As a few people here already know, Vienna now has a proper British brass band, under the name of Pfadfinderfanfare Wien (Scouts' Band Vienna), and I've been honoured with the flugelhorn position. So far, I've been using my own Courtois 154R flugel, but last rehearsal, the conductor approached me and told me that the band had several world-class flugels lying around and he would like me to use one of theirs... I agreed - no problem with playing a good flugel and thus aving playing time on my own.
Yesterday was The Day. He brought along what he described as "the best flugel the band has, and one of the best flugels ever made."
I was expecting something really, really special... what be brought out was an old and slightly decrepit Bach Strad 135... serial number 423 xxx, dating it into 1994.
Following orders, I played the first two pieces on this, ... until the conductor exclaimed, "Your own flugel is obviously much better than this, and you certainly know how to get the best out of it... I'll take back the Bach."
I deeply suspect that your conductor had no idea of your quality and that of your daily driver instrument.
Flugels I am led to believe can be somewhat skittish and variable. I must admit somewhat shamefully that I have never played on one.
Just having the name Bach or strad on an instrument is not an absolute guarantee of quality and beauty of tone even though the strad 135 is well respected, especially if the instrument is the worst for wear and has suffered a hard life.
It seems to me that if he knew about flugels he would have recognised your courtois 154r as one of the very best you can play. (going by reputation here).
I like that he reversed his decision when faced with the truth.
GeorgeB last edited by
I am happy that the conductor recognized that you already had the better horn. And congratulations for winning that position with the band. Way to go !
Dr GO last edited by
The performer (epically one as accomplished as you sir) know their horns best. However, perhaps Barliman, you may recommend a better baton for the conductor to use.
@dr-go Well, the conductor is new to his role. He was an accomplished professional trumpet player for more than thirty years and a European Bach Strad signature artist, so a certain bias towards that company is understandable. By his own admission, he has never played a French trumpet or flugel in his life... ok, I think I'll sit down with him and have him test my selection of French instruments...
If you really want to be authentic, you'll make sure he also knows the French school of tonguing.