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The English Tuba / Eugene Dowling

Dowling,Eugene
Release Date: 04/01/2008 
Label:  Proarte   Catalog #: 5637646644   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsGeorge Frideric HandelSir Edward ElgarMalcolm Arnold,   ... 
Performer:  Edward NormanEugene Dowling
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE ENGLISH TUBA Eugene Dowling (tb); Paul Freeman, cond; London SO; 1 Edward Norman (pn 2 ) TROMBA BASSA TBCDD595 (54: 21)


1 VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Tuba Concerto. 2 Six Studies in English Folk Song. 2 HANDEL Read more class="ARIAL12bi">The Harmonious Blacksmith. 2 ELGAR Romance. ARNOLD Fantasy for Tuba. 2 JACOB Tuba Suite


This CD was originally issued on the Pro Arte label in 1992, and even carries the same catalog number in this reissue. Eugen Dowling was a pupil of the renowned euphonium virtuoso and band director Leonard Falcone (1899–1985) and legendary longtime tubist of the Chicago Symphony Arnold Jacobs (1915–98), who trained numerous other top-flight brass players. (During my 13 years in Chicago I heard Jacobs play with the orchestra dozens of times. I had two personal encounters with Falcone. In 1971 he was the severely critical judge for my performance on trombone as a seventh grader of Fauré’s Après un rêve at an annual solo and ensemble competition. Two years later he was the highly irascible conductor of a special concert band of which I was a member, assembled for the Michigan State Fair from leading high school students throughout the state.) Dowling has a light, smooth, transparent tone—a hallmark of his training from Jacobs, who was renowned for the special breathing techniques he developed to overcome his own lung-capacity impairment from asthma—and a fluid legato, and his high notes are floated freely without any hint of strain.


These are fine performances all around. The Vaughan Williams Concerto was recorded in London, and the other pieces in Vancouver, where Dowling is the longtime tubist with that city’s orchestra, but there is little difference in the recorded ambience of the two locales, which is clear but slightly distant and mastered at a somewhat lower level than is customary today. There are about a dozen other recordings of the concerto available; while this one is solid, some others, such as with Patrick Harrild, Bryden Thomson, and the London Symphony on Chandos, have more lilt and swagger in the orchestra. Instead, the primary value of this CD lies in the other selections, all first-rate repertoire pieces that have very few other recordings. Two alternatives exist for the Vaughan Williams studies, with current Chicago Symphony tubist Eugene Pokorny on Summit and David Zerkal on Mark Masters. More than 50 recordings of the Handel variations exist in various guises, but I cannot immediately locate another version for tuba. The Elgar Romance, originally for bassoon and later transcribed for cello, has very few recordings in any form and again no others arranged for tuba. The Arnold Fantasy for solo tuba, a work with a certain dour assertiveness, has one competing version with Sam Elliot on a Nimbus CD of Arnold brass works (praised by John E. Roos in Fanfare 31:1). Gordon Jacob’s Suite for Tuba and Strings, a typically well-crafted composition in a somewhat more British than Continental vein than was the composer’s wont, is performed here in a piano reduction. It has no recording available of its original scoring; a competing rendition of this arrangement is on a BIS CD (with an absolutely bizarre CD booklet cover) featuring Oystein Baadsvik. Consequently, despite the short timing of the contents, fellow tuba lovers will want to add this disc to their collections without further ado.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Tuba in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Edward Norman (Piano), Eugene Dowling (Tuba)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; England 
Venue:  Sir Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2.
Studies (6) in English Folksong by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Edward Norman (Piano), Eugene Dowling (Tuba)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
Venue:  Recital Hall, School of Music, Universit 
Length: 7 Minutes 45 Secs. 
3.
Suite for Harpsichord in E major, HWV 430: no 4, Air and Variations "The Harmonious Blacksmith" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Edward Norman (Piano), Eugene Dowling (Tuba)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
Venue:  Recital Hall, School of Music, Universit 
Length: 0 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4.
Romance for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 62 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Eugene Dowling (Tuba), Edward Norman (Piano)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
Venue:  Recital Hall, School of Music, Universit 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5.
Fantasy for Tuba solo, Op. 102 by Malcolm Arnold
Performer:  Edward Norman (Piano), Eugene Dowling (Tuba)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; England 
Venue:  Recital Hall, School of Music, Universit 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6.
Suite for Tuba and Strings by Gordon Jacob
Performer:  Edward Norman (Piano), Eugene Dowling (Tuba)
Conductor:  Paul Freeman
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; England 
Venue:  Recital Hall, School of Music, Universit 
Length: 16 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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