| @@@@@ @@@@@ @@ @ @@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@@@@ @ @ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @@@@@@@ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ |
| @@@@@ @@@@@ @ @@ @ @ @ @ @ |
| @@@@@@@ @ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ |
| @@@@@@@ @ @ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@ @ |
| @ @ @@@@@@@ @ @ @ |
| @ @ @ @ @ @ @ |
| @@@@@@@ @ @ @@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@ |
| Contrabass-L: a list for discussion of contrabass *anything*|
|To subscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe contrabass"|
|in the subject line |
EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's welcome aboard John Martindale < email@example.com > and Jim Gardner < firstname.lastname@example.org >.
Author: Grant Green <email@example.com> at
Date: 10/1/96 8:49 AM
TO: firstname.lastname@example.org at SMTP
Subject: Re: You are to be Congratulated!!
At 10:23 PM 9/30/96 +0000, you wrote:
>YES, definitely add me to the list of "subscribers" to your compendia.
>And no, I'm in no hurry; just keep me in mind next time you are
>coming to SF and have time for lunch. And remember, I keep my bari
>out at all times in my office so bring your mouthpiece (yeah you can
>use one of my reeds -- rico 3s). Oh, and one more thing -- Is there
>any serious chance I will ever be able to play a contrabass sax before
Consider yourself subscribed!
What kind of bari do you play? Selmer, Martin, Conn?
There are apparently around 25 contrabass saxes left. I know of a few: Paul Cohen, the Nuclear Whales, Anthony Braxton, the Sigurd Rascher ensemble, a museum in Berlin, Rod Baltimore's shop in NYC. Apparently one of the Contrabass-L subscribers has one or has access to one in the Midwest. Also, the Italian instrument maker Orsi still makes contrabass saxes (and is supposedly responsible for about half of the instruments still in existence), although Paul denigrates their timbre (their mpcs are apparently designed to use bari sax reeds). Baltimore's is for sale - for around $50K from what I hear.
Perhaps we could work out a "field trip" for the Contrabass-L, and borrow/rent a contra from someone who has one?
Food for thought....
Author: Francis Firth <Francis.Firth@uce.ac.uk>
Date: 10/2/96 9:12 AM
I'll be writing to Leblanc today or tomorrow.
I find that from previous correspondence I have the name David Surber of customer relations in Kenosha as a contact.
Perhaps anyone who is dealing with any aspect of the recording (instruments or groups without the subcontra instruments) to round it out as a Leblanc PR and marketing tool using a wide range of Leblanc clarinets might contact him.
Author: Grant Green <email@example.com>
Date: 10/2/96 10:31 PM
TO: drumming man <firstname.lastname@example.org> at SMTP
Subject: Re: a new low in television programming...
Sounds good to me: sign me up, and let me know where to send the check.
At 07:07 PM 10/2/96 -0400, you wrote:
>I just want to let your readers know that I've obtained a PAL video copy of
>the 1985 BBC program; "The Lowest Of The Low". This is a 45 minute
>documentary all about bass (and contrabass) saxophones and was reviewed in
>Volume 11, Number 2 (Summer 1986) of Saxophone Journal. I can get a
>standard-conversion done professionally from PAL (European video standard)
>to NTSC (North American video standard) and if I can get enough of a
>response, I will be happy to do this for any of your readers for the sum of
>$20US which will include postage and tape. Anyone who's interested in
>obtaining a copy of this documentary can e-mail me at my address;
>This even contains home movies of Rollini!!
Just send the cheque to;Steven Lederman
Will you also put my posting on the list? Thanks! It's better if I can run off a bunch of copies all at once, and that way I don't have to keep travelling to the Conversions place all the time.....
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 1996 01:53:57 -0400
From: Paul Lindemeyer <email@example.com>
Subject: Change of Address
I am putting my days as a disgusting clueless newbie AOL user behind me. Please continue me on Contrabass-L to the following address:
Date: Sat, 05 Oct 1996 00:46:02 +1200
From: Jim Gardner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Contra affair
Hello Grant - what an amusing page you have.
I'm a composer and I'm starting work on a piece including contrabass clarinet. I'm quite experienced with writing for bass clarinet, having a very good local specialist (he'd love a contra - but for $19K??) with whom I've worked. I wonder if you could tell me exactly what keys the contra lacks compared with the bass, and whether the left hand index key can be half-holed. Thanks.
You may be interested to know that on a CD of a piece called 'Mappa Mundi' by Potuguese composer Emmanuel Nunes there is a wonderful duet for contrabass clarinet and octobass flute (Artaud of course) - I can give you more details if you'd liek. Gereman composer Hans-Joachim Hespos is something of an extreme register fan and employs sarrusophones, sub-bass recorders, heckelphones as well as tarogato and Ab sopranino clarinet in his work - again I can get more specific if you like - a few of his works are available on CD.
Hope you can help re the contra.
My e-mail address is <email@example.com>
>Hello Grant - what an amusing page you have.
Glad you enjoyed it.
>I'm a composer and I'm starting work on a piece
>including contrabass clarinet. I'm quite experienced
>with writing for bass clarinet, having a very good local
>specialist (he'd love a contra - but for $19K??) with
Actually, you can get a new Leblanc Bb contra (range to low concert Bb), the looped metal version, for about $5K. A wooden Buffet or Selmer might cost in the $19K range (haven't priced them recently ;-)...), but there are a lot of 2nd hand horns out there in reasonable condition for reasonable prices.
>whom I've worked. I wonder if you could tell me exactly
>what keys the contra lacks compared with the bass, and
>whether the left hand index key can be half-holed.
I'm sure it varies from horn to horn. I think that mine probably has the fewest keys you're likely to find on a contra. It has all of the little finger keys (LH4 and RH4), including a LH4 key for low D (concert C), but is missing most of the RH1 side keys: it has only the Eb side key for RH1. It has an additional LT key for the throat Bb (the octave key is separate, and functions automatically as on modern bass clarinets). There is no provision for half-holing the LH1 pad, and the tone hole is fairly remote from the key pad. I suppose that with practice one could "leak" the pad: when I have time, I'll try it and see if I can get that to work.
>Thanks. You may be interested to know that on a CD of a
>piece called 'Mappa Mundi' by Potuguese composer
>Emmanuel Nunes there is a wonderful duet for contrabass
>clarinet and octobass flute (Artaud of course) - I can
>give you more details if you'd liek. Gereman composer
Yes, I'd appreciate more details. Especially the publisher and catalog # for the CD (and/or source).
>Hans-Joachim Hespos is something of an extreme register
>fan and employs sarrusophones, sub-bass recorders,
>heckelphones as well as tarogato and Ab sopranino
>clarinet in his work - again I can get more specific if
>you like - a few of his works are available on CD.
Have a few already: always looking for more...
Glad to see composers with an interest in the contra. If you don't mind, I'll forward your message to the Contrabass-L list: there are a number of other musicians on the list who play contrabass clarinets, and may have additional information/advice.
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 1996 10:51:00 +1200
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Gardner)
Subject: Low Yo-Yo Stuff
Many thanks for your helpful e-mail. Apologies for the typos in my last one - I was typing online while at your website. I have also subscribed (I think) to the contrabass list - thanks for forwarding my contrabass clarinet query. I'm aware that models vary, but am interested in finding out what keying is more or less universal. If you don't mind I may well ask you to try out some fingerings that work on bass to see if they work on contra. I won't start work on the piece in earnest until next month so I'll start to quiz you then. Contra is not the solo instrument (it's a piece for CbCl, fretless bass guitar, harpsichord and percussion) so it won't be a question of trying out 4000 multiphonic or quartertone
>Actually, you can get a new Leblanc Bb contra (range to low concert Bb),
>the looped metal version, for about $5K. A wooden Buffet or Selmer might
>cost in the $19K range (haven't priced them recently ;-)...), but there
>*are* a lot of 2nd hand horns out there in reasonable condition for
I'll pass this info on to Andrew [Uren], my friendly neighbourhood bass clarinettist. The $19K figure was NZ dollars BTW and knowing Andrew, would probably be for a new Buffet. His bass is a very nice new Buffet which he chose from the factory in person - he studied in Amsterdam with Harry Sparnaay, so the Buffet factory wasn't too far away at the time. This is not the case now as we both live in Auckland!
He's giving the first performance of a piece of mine -'Ground Down' for bass clarinet and bass trombone - tomorrow here in Auckland in a concert that also includes Feldman's 'Bass Clarinet and Percussion' and James Dillon's 'nuee' for BCl and perc.
Those Nunes details:
Machina Mundi for mixed chorus, four soloists, orchestra and tape (1990-2)
Auvidis Montaigne MO 782020
Pierre-Yves Artaud (low flutes) Ernesto Molinari (bass and contrabass clarinets) Gerard Buquet (tuba) and Claire Talibert (percussion)
Gulbenkian Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Fabrice Bollon
It looks like the score is published by Ricordi.
I have two Hespos CDs - one a collection of works:
'Dschen', 'Point', 'Für cello solo', 'Conga', 'Profile', 'Harry's musike', 'En-kin' and 'Go', most of which date from the 1970s.
this is on CPO 999 052-2
Ensemble 13 cond. Manfred Reichert
The piece 'Go' includes soprano and contrabass sarrusophone (don't know what flavour), Heckelphone and contrabassoon
Then there's 'Seiltanz' (Tightrope Dance) on CPO 999 245-2 which is also performed by Ensemble 13 under Reichert
The instrumentation includes baritone sax, Ab, Eb, C, Bb, A, bass and contrabass clarinets (and bassett horn), didgeridoo and a "Flugabone"(?)
I have an article on Hespos's music for clarinets somewhere which lists more pieces and their instrumentation - I'll send details when I find it in the paper mountain.
On the low clarinet front, Elliott Carter's 'Penthode', which has one player doubling bass and contra, has a short but good low register contra solo, James Dillon's piece 'historiees faces dans la dance' is for voice, contra, 2 percussion, piano and double bass, Chris Dench has a very demanding piece called 'Funk' which is for Eb contra-alto clarinet, although he allows it to be performed on bass and Bb contrabass clarinets. His piece 'Dark Neumes' also includes Bb contrabass. A couple of pieces on Harry Sparnaay's bass clarinet recital CD 'Ladder of Escape' (Attacca Babel 8945-1) contain contra parts - Enrique Raxach's 'Vortice' and Michael Smetanin's 'Ladder of Escape'. Gavin Bryars 'Three Elegies for Nine Clarinets' (recorded by Roger Heaton on Clarinet Classics CC 0009) is scored for 4 Bb, 2 Eb alto, 2 bass and 1 contrabass clarinet.
Other CDs containing Anthony Braxton's work on Contrabass clarinet (as well as sopranino sax!) - include 'One In Two - Two In One' a duet with Max Roach (hat Art 6030) and 'Eight Duets - Hamburg 1991' with Peter Niklas Wilson on double bass (Music and Arts CD 710)
OK enough already.
Keep the site going and thanks again for your comments so far
End Contrabass-L No. 45
Back to Index