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Thread: wagner tubas

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    Senior Member oistrach13's Avatar
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    I have heard three notes by a wagner tuba, only three notes <_<

    but it was the greatest sounding piece of brass I ever heard :mellow:

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    Lightbulb Wagner tubas

    Yes, they are wonderfull instruments. I think the reason people don't use them more often is the name "wagner tuba" ; it makes one think of some huge instrument that can only play loudly and is just for the ring cycle.
    Interestingly, Wagner didn't name them after himself. He called them tenor tuben and bass tuben ( singular "tube" ), and called the ordinary tuba a Kontrabass tuba ( if my memory serves me correctly ).
    They have a great melodic part in Bruckner's seventh symphony ( second movement ), all by themselves! They're also in Bruckner's eighth and ninth, but I can never seem to spot them.
    To me, wagner tubas have a dark golden sound oppose to the dark silver sound of the more usual horns. It would be nice if someone used them instead of horns in a symphony, so you could hear them more clearly.
    I can't find any good soundclups of them on the net, only one by an amateur hornist who doesn't play it very well.
    godzilla

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    Banned dazza dawg's Avatar
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    Hey, I play the b flat tuba, but can't say i've ever played the wagner tuba, how is it different?? Should I think about investing in one??
    While on the topic of tubas. does anyone know the fingering for a low e flat on the b flat tuba?? It would be much appreciated. Are there any good pieces that you recommend for tuba? I've played pieces including Fantasy for tuba, sonate by paul hindemithe, Introduction and Allegro Spiritoso and many more classic tuba tunes.
    Thanks, I will look forward to hearing from you,
    Regards
    Dazza Dawg

    P.S I got 92% in my music performance exam that I got back today so i'm no mug on the tuba ... ha ha and i also play the trumpet. Look forward to chatting to ya's in the future.

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    It's not so much a tuba, nearer to a euphonium.

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    Default Wagner Tuba near a Euphonium?

    Methinks I shall beg to differ about a wagner tuba being near to a Euphonium. Since I have been performing on one once a week for the past fourteen years I think I should be acquainted with its idiosyncracies. The wagner tuba is really meant to be a bass version of the horn but since it is quite massively built - larger body and bell throat it has the power near that of a bass trombone.

    The Germans have an instrument called the *Bariton* which looks uncannily quite similar to the wagner tuba but again with a still larger bore, body, bell throat and bell and will give a much darker sound. The Euphonium/Bariton is the tenor voice of the Tuba family. Now, as an aside to this homily I must mention that Richard Strauss wanted to rather have a Euphonium/Bariton playing the part of the wagner tuba in his *Alpensymphonie* since they had better intonation and were less prone to mistakes.

    The wagner tubas known to Richard Strauss were quite the obnoxious animal. Today, the wagner tubas have a very high quality although there are still some jokers building subpar wagner tubas for the unsuspecting sucker. I perform on a wagner tuba in F built by Engelbert Schmid. Here's their website with the wagner tuba page:

    http://www.corno.de/schmid/deu-eng/wagnertube.htm

    It is an excellent instrument that is pure joy to play.


    Regards!


    Giovanni

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    Member mahlerfan's Avatar
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    Wow, I looked at the images from the link, Giovannimusica, and they certainly look very cool. The slides and much of the tubing are exactly the same as that of the French Horn, or at least very similar. (I play the Horn, I should know). Anyways, very interesting; it looks a lot like a Horn with an elongated bell. I have seen Wagner Tubas in a live performance of Bruckner 8, but never up close before. Thanks for the link.
    “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”

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    Mahlerfan,

    Glad you liked the link to Englebert Schmid's *Horn Heaven*. Yeah - wagner tubas are

    They are quite often used in background music for action flicks, spy thrillers and others that call for an instrument that can give a round but also a rowdy sound which, for some, connotes the *wild roman orgy*. Bruckner felt that the sound of a choir of wagner tubas represented *noble heroism*. I couldn't agree more

    www.wagner-tuba.com can give you some more input about the instrument.


    Cheers!

    Giovanni

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    Member mahlerfan's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks for the link. Great site!
    “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”

    -Gustav Mahler

    Check out my music at Icompositions.
    http://www.icompositions.com/artists/mahlerfan

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    Mahlerfan,

    I forgot to mention that the original TV-series entitled *Mission Impossible* starring Peter Graves used wagner tubas for the drama they were capable of. AFAIK - 16 wagner tubas were used in the score to that action flick, besides the usual compliment of trumpets, trombones and tubas.

    Regards!

    Giovanni

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Right on, Giovanni ...

    Lalo Schifrin is quite comfortable in both Classical and Jazz music scenes, so it's not surprising that he would employ that type of tuba in his scores.

    Kh
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    Member mahlerfan's Avatar
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    Just wondering, does anyone here have any ideas of a site where Wagner Tuba audio files may be found?
    “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”

    -Gustav Mahler

    Check out my music at Icompositions.
    http://www.icompositions.com/artists/mahlerfan

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    Another difference between the Wagner tuba and baritones and regular tubas is that
    the Wagner tubas use the horn mouthpiece, which is much smaller than those used for tubas,baritones and trombones, is funnel shaped instead of cup shaped, and has a much thinner rim.
    Richard Strauss uses Wagner tubas in his operas Elektra and Die Frau ohne Schatten and the Alpine Symphony. Arnold Schoenberg also used them in his massive oratorio Gurrelieder, as well as a number of other composers.
    In Wagner's Ring, there are 8 horn parts, and periodically, horns 5-8 switch to the Wagner tubas. Bruckner did the same in his 8th and 9th symphonies. The 7th uses them only in the adagio and finale, but they do not also play horn .

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    Quote Originally Posted by godzillaviolist View Post
    They're also in Bruckner's eighth and ninth, but I can never seem to spot them.
    The great descending then rising solo in the slow movement is the Wagner tuba. An inexpressibly magnificent passage.

    And to the rest, Norman del Mar wrote in "Anatomy of the Orchestra" (highly recommended) that they generally 'hunt in quartets' so to speak - players rarely own them themselves, but an organisation (orchestra, opera company) will own a matched set of 2 tenors and 2 basses, which are played by the (often) 5-8th horn players.
    I imagine you'd struggle to buy just a single instrument...
    cheers,
    Graeme

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