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05/09/2005:

Finally the set is complete. The bass and the alto have been added to the Thein/Kruspe old style German trombones. Now a complete section can produce the authentic 19th century sound, the sound that Mahler and his contemporaries wrote for. Soon the CSO trombones will make a short demo CD demonstrating the unique sound of these instruments. I must commend the Thein Bros. for the beautiful craftsmanship they have lavished on these instruments, and their enthusiasm for keeping this wonderful old sound available to modern players.

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8/08/2004:

The CSO performed Mahler's 8th symphony July 30 at the Ravinia Festival. I used the Kruspe/Thein on the first trombone part. This was a special event for me because I realized that this was the sound of the trombone that Mahler knew and wrote for. This instrument made a wonderfully authentic sound in this music and I am looking forward to playing it on many other pieces in the repertory that call for a 19th century style sound. I hope to play Mahler's 3rd Symphony on this horn in the near future.

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7/14/2004:

The old German trombone being built by Thein is an exact copy of the pre-WW1 Kruspe. 2 more copies were made with modern features added to make it easier to hold without changing the sound. An F valve was added and several more small adjustments will be made to make it more comfortable to play. I am pleased to report that the horn plays beautifully and has an authentic 19th century German trombone sound. This is the sound that the great Romantic composers had in mind when writing for trombone. This instrument will be of interest to those players who like myself are fascinated with an authentic trombone sound of the last century and want to add a new dimension of sound and style to their playing. I had looked for over 30 years for a trombone of this vintage, size and quality. I am very happy that the Thein Co. has agreed to make a modern version of this horn so that players everywhere can experience the unique sound and visual beauty of this instrument. I have included pictures of the original instrument and the new Thein reproduction.

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5/10/2004:

I have a report on the Kruspe trombone that I described in a previous column. The Thein brothers have duplicated this horn (see pictures below). It is the most beautiful trombone I've ever seen. It is an exact copy of the old horn which dates from before WW1. It has a brass slide and no tuning slide or spit valve, as was the old custom. This horn should be in a museum. The idea is to make an exact copy and then add modern features without changing the old classic sound. It has amazing response and an almost perfect overtone series. It is the size of our modern instruments, and miraculously takes a modern large shank mouthpiece. It will be on display at the ITF in Ithaca, from June 17-19. I may also demonstrate it in my clinic on Friday morning, June 18th.

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11/08/2003:

For the last thirty some years, I have been looking for a Kruspe, which I consider to epitomize the classic German sound. Recently, I've come into possession of an old one. It has a large bore and takes exactly the size of the modern large shank mouthpiece. It is in extremely delicate shape, and it has been repaired many times. The bell is paper thin and extremely soft. The overtone series is almost perfectly in tune; the sound and response are beautiful. Max and Heinrich Thein are in the process of making a modern copy of this instrument, even down to the type of metal used in the old horn. I have great hope for this experiment.

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