Bass saxtuba in E-flat

Adolphe (Antoine Joseph) Sax Belgian, active France

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 680

Saxtubas were built as a family with instruments ranging from B-flat sopranino to B-flat contrabass. This bass in E-flat was the second largest size. The striking appearance of the larger sax tubas was inspired by the Roman cornu as depicted on Trajan's Column. Saxtubas were first used in 1852 in the premiere performance of Halevy's opera Le juif errant in the Paris Academie Nationale de Musique, where they featured in a 15-piece stage ensemble. They also appeared in a military and national ceremony in Paris on the Champ de Mars later in 1852. This instrument and a B-flat tenor held in the Trompetenmuseum in Bad Saeckingen, Germany are the only saxtubas known to survive.

Bass saxtuba in E-flat, Adolphe (Antoine Joseph) Sax (Belgian, Dinant, Belgium 1814–1894 Paris), brass, French

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