Posted by mjg on March 08, 2004 at 12:31:18:
In Reply to: Re: Characteristic Sounds posted by Rick Denney on March 08, 2004 at 11:17:13:
You're right, the other poster must have never heard Gene live.
I have had the priveledge to hear him do both that master class and a clinic/performance he did at Stetson college years ago with the bone section. When they played a concert of peices arranged for the group by Joe Kreines, Gene had a lot of work to do. He did it skillfully and with precision. He never overpowered the others, except for one note. That note had weight to it. It had energy like I had never heard before. Yeah, it was loud, but it had just that ring of "edge" that Tommy Johnson and many of his students have in the low register that make the notes come alive.
I enjoy the legacy of sound that Mr. Jacobs and his students carry forth, but those guys in LA have figured a few extra things out, probably out of neccessity to get onto tape just a little better. The low register clarity and excitement that comes with that is unmatched.
Warren Deck also had a sound that was differenent from others. His teacher, Mr. Torchinski, had a sound that seems to be often overlooked when dealing with his peers. However, a lot of the fine tuba playing on THE Gabrielli album is Mr. Torchinski.
If you want an interesting comparison in some different sounds, I recommend Red White and Brass by the Canadian Brass. You get to hear Chester Schmitz, Chuck Dallenbach, and Warren Deck. To hear how Mr. Deck really sounds, you have to listen to the piece that uses simple gifts as the melody (I can't remember the track name right now). Near the end they are holding out a note in the middle of the easy range like a g at the bottom of the staff. It sounds nice and in tune. Since the note is rather lengthy, I guess the semi-staggereg the entrances so that it would seem seameless. Well, Mr. Deck comes in and adds what seems to be about 20 extra overtones to the ensemble. That note alone has impacted as much as any other tuba playing than anything else.
The other example I refer to is the B natural in the Ring Cycle excerpt cheapie disk with Mehta/NYPO. When Mr. Deck hits the last B natural in the staff, he dwarfs the orchestra in terms of depth of sound, not power.
While, I have picked up some differences in sound over the years in recordings, the true measure is to hear these people live whenever possible. The differences, while subtle do become more apparent.
Luckily, I have been able to hear many of our "heroes" live and in person. I consider myself even luckier to have heard some of the next generation "heroes" when they were still figuring things out.
Tapes don't lie, but they don't tell the entire story either.