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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningHistory of the Trombone(Moderator: bhcordova) Performance practice of 19th century trombone concertos in Germany
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mlarsson
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« on: Oct 21, 2012, 09:22AM »

Sometime during the late 19th (or perhaps early 20th) century the performance practice in Germany of the romantic trombone concertos seems to have changed. In the middle of the 19th century, the two leading German trombone players were Carl Traugott Queisser and Friedrich August Belcke. They were bass trombone players who performed on the wide bore tenorbassposaune in Bb. The David, Sachse and C.G Muller concertino (together with a bunch of other works mostly forgotten today) were written and first performed during this period.

A few decades later. the leading German trombone players were Joseph Serafin Alschausky and Paul Weschke and the choice of instrument were instead small bore tenor trombones (German style, typical less than .500", but with a large bell). Pieces like the David were apparently still being performed on the smaller dedicated tenor equipment, together with newer works such as the Eugene Reiche concertino, that used the high range facilitated by the smaller bore instruments.

Does anyone know the background to this change in equipment? Can this change be more exactly pin-pointed to a specific trombone player and time?

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 11, 2014, 12:49AM »

The change of the equipment came when the Ed. Kruspe Workshop developed the Weschke model in the 1920ties. So I would pin-point it to Paul Weschke.

There is a photo of Alschausky playing a Kruspe but before the Weschke model was developed. Later Alschausky worked with various trombone workshops to build all kinds of custom equipment.   

In terms of sound, the Kruspe Weschke model is a typical German trombone, just with a more precise intonation and attack, slightly more overtones etc. It can sound dark and warm but also bright. It is pity that German workshops did not develop this trend further. Perhaps the reasons are threefold:

1. After WWII, American trombones were imported into Germany with even larger bore than German trombones. Although they were obviously based on the German tradition, their larger bore made them louder probably because this was suitable for symphonic concert bands in the US, a kind of orchestra that is very uncommon in Germany. To keep up with the volume of their colleagues, many trombonists in Germany wanted large bore trombones as well. Moreover, my impression is that American trombones are easier to play. They are more like on/off. You don't need to figure how to form sound colors like with German trombones. German trombones become more and more American especially in West Germany.

2. The Kruspe workshop was in the Soviet zone and later in East Germany (GDR). It didn't do well after WWII. It was simply hard to get materials for building new trombones. Workshops in East Germany were not much influenced by American trombones because East Germany was relatively isolated from the Western world. But most workshops in East Germany (in the Vogtland and Dresden) were in the tradition of larger bore Sattler/Penzel style trombones.

3. Most trombonists who after WWII wanted a smaller bore trombone were interested in Jazz (i.e., "Tanzmusik"). Thus, when German workshops built smaller bore trombones, they often catered towards "Tansmusik". This is quite different from the sound characteristics of a Kruspe Weschke model.

Because the Kruspe Weschke has a typical German trombone sound, I think it is perfectly fine to perform with it David, Sachse, etc.
« Last Edit: Oct 11, 2014, 10:56PM by Bcschipper » Logged
mlarsson
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 12, 2014, 07:28AM »

After almost two years I'd pretty much given up the hope of getting any input to this thread... :D

The change of the equipment came when the Ed. Kruspe Workshop developed the Weschke model in the 1920ties. So I would pin-point it to Paul Weschke.

There is a photo of Alschausky playing a Kruspe but before the Weschke model was developed. Later Alschausky worked with various trombone workshops to build all kinds of custom equipment. 
  

So, did Alschausky (and also Weschke) start their careers on wider bore instrument, of the same type as Belcke and Queisser used to play, and then later on, in the 1920s, switch to smaller instruments?


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« Reply #3 on: Oct 12, 2014, 08:42AM »

I think what was considered a wide bore in the mid 19thC had come to be considered small bore by the early 20thC.... but I may be wrong. The German military trombones were larger bore than those popular for orchestra work in the late 19th and early 20thC.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 12, 2014, 11:54PM »

I don't know whether there are any records on what instruments Weschke used before the Kruspe Weschke model has been developed in the early 1920th. Handwritten sheet music by Weschke is kept in the music department at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin, but no instruments of Weschke are kept there. Since the dominant instruments at that time were Sattler/Penzel style trombones, my best guess is that they started their careers on such kind of instruments.

I think the typical German Sattler/Penzel style trombone of the 19th and early 20th century would be still considered "large bore" today. But there seem to have been some kind of trend towards "medium bore" at the first half of the 20th century. For instance, consider the following trombones with bore sizes at the mouthpiece and bell sides of the inner slide (in chronological order):

Sattler tenor 1841 mouthpiece side 0.504", bell side 0.555"
Sattler tenor/bass 1841 mouthpiece side 0.551", bell side 0.567"
Petzold tenor 2nd half 19th century mouthpiece side 0.567", bell side 0.577"
Piering tenor about 1870 mouthpiece side 0.559", bell side 0.571"
Heckel tenor about 1880 mouthpiece side 0.571", bell side 0.571"
Piering tenor about 1890 mouthpiece side 0.579", bell side 0.587"
Piering tenor/bass about 1900 mouthpiece side 0.547", bell side 0.547"
Piering tenor about 1920 mouthpiece side 0.539", bell side 0.539"
Piering tenor/bass about 1920 mouthpiece side 0.575", bell side 0.575"
Ullmann tenor about 1925 mouthpiece side 0.547", bell side 0.559"
Zuleger tenor about 1900 mouthpiece side 0.524", bell side 0.551"
Heckel tenor 1903 mouthpiece side 0.551", bell side 0.539" (bell side bore smaller than mouthpiece side bore!)
Kruspe tenor about 1905 mouthpiece side 0.567", bell side 0.567"
Kruspe tenor about 1910 mouthpiece side 0492", bell side 0.492" (Alschausky played such an instrument at some point)
Heckel tenor/bass about 1910 mouthpiece side 0.551", bell side 0.551"
Heckel tenor/bass about 1919 mouthpiece side 0.555", bell side 0.551" (bell side more smaller than mouthpiece side bore!)
Kruspe tenor Weschke model about 1930 mouthpiece side 0.480", bell side 0.484"
Heckel tenor/bass about 1935 mouthpiece side 0.543", bell side 0.543"

(Compiled from instruments listed in: Verein fuer Mitteldeutsche Posaunengeschichte e.V. (eds.), Die Deutsche Posaune. Ein Leiziger Welterfolg, Katalog zur Sonderausstellung im Grassi Museum fuer Musikinstrumente der Universitaet Leipzig, Verlag des Museums fuer Musikinstrumente der Universitaet Leipzig, 2. edition, 2013)


But the comparison using today's distinction between large, medium and small bore is somewhat misleading because the sound characteristics do not just depend on bore size. There are many differences between German trombones and today's American style symphonic trombones such as bell size and shape, the way the bell is made, garlands, sometimes dual bore, the position of the f-valve if any, the manufacturing of the tuning slide, the way tuning slides are designed (i.e., "in the bell" or "over the bell"), etc. It is pity that there seem to be no systematic scientific studies of how all these parameters effect sound characteristics. The notion of "German military trombone" is probably also due to Kruspe who recommended his Penzel model for use in the military whereas his Weschke and Virtuosa models were used in symphonic music and solo.

Another point: When we talk about bore size, most of the time we talk about outer dimensions of the inner slide both at the mouthpiece and bell sides. At that time, slides were not "lightweight". The brass of slides was considerably thicker. (This doesn't necessarily apply to the brass of the bells though.) So the effective "inner bore" may have been smaller than what we would expect with today's slides in mind.
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 13, 2014, 12:27AM »

Fantastic reply.... I was thinking that I needed to measure some trombones, but you have saved me that. Never seen outside of tube measurements.... only inside. How do you measure the outside of the tube at the mouthpiece end.... there is a hand grip over it ? Surely measuring the inside is easier ? It would give figures that we could directly compare with modern trombones. Lucky to be able to date all these trombones.... my Pierings do not have serial numbers so I can only guess at their age.

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 13, 2014, 10:04AM »

Definitely worth waiting two years for such an informative and detailed post!

Those late 19th century tenor-basses is of a considerable larger bore than I'd thought. I would have imagined the bore sizes for those horns to be around .530 and sizes of .560 and above to be reserved for the contra basses. But as you said, maybe the additional thickness of the tubes make up for a considerable part of the difference. Nevertheless there is a huge difference between the small size of the Weschke/Alschausky models compared to what was available just one or two decades earlier.

It would have been very interesting to listen to solo performance or recording using both a wide bore Sattler/Penzel style instrument and a narrow bore Wescke/Alschausky instrument to compare the timbre of the two.



 
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 13, 2014, 11:42AM »

Definitely worth waiting two years for such an informative and detailed post!

Those late 19th century tenor-basses is of a considerable larger bore than I'd thought. I would have imagined the bore sizes for those horns to be around .530 and sizes of .560 and above to be reserved for the contra basses. But as you said, maybe the additional thickness of the tubes make up for a considerable part of the difference. Nevertheless there is a huge difference between the small size of the Weschke/Alschausky models compared to what was available just one or two decades earlier.

It would have been very interesting to listen to solo performance or recording using both a wide bore Sattler/Penzel style instrument and a narrow bore Wescke/Alschausky instrument to compare the timbre of the two.



 

An outer tube measurement will be considerably bigger.... I might find time to measure the outside AND inside of one of my Pierings to put a context on this information.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 13, 2014, 12:01PM »

I think it is much more difficult to measure properly inner bore sizes of the inner slide as you would need to measure "from below" past the stockings. See the older thread on this topic http://tromboneforum.org/index.php?topic=57439.0. With regard to the measurements mentioned in my earlier post, I don't know where exactly they measured the outer bore sizes of the inner slide. Most likely they did not measure it on the stockings since this would be misleading. I guess I would measure the outer bore sizes of the inner slide just below the hand grip. (In the book, they also list the inner size of the mouthpiece receiver, which of course may be affected by the leadpipe if any.)

I don't think that the trombones have been dated using serial numbers. Many of them may not have any serial number. I guess they dated quite a few based on shape and experience.

Chris Stearn mentioned that he got some Pierings. This lead me to the following idea: There is lots of talk about historical designs of trombones but not much data. Why not use the trombone forum and the internet to collect a larger data set on historical trombones and then document the development of bore sizes, bell sizes etc. with hard evidence (and make it easily available here too)? We could simply call on members of the forum to volunteer their data on their older equipment in a predesigned format. I could analyze and aggregate the data, create some charts, and simply post the analysis and data set back to the forum. I guess to get many responses, we would need the public backing from some famous trombonists.

Regarding recordings of performances with different trombones, the problem is that it does not just depend on the trombone but mostly on the player and also the mouthpiece. Even if you have the same player playing a Kruspe Weschke and a Sattler/Penzel style trombone, he may feel more comfortable on one or the other. It would be impossible to design an experiment in which even the soloist doesn't know which instrument (s)he is playing. Anyway, I agree it would nevertheless be interesting to have recordings of different instruments. In general, there are not many solo recordings by soloists champion German trombones (for instance try to find some on youtube) although there were and are very good trombonists in Germany. One of the recordings of David, Sachse, Graefe and Reiche that I like very much is by Juergen Heinel with the Staatskapelle Berlin, see https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/david-sachse-grafe-reiche/id327907698. I don't know which German trombone he used in this recording.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 16, 2016, 12:45PM »

I think it is much more difficult to measure properly inner bore sizes of the inner slide as you would need to measure "from below" past the stockings. See the older thread on this topic http://tromboneforum.org/index.php?topic=57439.0. With regard to the measurements mentioned in my earlier post, I don't know where exactly they measured the outer bore sizes of the inner slide. Most likely they did not measure it on the stockings since this would be misleading. I guess I would measure the outer bore sizes of the inner slide just below the hand grip. (In the book, they also list the inner size of the mouthpiece receiver, which of course may be affected by the leadpipe if any.)

I don't think that the trombones have been dated using serial numbers. Many of them may not have any serial number. I guess they dated quite a few based on shape and experience.

Chris Stearn mentioned that he got some Pierings. This lead me to the following idea: There is lots of talk about historical designs of trombones but not much data. Why not use the trombone forum and the internet to collect a larger data set on historical trombones and then document the development of bore sizes, bell sizes etc. with hard evidence (and make it easily available here too)? We could simply call on members of the forum to volunteer their data on their older equipment in a predesigned format. I could analyze and aggregate the data, create some charts, and simply post the analysis and data set back to the forum. I guess to get many responses, we would need the public backing from some famous trombonists.

Regarding recordings of performances with different trombones, the problem is that it does not just depend on the trombone but mostly on the player and also the mouthpiece. Even if you have the same player playing a Kruspe Weschke and a Sattler/Penzel style trombone, he may feel more comfortable on one or the other. It would be impossible to design an experiment in which even the soloist doesn't know which instrument (s)he is playing. Anyway, I agree it would nevertheless be interesting to have recordings of different instruments. In general, there are not many solo recordings by soloists champion German trombones (for instance try to find some on youtube) although there were and are very good trombonists in Germany. One of the recordings of David, Sachse, Graefe and Reiche that I like very much is by Juergen Heinel with the Staatskapelle Berlin, see https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/david-sachse-grafe-reiche/id327907698. I don't know which German trombone he used in this recording.


I'm resurrecting this old topic... against all forum warnings. Somehow I missed it when it first came up, but I do have a contribution to make. Because a. I'm actually typing from a town near Markneukirchen b. I met (the late) Jürgen Heinel and had a blow on his truly fantastic instrument and c. I'm making a study of the 19th century German trombone and d. I own a Weschke model Kruspe e. I just played a wonderful Piering here et c etc f. I'm trying to measure the bore sizes of various 19th trombones like Penzels and Sattlers.

Lot's of interesting thoughts. Firstly to answer the last question Jürgen Heinel played on a narrow bore Horst Voigt trombone. I learnt today that Stephan Schmidt owner of HSM brass is the late Horst Voigt's son in law. Horst Voigt's abilities as a trombone builder were legendary and everyone I spoke to here in Markneukirchen speaks in hushed reverential tones about his trombones. The few I've played were absolutely up there with the very best of German trombones, Kruspe, Lätzsch, Pollter (who's he you may ask??/) and Piering.

Anyway everything that was said earlier in this thread about the transition from wide bore style (Sattler/Penzel and their successors like Ullmann and Piering, Heckel too) to the narrow bore of the Weschke model and the adoption of that style for the higher trombones (Mitsching, Kühn later Lätzsch, Max Enders and the Voigt's and Karl Mönnich), is correct. No doubt 20th C German trombones on the whole were more varied in bore (the "Weite" system) than the 19th C. From about 1850's ;large bore is ubiquitous until about 1920, then the bores became smaller, at least for the fist trombonist or soloist.

One of my ambitions s to find an instrument builder to reconstruct the 1830's trombone used by Quiesser when he premiered the David Concertino in 1837. This is all a bit speculative of course, since there is no real model to copy. The extant Sattlers maybe but there are problems... these instruments have a great sound (so we hear from the very few allowed to play on them) but are very out of tune. The design was bettered by Penzel for sure. I've played three Penzels and might have found a fourth to try soon. These are actually a better model to copy but already built 10/20 years later at least. They can be played in tune up the harmonics

As far as I'm aware there are 4 Sattler trombones extant in Museums (three in Leipzig and one in Markneukirchen) and one alto and two loose bells in private hands. That's it... 7 instruments only. I've seen 6 of them close up. If anyone knows of another... report to me! He invented the F valve in 1839 but there is no surviving example alas. Most scholara agree that Queisser played a Sattler trombone, and it seems to have been passed on to his Gewandhaus successor Bruns, then lost. There is a report that it was built of 'Heavy silver brass" ("schweres Silberblech") which could mean Nickel silver in fact.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 16, 2016, 11:52PM »

Just a couple of comments:

1. Here is a photograph of Heinel with his instrument: https://www.verlag-vwm.de/index.php?id=cetest_firstpage&tx_vrportrait_pi1%5Bnavi%5D%5Bpage%5D=6&tx_vrportrait_pi1%5Buid%5D=3971 . It looks like a Horst Voigt or Helmut Voigt.

2. Two Sattler trombones (one tenor and one tenorbass) that are owned by the Musiksinstrumente Museum Leipzig are described with photograph and measurements in "Die Deutsche Posaune. Ein Leipziger Welterfolg. Katalog zur Sonderausstellung im Grassi Museum fuer Musiksinstrumente der Universitaet Leipzig", edited by Verein fuer Mitteldeutsche Posaunengeschichte e.V., second edition, 2013. This book also describes two alto trombones by Sattler, one owned by the museum and one owned by Raphael Kaeser.

The three trombones owned by the museum are also described in even more detail in Heyde, Herbert "Trompeten, Posaunen, Tuben", VEB Deutscher Verlag fuer Musik, Leizpig, 1985.

There is a description of Sattler's valves in Heyde, Herbert, Early history of valves and valve instruments in Germany (1813-33), Brass Bulletin 27, 1979, pp. 51-61. I don't have a copy of this article. I would be interested in getting one.

Schweres Silberblech refers to silver according to some mineral catalogs. Nickel silver is called Neusilber in German.

3. I guess the person remaking the Sattler trombones should have access to the ones owned by the museum. I would suggest to ask Stefan Voigt, son and successor of Helmut Voigt in Markneukirchen, whether he would be interested in building it. Helmut Voigt learned with Horst Voigt. They are the same family. Helmut Voigt also took over the works from Horst Voigt.

4. I don't think that playing David on a Sattler will sound like Queisser playing David. The issue is that people nowadays are differently trained. I notice this when other trombonist who are trained on American trombones try to play my Kruspe Weschke or when I try to play on their American trombones. I believe somebody trained on a German trombone pushes air through the instrument differently than someone trained on an American trombone.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 17, 2016, 01:17AM »

I was part of a recording that Ian Bousfield did last Sunday... the Sachse concertino... he used a trombone made by Adolphe Sax... very small but with an amazing sound (well, Ian has an amazing sound). The supporting band was made up of 4 french horns, 2 cornets, tenor trombone, bass trombone and tuba. All were early instruments, not replicas. I used my F A Piering Bb trombone... made by the farther of Robert Piering, this is a large bore intrument with a full Krantz. F A Piering was making trombones between 1842 and 1882.
Should be a great recording ! Ian was on top form.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 17, 2016, 02:13AM »

I think what was considered a wide bore in the mid 19thC had come to be considered small bore by the early 20thC.... but I may be wrong. The German military trombones were larger bore than those popular for orchestra work in the late 19th and early 20thC.

Chris Stearn

I was wrong. Learning all the time !

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