The serpent is a bass instrument having a conical
bore and cup (brass-type) mouthpiece, and six fingerholes (and sometimes
a few keys). One can think of it as the bass version of the cornett. The
"typical" serpent sounds in the 8' register, although smaller (e.g., lysarden)
and larger (the 16' "anaconda") versions are known. The bore is curved
back and forth (in a "serpent" shape) to make it more convenient to hold,
and bring the fingerholes within reach.
H. Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique" (Philips
434 402-2 ©1993) (Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,
John Eliot Gardiner cond.). This recording features the use of authentic
period instruments (See also ophicleide
H. Berlioz "Messe Solennelle" (Philips 442 137-2 ©1994)
(Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir, John
Eliot Gardiner cond.). This recording features the use of authentic period
instruments, and employs ophicleide,
buccin and serpent for low brass.
Hoffnung's "Music Festivals" (1989, EMI 7 63302 2)
contains a recording of "Variations on Annie Laurie" by Gordon Jacob,
scored for two piccolos, heckelphone,
clarinets, two contrabassoons,
serpent, contrabass serpent, harmonium, hurdy-gurdy, and subcontrabass
tuba. Written and arranged on a dare...
Michel Godard "Loose Wires" (1997, ENJA Records, ENJ-90712).
Jazz, with Michel Godard on serpent and tuba, Miroslav Tadic (guitars),
and Nark Nauseef (perc).
Michel Godard "Castel del Monte" (2000, enja records, ENJ-9362
2). More world jazz, with Michel Godard on serpent and tuba, Pino
Minafra (trumpet & flugelhorn), Gianluigi Trovesi (alto sax, clarinet,
bass clarinet), Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion), Renaud Garcia-Fons (bass),
Pierre Favre (drums & perc), Lucilla Galeazzi (vocal), and Linda Bsiri
(vocal & tromba marina).
For additional selections, see the Serpent
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