Vol. 2, No. 59


An email list for discussion of bass and contrabass instruments of all kinds. To subscribe, send a message with "subscribe" in the subject line to contrabass-list-request@contrabass.com.

To post, send your message to contrabass-list@contrabass.com.
See the Archive for back issues.

18 September 1997

EDITOR'S NOTE: Work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work... Fortunately, there is relief in sight, at least for you! Scott is installing a new server, equipped with a mail program that will actually generate digests!

My apologies for the delay getting this digest out, but such are the realities of my new job.

With the load and delays, I'm a little more .... scattered than usual. If you find that I've subscribed you by accident (or failed to subscribe you by accident), please let me know and I'll rectify things immediately.


Author: gdgreen@contrabass.com (contrabass-gdgreen) at Internet
Date: 9/2/97 7:00 AM
TO: petco@surf-ici.com at Internet
Subject: Re: EEb Contra-Alto Clarinet

At 07:22 PM 8/31/97 -0700, you wrote:

>I play the EEb contra-alto clarinet and I saw that there wasn't a pic on
>your page. There was a pic of it through a link on your page. If you
>want a pic of a Selmer/bundy one I can see what I can do. Could you
>give me info on joining the contrabass mailing list? Thanks.

>Nick Peters

Sure pics are welcome.

I'll add your name to the subscription list, and that's all it takes.

Welcome aboard!


Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 11:43:48 -0500
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
From: JimKatz@JohnAbbott.qc.ca (Jim Katz)
Subject: Bagpipes?

Went to the annual North Hero, Vermont North American bagpipers convention, cat thrash and octopus torture weekend. Nobody there seems to talk about lower range instruments particularly, though the lower ones around seemed quite delicious-sounding. Mostly range was a matter of different types of pipes. The wonderful Irish Uilleans and an Italian bagpipe were the lowest I heard. Are there any really low bagpipes?

^   ^
@ @
== v ==
_÷} jimkatz@johnabbott.qc.ca Jim Katz
292 Senneville Road, RR1
Senneville, Quebec
Canada, H9X 3L2

From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
To: "'contrabass-l'" <contrabass-list@contrabass.com>
Subject: Recordings
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 97 12:33:00 BST

Here are some new recordings which I got in the huge Saturn CD store on the Hansaring in Cologne:

Stahmer, Klaus Hinrich: Ariadnes Farben fur Kontrabass- oder altflote in (G) und Tonband in Stahmer, Klaus Hinrich: Klanglabyrinthe. - Munich: Proviva, 1992, ISPV 167.

This features Carin Levine playing a horizontally-held (like Artaud's Octobass) subbass flute (I think that it is the 'Contrabass' in G but it does not say so anywhere on the CD and I got the bit about instrumentation in the title from a list of works by Stahmer in the CD booklet.

The work features the flute, a tape made from resonances created in huge early part of the century ceramic acid vats or amphorae by playoing sampled flute sounds into them, and a percussionist who gives a pulse.

The work in which the flute can be heard well is contemporary but reasonably approachable (more so than Hespos, for example) and is structured around the performer following a labyrinth among the ceramic amphorae whose sounds are played or not depending upon whether the player is near them.

Frank Michael: Floete Plus: Hildemann, Jentsch, Michael, Stahmer, Werder. - Wedemark: Thorofon Capella, CTH 2086.

On this CD Frank Michael plays piccolo, flute, bass flute and subbass flute (it doesn't say of which kind).

The last instrument may be heard reasonably clearly in Wolfgang Hildemann's Suoni serale XI/XII (1898/1990) for 3 flautists. The subbass may, I think, be heard fairly clearly and from its soft bottom register may be a Pinschofon?

The style is contemporary and uses some extended techniques such as multiphonics but not to the extent, say, of Paul Mefano in his pieces for Pinschofon or Artaud's contemporary flute CD.

The following is not contrabass but may be of interest:

Elegija: Musik aus Litauen played by Igina Mauzaite Klavier and Kastytis Mikiska, Birbyne.Munster: Baltische Musik, 1997, Ambitus amb 97989.

The birbyne is a Lithuanian folk clarinet (you can find an entry on it in New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments and there was a 1-page article on it by Julian Pilling in Woodwind World in 1992? with pictures of the soprano and contrabass sizes.). It comes in 3 sizes: soprano (a-d'''), tenor (B-a) and contrabass (F' - b flat) but this CD only features the soprano. The sound is smooth and like a smoothly-played high clarinet not at all rough or wild. The music consists of arrangements and original compostions but all are fairly 'folky' and traditional in style.

Francis Firth

From: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
Cc: 'contrabass-l' <contrabass-list@contrabass.com>,
Subject: Daniel Kientzy Recordings
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 97 12:10:00 BST

In the July/August issue of Saxophone Journal 1997 Paul Cohen has the second part of an article on the contrabass saxophone. Towards the end of it he mentions 2 recent CDs by the Roumanian saxophonist Daniel Kientzy.

As far as I remember they are:
Pur-Sax and
L'Art du Saxophone

Does anyone know any more about these recordings as I should like to get them.

I need to know the label, the catalogue number and prefereably the address of the CD company of of a supplier for it.

I hope that someone can help.

Francis Firth

From: KUUP84A@prodigy.com (MR MARK A TRINKO)
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 18:48:56, -0500
To: contra-list@coollist.com, contrabass-list@contrabass.com,
Subject: Contra-bassoon festival

Well it looks like the festival this year will be mostly contra-bassoons again! The few contra-bass clarinet and trombone and etc. players we had did not send in their registration forms and fees.

I guess that is a signal to us to keep it pure contra-bassoon.

Anyway, there is a military composer named Ray Rosario who has composed the Grand Finale piece for 8 (or 16) contra-bassoons. He promises that all of you will be able to be comfortable with it with only 3 days together.

I hope to send it to all who pre-register between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For those of you who have not yet sent in your registrations, time is HERE.

You have all been back to school long enough and your military commanders should have decided by now if you can come or not. Please don't put it off any longer. I MUST have some lead time to play with the numbers.


Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 17:53:33 -0600
From: Craig Ruff <cruff@niwot.scd.ucar.EDU>
To: contrabass-list@contrabass.com
Subject: Just bought a CB Clarinet!

I just found a Leblanc BBb Contrabass Clarinet and snapped it up today!

It is a straight metal down to low Eb, serial number 482. It is in decent condition, with a few scratches and a couple of keys with plating worn off. It has the original CB mouthpiece, not the smaller CA mouthpieces that are apparently commonly used today on CB instruments. There is no case, but I was given a sleeping bag to wrap it up! I paid $1800. I gather a new case is $450 list. I'll have to think about building a case myself, possibly. Now, to find some decent reeds and then to practise!


Craig Ruff              NCAR                    cruff@ncar.ucar.edu (303) 497-1211          P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307 Amateur Call KB0UNK

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 12:05:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Daryl Fletcher <daryl@rocketmail.com>
Subject: Re: Contra Digest #58
To: contrabass-gdgreen <gdgreen@contrabass.com>

> BTW, finally broke down and bought a tuba! It is an old H.N.White Eb, with
> 3 piston valves, bell-up, silver plate. A beautiful horn, but too big to
> take on the plane :-(

Congrats on the tuba, Grant! How many horns does that make now? I think we've all lost count.

Now that you have a tuba, you might want to play in a TubaChristmas concert this year. I'm sure there will one around your area. I played in the ones at Chattanooga and Atlanta last year, and they were both a lot of fun.

The home page for TubaChristmas is at http://php.indiana.edu/~philliph/ although there isn't very much information up at the moment.

Since Eb tubas aren't all that common in the United States these days, I'll take a wild guess and say that your horn was made some time between the beginning of the century and World War II. The White company was what later became the King company, so it's probably a good instrument.

_____________________________________________________________________ Sent by RocketMail. Get your free e-mail at http://www.rocketmail.com

Geez! I have to count them? :-)

Author: BlackIvy4@aol.com
Date: 9/7/97 6:22 PM
Subject: sub-contrabass saxophone

I am actually SJPSUP. I have heard about a sub-contrabass saxophone in three differrent places.

Author: Partnerlwz@aol.com
Date: 9/7/97 6:23 PM
Subject: Contra

Hi, how are you. I am a new subscriber to your newsletter and I checked out your web page and found it very impressive. I am an oboe player but research the family and history roots. I found the info. on Heckelphones very impressive. I ordered a CD from Wilhelm Heckel GmbH and am very impressed with the works on it. But when I looked at the discography I saw the CD and Paul Winters A Prayer For The Wild Things and Hindemiths trio as well. But there are more CD's containing heckelphone music. I talked to Wilhelm myself and he was very nice but I wonder if you know of any more CD's he distributes that contains and other oboe family instruments on it. I looked at your contrabass oboe. Is there music written for it? By the way the player on the Heckelphone CD was Wolfgang Schostadt not William Schostadt.

Please write me back so we can communicate.

I'm not aware of any works written for the contrabass oboe. Anyone else?


A quick note: I've just discovered that the San Jose Wind Symphony still has tapes of its Nuclear Whales concert for sale. Including the contrabass sax. Bought one at rehearsal last night.

The tape is entitled "San Jose Wind Symphony Goes Ballistic with the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra", (9/28/96), Darrell Johnston, Conductor; Craig Bohmler, Guest Conductor.

The selections:

Yep, a pile of great band warhorses, with the NW. The Elegy &WR was commissioned by the SJWS specifically for them and the NW: this concert was the world premier. A very nice, modern work. "In the Miller Mood" was full band + NW, after which the NW took over until "Robin Hood."

If anyone is interested, I'll find out who to contact for copies. I think the band charges $8 per tape (cassette only), and whoever handles them would probably mail them. Or, you can just come to the next concert (Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, on October 4, 1997): we typically sell tapes at intermission.


Author: Rogereene@aol.com at Internet
Date: 9/11/97 6:27 AM
TO: contra-list@coollist.com at Internet
Subject: Re: Whales!

Thanks for the information about the latest Nuclear Whales Symphony Orchestra tape! Could you please provide further information about how to order these tapes, especially if we don't live near San Jose? By the way, when did that concert take place? How much of the tape is the SJWS alone, NWSO alone, SJWS & NWSO combined? Please keep us informed. Any more CDs in their future?

Also, I was wondering, did anybody in the mailing list group ever know a contrabassoonist named Phil Letcher who, for a while at least, was contrabassoonist of the San Jose Symphony, I believe? He was a friend of mine when he lived in the Los Angeles area during the late '70s and early '80s, while in college together. I heard that he died recently, perhaps in relation to his diabetic situation. Since this group features fans of the contrabassoon, I though I might ask if any of you knew him. He was one of the nicest persons I have ever known!

Keep up the good work!


Come talk to us. - L I V E !

irc.coollist.com - http://www.coollist.com/irc.html

I did talk with a few 'Whales at their last concert. They were supposed to have gone into the studio to record another CD last Spring some time. I don't know if they did or not. With any luck, there will be a new NW CD out soon.

The tape I have (with the SJWS) has "Elegy and Wild Ride" with both NW + SJWS, and I think 5-6 pieces that are "straight" NW. The Nuclear Whales portion of the tape is probably 30-45% of the total. The next SJWS concert is October 4, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

Author: Delmatto <massageglass@hocking.net>
Date: 9/14/97 6:52 PM
Subject: low reeds

hi, i play bari sax in a couple of swing bands (also alto) & bass clarinet in a community band. i'd like to find an Eb contrabass clarinet so i can read tuba parts ( add 3#'s or subtract 3b's) . also would like to get a bass sax some day. i also have a sax quartet (i play bari- a 1922 conn that only goes to Eb; great sound & i've done a lot of things to it to make it more user friendly. talk to me..

nick delmatto

Author: KUUP84A@prodigy.com (MR MARK A TRINKO)
Date: 9/15/97 9:31 AM
Subject: Contra stuff

As you can see below, I sent this out to all in Jul 97. I only got one reply. I can not believe that response!

So we shall try again. Please read below and reply.


------- FORWARD, Original message follows -------

> Date: Sunday, 06-Jul-97 09:01 PM
> Subject: Contra stuff

> It occurs to me that I might be the one in this world who can start the
> promotion of the contra stuff. I am willing, but unfortunately am poor. I am
> willing however to be the pivot man of information and manipulate that
> information to benefit those of us who want to promote the contra stuff.

> So...... Would each of you who cares, please send me the following:

> 1. Which instrument you play?

> 2. How much money you would want to come to Las Vegas and play it (specific
> dollar amount only)

> 3. How much money you would be willing to put toward recordings or
>performances of said instruments if I coordinate the effort

> 4. email addresses of all composers you know who would be interested in
> composing contra stuff (accomp and unaccomp) for free or very cheep

> Please number your responses and if you only have an answer for one of the
> numbers...still do so.

> The other problem I perceive is, once I get some pieces composed and ready for
> premieres, to convince orchestras to do them. We do not have a shortage of
> contra players who will perform, but to get the accompaniment (orchestra or
> smaller group) is the hard part. So....I am also interested in compiling a
> list of anyone else (non-contra player) interested in getting involved ..

> Now lets remember, this whole effort is programmed to make no one a lot of
> money. In fact, it will prpbably end up costing me some money (what little I
> have). But because I am probably the biggest non-playing contra groupie,
> someone has to do it..

> I WILL accomplish this task before I die. Thiswould be a lot easier if you all
> would come to Las vegas for the contra-fest Jan 5-8, 1998....but I realize at
> least one of you can't be there.

> I will come back with more info after I see what kind of replies this fist
> message starts to generate. Anyone else interested in helping with this
> multi-year task, feel free to jump in please :)

Author: "Sydney R. Polk" <jazzman@rahul.net>
Date: 9/15/97 7:05 PM
Subject: Monterey Jazz Festival

I am going to head to the Monterey Jazz Festival this Sunday. I have a lead on free tickets, but that may not work out. Anyway, if anybody wants to go with me, please let me know by Tusday morning, Sept. 16.


CD Alert!

Susan Nigro has a new contrabassoon CD, "Little Tunes for the Big Bassoon" (1997 Crystal Records, CD348). The disc is all contrabassoon and piano, and has



End Contrabass Digest

Next Digest>

Back to Index^

Previous Digest<