope that that is what we've got or will get, when it is properly finished.

 

B

 

 

The extremely fine Compton Tuba at Holy Trinity Hull could definitely be made available to your men (my wife is Director of Music). I think it's brighter (and nicer) than the example at Downside. There's another fine Tuba at Hully City Hall and yet another at Beverley Minster. All three instruments are within half an hour's trevelling time. Add a further 45 minutes and they could hear the one at Bridlington Priory too. Each one a glorious example.

 

The finest Tuba I know is at Blenheim Palace - IMHO it's a true shaft of gold! I don't know who looks after that now, it used to be Peter Wood of Harrogate. Maybe others would know.

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Hello all,

 

our job here is slowly reaching completion, and the flues are almost fully done.

 

The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

If anyone has any good tips as to particularly good examples, especially of the heroically ringing (as opposed to the very closed, dark sounding) type, that Matthias Schuke and his crew could hear and see - it is important that they should be able to get their hands on them. please let me know. Contact details would be very helpful, especially of the organ builders caring for the instruments in question.

 

Thanks

Barry

 

Hallo, Barry,

 

Rochester Cathedral - less than an hour's drive from Dover - has a fine Tuba. Last rebuilt by Manders in 1989. German-speaking Lay Clerk on hand if necessary.

 

Best wishes,

Douglas.

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The extremely fine Compton Tuba at Holy Trinity Hull could definitely be made available to your men (my wife is Director of Music). I think it's brighter (and nicer) than the example at Downside. There's another fine Tuba at Hully City Hall and yet another at Beverley Minster. All three instruments are within half an hour's trevelling time. Add a further 45 minutes and they could hear the one at Bridlington Priory too. Each one a glorious example.

 

The finest Tuba I know is at Blenheim Palace - IMHO it's a true shaft of gold! I don't know who looks after that now, it used to be Peter Wood of Harrogate. Maybe others would know.

 

Yes, Woods look after the organ at Blenheim, and if you would like an email for the organ curator there please PM me.

P.

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Hello all,

 

our job here is slowly reaching completion, and the flues are almost fully done.

 

The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

If anyone has any good tips as to particularly good examples, especially of the heroically ringing (as opposed to the very closed, dark sounding) type, that Matthias Schuke and his crew could hear and see - it is important that they should be able to get their hands on them. please let me know. Contact details would be very helpful, especially of the organ builders caring for the instruments in question.

 

Thanks

Barry

 

 

I think Hereford Cathedral Tuba takes some beating, very bright. H&H look after it and will know it really well as they only had it back in their workshop a year or two ago, with the rest of the organ.

 

P.

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I like the St Pauls Cathedral Chancel Tubas - 'not sure how much is the voicing or the acoustic - Smart in B flat sounded marvellous many years ago when I sang there in a visiting choir.

 

AJJ

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The finest Tuba I know is at Blenheim Palace - IMHO it's a true shaft of gold! I don't know who looks after that now, it used to be Peter Wood of Harrogate. Maybe others would know.

I spoke to the H&H London organ tuner, who had visited Blenheim Palace quite recently. Apparently, the tuba is very fine. I don't know whether H&H now look after that organ but they've got the contacts to get you in if needed - I'm trying to find an excuse to visit myself :-).

 

If you can get in, it's a good option - the under-butler/ head footman is happy for people to look at the organ. Other good places with similarly good tubas are Salisbury Cathedral and Reading Town Hall (both Willis, maintained by H&H).

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Hello all,

 

our job here is slowly reaching completion, and the flues are almost fully done.

 

The tuba is going to be a bit of a challenge for German voicers who have never really encountered such a best and have no idea how it should end up sounding. A short excursion to the UK would seem to be the logical way forward.

 

If anyone has any good tips as to particularly good examples, especially of the heroically ringing (as opposed to the very closed, dark sounding) type, that Matthias Schuke and his crew could hear and see - it is important that they should be able to get their hands on them. please let me know. Contact details would be very helpful, especially of the organ builders caring for the instruments in question.

 

Thanks

Barry

 

Why come all the way to England? Visit Cologne!

 

I believe that Klais toured locations in England for the very same reason before making several tubas for Cologne Cathedral organ. I think that there are other tuba installations in Germany as well as Cologne.

 

I find it very interesting that our typically-English tuba sound seems to be becoming popular in Germany.

 

John

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============================

What about the copper Tuba en Chamade at Sheffield?

 

I'm sure Neil Taylor could be persuaded to part with it.

 

<_<

 

MM

 

I thought that he already had - a few years ago, along with the rest of the pipe organ.

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There are many photos of the construction of the Magdeburg Schuke at the Cathedral Organ web site:

http://www.domorgel-magdeburg.de/index.html

 

There is one shot of what may be the Tuba Mirabilis complete with hoods and nicknamed the Terminator, but Barry will be able to confirm this.

 

I notice also that the servo lever is the American version made by Laukhuff rather than the European one (Willis 1884).

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It has to be Salisbury really - no comparison!

 

Richard

 

 

==========================

 

 

That organ sprang to mind as soon as Barry asked the question. I believe the Tubas are much the same way that Fr Wilis made them, and altogether brighter and more arresting in tone.

 

I wonder where Polish organ-builders get their new Tubas?

 

Some of those are quite good.

 

MM

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Hallo, Barry,

 

Rochester Cathedral - less than an hour's drive from Dover - has a fine Tuba. Last rebuilt by Manders in 1989. German-speaking Lay Clerk on hand if necessary.

 

Best wishes,

Douglas.

 

Kent is going to be a good bet...especially as it is close to London, where there must be some fine ones.

 

Holy Trinity Folkestone has a harmonic trumpet...but it is tuba powered and can sound over full organ easily - its a 1966 walker rebuild now lookd after by Brownes. I well remember it as a real fanfare sound.

Rochester is a fine sound, but what about Canterbury...it'll also be louder!

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