Different schools of trumpet and repertoire

Discussion in 'EC Downloading' started by swissdude, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. swissdude

    swissdude Pianissimo User

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    This is a subject I have been really thinking about for a long time as I have been through, french, german, and american schools of trumpet.
    Up until I came to the US I always worked on lots of studies and solos but almost Never on orchestra repertoire and jazz.
    Do you believe that different countried have different priorities regarding style that needs to be learned or do you think every schools should get a more standarized cursus includind all music styles...(talking mostly about undergraduate studies, as people can be more specific with what they want during their graduate years.)

    Thanks

    JC
     
  2. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    JC,

    In my opinion (and please remember that it's only that), art can't be standardized and neither can education. You mention on the other thread that Eric is fabulously successful at helping students with problems. I'm certain that this is because he's teaching each student as a individual and not teaching a standardized curriculum.

    We're witnessing rapid changes in music these days and the schools who are small and facile enough to respond are doing so. . . both in North America and in Europe (particularly in the UK, Holland, and France). The days of the cumbersome "this is music and this is how it must be played" Hochschules are probably coming to an end. Hopefully, a new crop of musicians with a wider range will appear as a result.

    By the way, I rarely teach orchestral passages to my students, preferring to let Strauss' language say what needs to be said about Ein Heldenleben, etc. Along this line, I edited the complete trumpet parts of Mahler (soon to be released) for Universal Edition in Vienna a few years ago, providing a general preface and then describing the conditions found onstage for each work. My original manuscript (abandoned after Symphonies #1-5) told the reader how to play most passages and, upon reflection, I was aghast at my presumption in telling another musician that (s)he must do this and that. Every musician is unique as is every performance.

    Please tell me more about your studies (when/where/with whom) and your observations. Your viewpoint will be very interesting to all!

    Watching here,
    EC
     
  3. swissdude

    swissdude Pianissimo User

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    Thank you for your answer. I guess my "standarized" word was not the right one to use. I was leading more towards having young players getting a broad knowledge of musical styles as players and not only learning solos or orchestra repertoire by itself.

    My musical path was moslty guided by a quote Maurice Andre gave me one day at his house while listening to a famous trumpet player's recording of really technical works. his words were: "always remember that music is sharing feelings. It does not matter how good you are with technic, make your heart sing and you'll be succesful".

    About my background...well lets make it short ;-) Born in Costa Rica, and grew up in Switzerland. Starting my trumpet studies with Jean-Francois Michel (former principal trumpet with Munich under Celibidache), then was invited by Eric Aubier to go to Paris during a seminary he had in Switzerland called "trumpet and ski"..lots of fun...but playing trumpet after one full day of ski hurts haha. I spent there 4 years and learned a great deal about french music, studies, and well.....how french people party, lots of fun.
    During my last 2 years there I went and took lessons with Wolfgang Bauer, then professor in Basel, Switzerland but now in Stuttgart. He was one of the most unbelivable piccolo trumpet player I have ever heard....he makes Richter, Stamitz, Gross, Bach sound easy.
    Then I moved to Maine where I got my master, in a small school but at the that time with a great trumpet teacher...he was one of the first to really make me work seriously on orchestral repertoire. Got married, kid.... and then moved to Arizona to get a DMA with David Hickman. The 2 years I spend there were great...really busy but great. I finished one year ago and now play in an orchestra in Texas, solo and learn about performance on early instruments with Dr. Tarr.

    I would love to get more informations about the Mahler parts you did. My dissertation is now published by Hickman Music Ed....a set of 11 volumes of orchestral excerpts... and I always try to get my hand on all available source of repertoire like that.


    Well this was a short version of my life....sorry hope it doesn't get people too bored.

    JC
     
  4. swissdude

    swissdude Pianissimo User

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    Now about my observation on the different schools and teachers....I always approached teachers with this in mind: No one is perfect, learn as much as you can from everyone....but do not get blind....not everything works for everyone".
    I will only talk about the positive sides of things as we are not here to bash on people.


    Maurice Andre....well not much I can say that people don't already know. He is a one of the most wonderfull human being I ever met. Never said anything in a negative way, always trying to find something positive about people's performance and then giving constructive ways to help with the things that needed to be better. He always practiced every instrument (Bflt, C, eflat, pic) every day...even for a short time. Music has to sing.

    Eric Aubier: He is really impressive with Bflat and C trumpet. French repertoire is his TOP side. I remember in lessons when he would get ready to perform Tomasi, Jolivet....He would play one movement between each students....about 10 times in one day...for me, I would be dead after 2 ....but he got better every time and the last one was the best. For him flexibility is extremly important and would often make us play parts with one hand to release some of the pressure on the lip. You know you can really play Jolivet 2 when you can do it with one hand.....give it a try ;-)
    We almost never worked on orchestra repertoire during my 4 years...well ok maybe once when the Conservatory's orchestra was having audition for the year...and that's it.....not because He can't teach it (he played orchestra for a long time with the Paris Opera) but he never spent the time on that. All lessons are class lessons, everyone there, sitting and listening to everyone play. Starting with about 1 hour of warm-up and routines, then solos.

    Guy Touvron:

    For me, I really loved his approach of piccolo trumpet, and classical repertoire. Being from the same teacher, his approach was quite similar as Aubier but with a different idea of style for solos.

    David Hickman:

    Well, he is one of the most influencial teacher for me. I learned the most from him, not only with my playing but with the history of the instrument, orchestra repertoire, chamber music.....and more. For him, I believe that music is never about the trumpet alone but about the ensemble sound. When he played the brandenburg, he never overblow it., always balance with the others....hard thing to do that high against violin, oboe, and flute.
    There is a lot to say about his teaching but a good starting point is his 5 books on technique, sound.....that can be found at Robert King.

    Wolfgang Bauer...for most american he is unknown. Young teacher. Won the ARD Munich Competition, was principal trumpet with Reinhold Friedrich in Franckfurt, taught in Basel, and Stuttgart. People should really look into his recordings..... great player and really nice teacher. He introduced me to Lechner trumpets....great instruments. I was really young when I took lessons from him, but want to go back someday to get more.

    The latest teacher I have worked with is Dr. Tarr. since last year I am going to germany to take lessons with him. Just bought a baroque trumpet....and learning how to play it (not as easy as people think). I had a great time with him. He is really open minded and will give you different ideas and ways to play music but always letting you come up with you own style.


    This a short list of comments but I did not want to put too much too fast

    JC
     
  5. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    I'm delighted to meet you here, Jean-Christophe, and look forward both to seeing your excerpt books and to this discussion. We can really take it to some interesting places. . .

    More soon and I hope others chime in as well.

    EC
     
  6. HoosierDaddy

    HoosierDaddy Pianissimo User

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    This is really interesting. Could JC write more about Maurice Andre? To those of us here in the US (especially those of us say under 40) he is a somewhat "mythical" character. We have tons of his wonderful recordings, on occasion see an interview with him but don't know much more. How long were your lesson? What did he focus on? Was he funny? What did he like or dislike in music as far as the trumpet and the business in general? How much is he still playing? Did he play in your lessons?
    HD
     
  7. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

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    I can only speak from my own experience - my teacher put huge emphasis on getting me transposing anything and everything. The aim being to get my transposition to the stage of being able to sight-read anything, regardless of what key the music might be in, or what instrument I might be holding at the time. Brandt was his weapon of choice - he would suggest a number (allegedly at random) and then pick a transposition (so it could be "4, in Eb", "7 in F", "31 in A" - for example). He also had a number of other books we used, either with me having my own copy, or he would bring his books out, to make sure I hadn't been learning them in secret :lol:
    I would love to say he succeeded, but that would be, unfortunately, not the case - this is entirely down to my not practising this skill enough anymore, rather than anything lacking in his teaching.

    It has, I admit, always puzzled me - the quasi-obsession with learning every excerpt in the standard repertoire. Yes, it is great to know how they go, but being able to read anything new that might come along is, I think, as important, if not more so.
    Speaking to some of the big-name players over here, they teach the standard orchestral repertoire, but also make a big point of getting people to sight read. The standard amount of rehearsal for a concert is so limited that your sight-reading needs to be practically flawless - it is quite common to do even a difficult contemporary piece on only one or two rehearsals, potentially without having seen the music beforehand (in some cases, it might not have been written until the first rehearsal - then you get revised parts for the second rehearsal!!).


    Thinking of the different schools of playing - I am very interested in your views regarding which trumpet to use. Over here, the Bb is pretty much the standard for everything. Over in the US, the C trumpet is dominant. I have read a number of posts saying that if someone were to even turn up to auditions (even for college orchestras) and play on a Bb, they wouldn't be considered. To me, it is what comes out of the end of the bell that matters, rather than what type of bell it is. If someone plays a Bb and sounds great, they would get the seat. Is this just a UK (or even just a me) attitude?
     
  8. swissdude

    swissdude Pianissimo User

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    Wow, lots of great questions here. Let me first answer the question about solo versus orchestra studying in Europe.
    This is my view on it based on my years spent there and may not reflect other people.
    The teachers that I had both in Switzerland and France did focus only on studies and solo....well mostly solo. Germany will depend...on who your teacher is, I know that Max Sommerhalder does quite a bit of orchestra repertoire as well as other am sure. From friends I have in England, I believe that it depends what cursus you follow in the schools as they have some orchestra learning programs but as well as famous soloist teaching but there am sure Mr. Carroll will have more a true vision of teaching.

    In the US my experience has been...that almost everyone I know wanted at some point in their lifes be an orchestral musician....but most of the time they haven't really try everything. You don't really know what you are made for until you try it full time....I use to be a dreamer but now that I got the chance to do it....even if it is not the NY phil, life is not always pink...but I long as you love what you do you'll survive.
    Hope this answer some of your question.
    More later.

    JC
     
  9. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Mike,

    A quick reply to two of your points before shutting down for tonight (and framing replies to J-C and 22925H, which I hope to start tomorrow).

    I teach transposition skills (and note that we are in a new world of Finale/Sibelius literacy now) for two reasons: 1.) the one that you suggest. Professional musicians have the literacy to get it right the first time, and are often engaged as such due to limited rehearsal time. This is even more evident in a commercial call/jingle when the composer (often conducting) (poorly) suggests "that was great, but let's try it up a third, shall we?"
    Of equal importance (at least to me) is that 2.) transposition teaches us to split our attention into two parts; attention to the notes we are playing as well as how they sound. This may sound obvious, but it's vitally important to be able to multi-task -- concentrating on the information around you while sounding good yourself. More on this later, I'm sure.

    Most North American orchestras favor the C trumpet in the orchestra due to playing in larger halls than most of their European counterparts (much to the detriment of the music and total experience, in my opinion). Each generation of "modern" instruments has gotten louder than, say, their Wiener counterpart, resulting in an upward sonic spiral of sorts.
    That said, I had the great honor of teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory for two weeks back in the early 90s, and the Philharmonic (formerly Mravinsky's Leningraders) absolutely blew the doors off the back wall on their Bbs. So.............perhaps we're wrong over here?

    I played a Yamaha C, a Lechner C, and a Monke Bb in Rotterdam. I suppose this shows that I didn't know where the hell I was (still don't).

    Cheers,
    EC
     
  10. swissdude

    swissdude Pianissimo User

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    Hi HD,

    Yes Maurice Andre is a legend for everyone and I was very fortunate to get to meet him a few times.
    My first meeting with him was when I was very very young....beginner player. He came to solo with my dad's orchestra in Switzerland and had him over for supper. I don't remember much from then other that he loves goooooood food, and that they go everywhere with their dogs. He played with my dad in 3 different occasion.

    My first meeting with him as an adult was when I was studying with Eric Aubier. Andre's son Nicolas was in the same trumpet studio as me (more advanced level though). We got to go to Nicolas's house a few times for parties and ride Maurice's big tractor in the yard....lots of fun. One day he was there outside listening to trumpet CD's and we went to talk with him. He remembered me...what a surprise for me. We talked a long time about his life, when he was young, his father....well the story that he was from a very poor family and that music was the only thing he had. That we would play tunes to the mailguy every day..things like that.
    Then I came back to see him a few times. Lessons were not timed like most lessons are today, he invited me early afternoon, played all afternoon, then talk, then eat, then had so much good wine that it's hard to remember.
    With me he never once raised his voice or made a negative comment of any kind....(not that I was perfect ;-) but he always tried to find somethiing good in what I had just done. Phrasing, air, and attacks were some of the subject we work a lot. He told me that he used to practice his attacks by putting both hands together like holding an orange, bringing his lips against it and do tonguing exercise, listening to the perfect pop attack.
    Both him and his wife are wonderfull persons. From what I heard last june when I was in Switzerland, he did his Goodbye concerts in the past couple years. Probably still plays for him but no more concerts. Since I know him he has been dealing with a really high diabetes, unfortunatly.

    In 1996 (not sure of the year anymore) at the Maurice Andre Competition, all his students and students of students (me too :-) played for the openning concert the Aida march (about 60 trumpet players) for him. Was great....other that a few of the big name soloist were trying to see who could play the loudest, funny contest but not really musical.
    Then Maurice played a full lenght recital. Still great playing, sound attacks...had a few splia but who cares he is Maurice and will always be.

    Hope this gave you some good insight

    JC
     

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