Friday, February 17, 2012

Essential Recordings: Orchestral Excerpts for Tuba - Gene Pokorny

I want to start this series of articles with one of my favorite recordings; Orchestral Excerpts for Tuba by Gene Pokorny of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

This recording is fantastic. Not only does Gene Pokorny play orchestral excerpts that are commonly played in auditions he also explains important details that will help the player better understand the excerpt like why the excerpt may have been chosen and what particular skill the excerpt is designed to highlight. 

Gene Pokorny does a phenomenal job performing the excerpts. It is important as wind players to have a good concept of sound and having recordings like this one help players in that sense. The quality of this recording is excellent. The recording captures the finer dynamic changes and subtle nuances in Gene Pokorny's performances. 

My favorite piece of advice Gene Pokorny gives regards Bydlo from Pictures at an Exhibition. 

"Bydlo: In spite of the fact that playing Bydlo justifies a whopping 2% at most, of the total job description of an orchestral Tubist, be ready for an ill informed conductor or audition committee to put too much weight on this excerpt in the overall evaluation of the player. Be ready to have it played very slow, or very fast as is demonstrated on this recording and try to find an instrument that has some good in tune slots for the highest notes in the excerpt. Incorporate alot of contrasts with the dynamics. After you win the job, get your ego out of the way and decide who can make more music out of the piece; one of your tacit Trombone colleagues or yourself." 

This recording is an essential educational tool and a great example of a phenomenal Tuba sound. It is a must for all players. 


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