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Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:54:13 -0700
From: DGross1226@aol.com (by way of Grant Green <DGross1226@aol.com>)
Subject: Upcoming L.A. Concert and Looped Contras
In a message dated 97-04-23 22:51:41 EDT, Grant wrote:
<< Our next concert is ...>>
For those of you in the greater Los Angeles area, the Claremont Symphonic Winds will be in concert on this Sunday, April 27, at 3:30 p.m. in the Claremont (about 30 miles due east of downtown Los Angeles) High School.
We're doing Overture to Die Fledermaus (Strauss), The Incredible Flutist (Piston), Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (Wagner), English Dances (Arnold), and Overture to Candide and Candide Suite (Bernstein). I'll be the one playing the looped Bb contrabass clarinet purchased fully restored and overhauled from Charles Fail Music in Marietta, Georgia in January. Once properly adjusted, contras stay adjusted. I played on a borrowed looped Bb contra (to low D) for 5 years with no adjustment problems at all. Just don't let anyone else touch the horn!!
La Canada, California...the real home of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:54:22 -0700
From: Grant Green <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Johnson, Tim)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #28
At 10:23 AM 4/24/97 -0400, you wrote:
>three notes less than 4 octaves. What I have heard in person, and in
>recordings is that the "straight" contras have more power in the upper
>register than the curved instrument.
>Tell me Grant, is this a correct observation or is it that the players and
>arrangers for looped contras just emphasize only the low register.
>Potentially, your instrument (I believe you now have a looped BBb contra
>with a low c) should be able to play any note that a baritone sax could, as
>well as the seismic bottom. Does your instrument have a great dynamic ranger
>in the upper and altissimo registers?
So far, I haven't seen a contra part go over high C (above the staff). I think the highest note I've actually seen written in one of my parts is A above the staff (although when I'm doubling the bass clarinet part, I often play as high as D above).
I've only had the present horn a few months, but it does seem to play quite well all the way up to D above the staff. Higher than that is still a little questionable (at least for me). I've never played a straight contra, so don't really have a basis for comparison. The octave from 4th line D up to D above really sings.
As for dynamic range, well, I'm still experimenting with reed/mpc combinations. At the moment I'm using Vandoren #3s, and have ordered #4s and #5s.
BTW, please send posts to the address "email@example.com", not to "firstname.lastname@example.org". The 'request address is set up only for subscribe/unsubscribe requests, and the posts only go to me instead of to the list.
I've already forwarded your post, so you don't need to send it again.
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:54:20 -0700
From: email@example.com (Johnson, Tim) (by way of Grant Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #28
> I know that the Leblanc contra alto clarinet that is doubled over has a
>range down to concert Eb, and that the Leblanc contrabass clarinet that
>is the shape of a bass clarinet only has a range down to concert Db--
>only 2 notes more! It seems like a waste compared to the mentioned
>contra alto. The contrabass clarinet I play is the one I have just
>Yep. That's why everyone should play a looped Bb contra, with range to
>lowest Bb. ;-)
I would not be contributing to this newletter if I didn't enjoy low register wind instruments, but I have to add a slightly different view point to the above comments. I play a humble resonite bass clarinet that can speak well in all three registers, it has as much power in the upper register as the lower, and can play in the high register all the way to double high "c" a range of three notes less than 4 octaves. What I have heard in person, and in recordings is that the "straight" contras have more power in the upper register than the curved instrument.
Tell me Grant, is this a correct observation or is it that the players and arrangers for looped contras just emphasize only the low register. Potentially, your instrument (I believe you now have a looped BBb contra with a low c) should be able to play any note that a baritone sax could, as well as the seismic bottom. Does your instrument have a great dynamic ranger in the upper and altissimo registers?
I once was acquainted with a concentration camp survivor who played a straight contrabass, with all of the range and fluency of a standard Bb clarinet. What he spoke with was a voice that said things that could not be said any other way.
I could envision one of the local groups here in Alaska using a contra player, but he better be able to speak in the upper register, and wail in the high as well as rumble (although they would rather hear more rumbles than wails)
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:09:43 -0700
From: email@example.com (Johnson, Tim)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #28
> I've never played a straight contra,
> so don't really have a basis for comparison. The octave from 4th line D up
> to D above really sings.
Check out "High Places" by Walter Zuber Armstrong. Extended contrabass clarinet(straight), very soulful, gospell-like, entire range is used. (I sent a recording to Francis) Also, Claus-Stephen Mahnkopf has a series of miniature for clarinet alone, cycle from Bb Contra (sounds straight) to Eb soprano to Bass to Bb soprano. The solo contrabass actually emphasizes the upper ranges, the recording is murky (at least on my tape) but it is a very nice use of all of the contras tone colors.
If this year goes well, I will be looking for a contra-alto (probably a curved, possibly metal, I want to see what is out there).
> BTW, please send posts to the address "firstname.lastname@example.org", not
> to "email@example.com". The 'request address is set up
> only for subscribe/unsubscribe requests, and the posts only go to me instead
> of to the list.
> I've already forwarded your post, so you don't need to send it again.
point taken, thanks
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 11:59:43 -0600 (MDT)
From: Shouryu Nohe <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Bass Peoples <email@example.com>
Subject: C-alto and C-bass clarinets
>What a pity that most directors choose to put their
>lower-tier players on such a fantastic instrument!
Too true, my friend. It is often assumed (almost always among brass taught teachers) that because the parts are easier that the student will fare just fine. Luckily, at my high school, each clarinet was it's own section. You auditioned for Bb, you played Bb. Audition for bass, play bass. So that way, if your expertise was in a certain type of clarinet (as mine is in the Bb Bass), then it was used. Here at NMSU however, it's a combination of facility and expertise. All clarinets try out as clarinets and if you have an expertise, then it is also added in. However, if your needs exceed your expertise, then throw it all out the window, as in my case. I am a bass clarinet performance major, but since all professional performing groups require clarinet degrees for their bassists, I have to relearn clarinet. Which means that in order to get myself back up to speed, I have to stow the bass for quite some time.
>Also: I use Vandorens
>(#2; it's all they have) for my contra-alto, but they're contrabass
>reeds. Is this a major issue? Sometimes it seems as though such finesse
>concerns are so virtually nonexistent that I could slap a shingle on
>there and it would still work.
With both Vandies and Marcas, the reeds between the Bb C-bass and the Eb C-alto-bass are interchangeable. Vandies are your best choice by far, however, as Marcas are too hard, especially within the heart of the reed. There may be a manufacturer out there that makes reeds specifically for each of the C-basses, but I wouldn't know it. Here's a quick look at how you can cheat:
And as for finesse...read The Planets by Holst. The C-bass parts there a hair more challenging than your usual C-bass parts. Also, look for woodwind choir material (choir, NOT quintets) and you can almost always find C-bass parts. Two weeks ago, our woodwind choir had a concert, and one of our selections was for a clarinet choir, Folk Song Suite for Children, by Bartok, and it runs all the standard Eb/Bb clarinets from Eb soprano to Bb C-bass (which of course, I had the pleasure of weilding). Just dig around. Holst wrote stuff with C-bass parts, and Grainger did too, as a matter of fact. But make sure you get the original parts, not ones arranged or transcribed by Jack Whozits who decided to either omit those low parts or turn them into nothing but downbeats.
________________ Visit me at: http://web.nmsu.edu/~jnohe ________________ Shouryuzani Nohe, Musician, Writer, Hacker, Nabiki's PPE, and Jesus Freak |________A Founder of the School of Improvised Night Martial Arts_______| |"He's won greater battles before | | What makes you think He won't fight now?"--The late, great P.F.R. | |"Oooh, he IS cute!"--Nabiki Tendo______________________________________| |__________________________Will you marry me??__________________________| |_J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules J.C.rules_|
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 11:41:03 -0700
From: "Sydney R. Polk" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (by way of Grant Green <email@example.com>)
Subject: Re: contrabass-list Digest V97 #29
Ohlone College Wind Symphony presents an afternoon or British Band Music at the Craig Jackson Theater, Gary Soren Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Ohlone College, Fremont, CA. We are playing the Holst Second Suite, Tam O'Shanter by Malcolm Arnold, et. I am playing bass and contra-alto clarinets in the group.
For directions, see my webpage at http://www.rahul.net/jazzman .
End of contrabass-list Digest V97 Issue #30
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