Contrabass Digest

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list                           Sat, 23 May 1998           Volume 1 : Number 82

In this issue:


Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 20:20:28 -0500
From: "Philip Newton" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: #80

I don't think getting the eight sarrusophones together is going to be the
problem.  The problem will be finishing the work.
 Bret Newton


Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 20:29:47 -0200
From: (Timothy Tikker)
To: <>
Cc: Dr H <>, Tikker <>
Subject: Re: bass orchestra

This idea may not be as far-fetched as one might think.  I've just read an
announcement of a new work by New York composer Owen Burdick, an oratorio
And Death Shall Have No Dominion.  I quote:

"The work is unusually scored for lyric tenor and contralto soloists, mixed
choir, and the 'second' instruments of the orchestra.  Alto flutes, oboes
d'amore, alto clarinets, and fluegelhorns replace their more common soprano
cousins;  the violin section is doubled and sits in place of the violas
(doubled in number) who move over to become the principal strings of the
ensemble.  English handbells and exotic Tibetan percussion and wind
instruments compelte the orchestration."

While the premiere was given with piano reduction (Reims Cathedral, France,
8 May 1995), the work has been performed at least twice now with the full
orchestration (in Remis and Paris, April 1997).

The article gives the composer's address should anyone want more
information.  I can pass these along if anyone is interested.

- Timothy Tikker


Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 01:36:25 EDT
From: JolivetDVM <>
Subject: Re:  list V1 #75

        In "The Concert Band" by Richard Franko Goldman, Goldman writes,"Percy
Grainger, who has given much serious thought to the problems of the wind band,
and whose opinions deserve the most careful attention, feels that no wind band
is ideal ""without a complete family of ...sarrusophones"'.
        Furthermore, the original scoring for Grainger's Hill Song no. 1 calls for
sopranino sarrusophone and tenor sarrusophone!   I discovered this by
examining volume 1 of the catalog for the Edwin A. Fleisher Music Collection
also known as the free music library of Philadelphia.  Michel Jolivet


Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 01:05:43 -0600
From: "Michael B. McDonald" <>
Subject: EEb Contra-alto clarinets

Hello.  I'm Michael McDonald (no, not the doobie), and my primary
instrument is tenor sax.  I'm also a pretty relentless collector
of all sorts of instruments, however, and recently purchased a
Bundy contra-alto clarinet.  The instrument is truly like new,
and I've been having a great time with it.

I could really use some advice from more experienced players,
however.  The instrument came with a stock Bundy #3 mouthpiece.
Perhaps it's because I'm a sax player and prefer fairly open
mouthpieces, but this piece seems pretty lame, especially with
respect to its apparently inability to help me produce much
volume on the low end.  Does anyone have mouthpiece
recommendations for this instrument?  I have seen a Selmer C**
advertised for around $120, and hesitate to spend that much money
for a mouthpiece that I suspect will not be much more open, or
resonant, than the Bundy.

Another question.  The person I bought the horn from used a 3.5
tenor sax reed with the Bundy mouthpiece?  Is this fairly
common?  I tried a tenor reed with the horn, but the reed didn't
seem right.  A bari sax reed worked a bit better, and a Rico #3
(one-size-fits-all) contrabass reed worked better still, but not
on the lowest fifth of the instrument . . . for some reason, this
reed does not permit me to produce a true, full tone on the
lowest notes!

Should I simply keep experimenting till I find the right
combination?  I'd  really appreciate some advice from those of
you with more experience playing this sort of beast.  What a
beautiful, solid instrument this is!



End of list V1 #82

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