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Tuba! A Six-Tuba Musical Romp / Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet


Release Date: 06/25/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 54729   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFrançois CouperinAnonymousWolfgang Amadeus Mozart,   ... 
Performer:  Sam PilafianEnrique CrespoJonathon SassWalter Hilgers,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Incongruity has a wild poetry of its own — in the best of its incarnations it radicalizes our palates, expands our imaginations, it amuses and enlightens us. Where would the world be without its unlikely combinations? Think of that incredulous Twenties bartender saying: Gin and vermouth? You see, it worked.

Thanks to the imaginative Gerhard Meinl, a fourth-generation German tuba-manufacturing scion who had the extremely incongruous vision of all-tuba chamber music, we now have these recordings. They rank right up there on the great register of incongruous world events, well above prosciutto and melon, but just a few hundredths below (sorry guys!) the dry martini, straight up, with a twist.

What’s especially
Read more interesting and important here is the project’s purity of line and the group’s dedicated attack. The tuba is the group. Except for one track which requires a smattering of percussion, there is nothing else on this record but the rare beast itself in its various gauges, played by six world-class tuba masters.

Because of its extreme rarity, this album has a very private air — it’s as if we’re invited to sit in as six highly endangered elephants, who have gathered from the four corners of the world, hold a long conversation about their lives. The discourse is naturally wise, born of long and heavy experience, but it is also deeply witty and adroit The fact is this: elephants, and tuba masters, know a lot about life.

These six players have in fact come from all over the world to wipe our heads clean of presentiment by making their instruments dance. Seems a little incongruous, doesn’t it? This is something they accomplish, communally, with great elan. It’s no accident that among the compositions there are South American milongas, a march, a minuet, some jazz-fusion, and a postmodern sort of square dance composed on classic American folk songs. The tuba masters take us from the Baroque to the 16th century, then double back up to the present day without even pausing for breath. There is something a little defiant in performing such a broad smorgasbord of music. It’s a schoolyard sort of challenge: don’t think we can touch the rim, huh? Alright, watch this!

It’s essential for us to remember that there is usually just one tuba master per symphony orchestra, and that there aren’t many composers or pieces which require the instruments. The irrepressible tuba master and associate producer Sam Pilafian describes the player’s lot: You know, it’s play a few bars, then sit out four hundred bars, then play a few bars.” That accounts for the dramatic sense of release we experience in each of the recordings here — who better to have playing on your record than six expert musicians who never get to play? These men are putting their shoulders into the music.

The tuba was invented early in the nineteenth century in Germany to deepen the brass voices. In other words, it was made to provide color, to carry other instruments on its broad acoustic back. Alone, as such, it has a curious sound: warm, but also somehow distant and very, very large. These musicians treat it with such affection and skill that it attains immediacy — it becomes an immediate, self-sustaining, storytelling voice.

And what stories! Here, for example, is the story in the second milonga, the campera: it’s two in the morning in B.A. That steak was really something. The waiter has just brought you your coffee. You look up from the bullfight papers and wham! There she is! You’ve heard about her for the past week. Her father is the head of the secret police, but that doesn’t matter. You’ll only be in town for the next two days — by the time he finds out about you and her, you’ll be winging out of town on a worn-out DC-3. Okay, the police may be shooting at the DC-3, but right now the band is playing a milonga, this milonga. Your eyes lock with hers...

Yes, it’s all possible in the wonderful world of incongruity. It’s even possible, in the hands of these wonderful musicians, for the tubas to tell us a love story. I recommend mixing a very dry martini, sitting down, and listening to these very wise, rare voices tell us what they know.

-- GUY MARTIN [album liner notes]
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Works on This Recording

1. Fugue in G minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Jonathon Sass (Tuba),
Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Baroque 
Notes: Arranged: Dankwart Schmidt 
2. Pièces de clavecin, Book 2: Ordre 6 in B flat major - Les baricades mistérieuses by François Couperin
Performer:  Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba),
Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1717; Paris, France 
Notes: Arranged: Samuel Pilafian 
3. Bavarian Polka by Anonymous
Performer:  Warren Deck (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba),
Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Jonathon Sass (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Written: Bavaria, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Dankwart Schmidt 
4. Divertimento in B flat major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Classical 
Notes: Arranged: Enrique Crespo, Walter Hilgers and Samuel Pilafian 
5. O la o che bon eccho, villanelle for 8 voices, S. x/140 "Echo Song" by Orlando de Lassus
Performer:  Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Munich, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Samuel Pilafian 
6. Canzona per sonar no 4 by Giovanni Gabrieli
Performer:  Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba),
Walter Hilgers (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Notes: Arranged: Skip Gray 
7. Partita: Alla polacca by Jan Josef Rösler
Performer:  Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: Classical 
Written: Bohemia 
Notes: Arranged: Dankwart Schmidt 
8. Praeludium by Walter Hilgers
Performer:  Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba), Jonathon Sass (Tuba),
Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
9. Milongas (3) by Enrique Crespo
Performer:  Jonathon Sass (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
10. Bruckner Etude by Enrique Crespo
Performer:  Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba), Jonathon Sass (Tuba),
Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
11. Folksongs (3) for 4 Brass by Frank Denson
Performer:  Jonathon Sass (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Warren Deck (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; USA 
12. Meltdown by Jonathon Sass
Performer:  Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Jonathon Sass (Tuba), Gordon Gottlieb (Percussion), Warren Deck (Tuba),
Enrique Crespo (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; USA 
13. Melton March by Franz Watz
Performer:  Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Jonathon Sass (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Kenneth Amis 
14. Bavarian Zell by Traditional
Performer:  Sam Pilafian (Tuba), Enrique Crespo (Tuba), Dankwart Schmidt (Tuba),
Jonathon Sass (Tuba), Walter Hilgers (Tuba), Warren Deck (Tuba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gerhard Meinl Tuba Sextet
Written: Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Dankwart Schmidt 

Featured Sound Samples

Pièces de clavecin, Book 2 (Couperin): Ordre 6 - Les baricades mistérieuses
Bavarian Polka (Anonymous)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Romp with the Tuba February 25, 2013 By Kenneth W A. (WOODEND, Victoria) See All My Reviews "What an amazing romp with the Tuba, a disc not to be missed by anybody who is interested in the Tuba as a solo instrument. This sextet is superb and shows the virtuosity of the instrument and the performers. A must for any collection of classical music." Report Abuse
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