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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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Mahlerfan,

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

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 :D

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

Cheers!

Giovanni :)
 

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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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