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Rainbo-bo: The Man With the Golden Tuba - Roger Bobo, Crystal Records


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Item Details

Roger Bobo - tuba, Zita Carno - piano, Daniel Rothmuller - cello, Ralph Griefson - piano

*J.S. Bach - Air from Suite No. 3
*Schubert - Standchen (Serenade)
*Kupferman - Saturnalis
*Subotnick - The First Dream of Light
*Thomas Stevens - Encore: Boz

'The punning title of this album refers to the name of the soloist Roger Bobo, once dubbed the Heifetz of the Tuba, and to the rainbow shown on the cover; the music on the album is only very loosely at best associated with rainbows. Bobo was one of the tuba's rare virtuosi; born in Los Angeles, he had a peripatetic career as he searched for opportunities to display his art -- if one can be peripatetic with a tuba. Nothing on the cover of this disc except a small performance mark tells the buyer that it consists of performances drawn from various LPs of the late '70s and early '80s, and the program as a whole doesn't make much sense; between the sweet arrangement of Schubert's Ständchen (track 2) and Meyer Kupferman's Saturnalis for tuba and amplified cello (track 3) the listener may well be tempted to get up and check for an electronic malfunction. The three contemporary pieces on the album, however, represent intriguing aspects of the impulse toward extended instrumental technique that flowered in the 1970s. Especially forward-looking was Morton Subotnick's The First Dream of Light (1980), featuring an incompletely explained "ghost" electronic tape that, several years in advance of the advent of the MIDI device, allowed the player to generate electronic sounds linked to those of the instrument as it sounded. The principle is exploited in the structure of the work, as tones take on increasingly denser "halos" as the second half proceeds (not exactly rainbows, but at least in the same ballpark). The final, non-electronic Encore: Boz of Thomas Stevens is a very wild ride indeed around the tuba's upper registers, and in general instrumental soloists expanding their acquaintance with contemporary music will find much of the program here of interest. "
     -- James Manheim

"Roger Bobo, a legendary tuba virtuoso, performed the first-ever tuba recital in Carnegie Recital Hall.  He then became tubist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, moving then to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, where he played principal tuba for 25 years."
     --  Stereo Review

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