This rare and historical instrument is now officially on the market for sale. While I am loathe to part with it for mostly sentimental reasons, it does seem a bit silly to be the owner of two contrabass trombones when one would certainly suffice. It needs to be played, and nothing would make me happier than to see it in the hands of a gifted player who needs it.
Please note, this is for serious inquiries only. All details of price, shipping and other pertinent information can be asked of me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Hermann Kuhl Kontrabassposaune was produced in the early to mid-1950′s. Hermann Kuhl had performed in the Berlin Philharmonic and ventured into instrument building during his playing years and into his retirement. It was one of the early benchmarks for contrabass design in Germany at that time, improving upon the earlier efforts of Ernst Demel. Producers such as Ed Kruspe took up this design as well, which then carried over into the early designs for Thein and others.
In the early to mid-1970′s, the instrument was purchased by my early mentor, Jerry Shaw, in Kassel, Germany
when he was serving in the United States Army. Jerry Shaw enjoyed this instrument for several years and sold it to me in 1990, when I was serving as bass trombonist/contrabass trombonist with the San Francisco Opera. I played four cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen during the summer of 1990 on this instrument.
Here are some other notable performances in which I utilized this instrument between 1990-2013:
-Berkeley (CA) Symphony (Kent Nagano, conductor): Pierre Boulez’ Tambeau
-National Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin, conductor): Edgar Varese’ Ameriques
-Washington National Opera (Heinze Fricke, conductor): Richard Wagner: Act I for Die Walküre
-National Symphony Orchestra (Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Ivan Fischer, Christoph Eschenbach, conductors):
Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (Movement 4, Intermezzo Interrotto, B-F glissando)
During a visit to the Thein Brass in February of 2013, I brought this kontrabassposaune to show Max Thein, who recognized it immediately as a Hermann Kuhl instrument. Max was kind enough to supply me with much of the information above pertaining to this instruments’ early life, and I am indebted to him for providing that information.
-Pitched in F
-Two in-line independent rotors: (1) Eb (2) BBb (1&2) AAb
-10 1/4″ red brass bell, with nickel kranz (garland)
-Dual-bore slide, approximately .565/.570
-Full length water key
-Built-in slide extension handle (enables B-F Bartok Concerto for Orchestra glissando)
-Original black hard shell case
-Completely overhauled September 2015 by D.C. area master craftsman Jeffery Bonk