High Soft Entrances

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by camelbrass, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    The very soft playing in the upper register like in "Das Lied von der Erde"

    ML
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    "Til Eulenspiegel" played on a Wiener horn sounds funky, is out of tune, very un-beautiful and absolutely perfect! Unlike conductors, most composers know what is easy, what is idiomatic and what isn't, because (unlike conductors) they welcome feedback from musicians! Whatever the piece, most likely the composer wants that communication of struggle when they write the lick. If they wanted is soft, they'd write it for viola. Why write a high note for horn when you could get the same note played much more safely by flugelhorn?

    A soft high note will never sound like Maynard playing three blocks away. It will, (and should) however, convey the fact that the player is taking the instrument close to one of the extremes. Audiences love risk and risk taking -- remember the aligator pit that 1980's TV revival roller-derby instituted?

    Wouldn't the interest of music making would be better served if we approached higher-softer-slower with the same enthusiasm as we approach higher-faster-louder?

    (If we could only make it as fun, too...)
     
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Richard Strauss grew up with one of the greatest horn players of his time, Franz Strauss, his father.
    I have a friend who auditioned for the Solo Horn position in the Vienna Phil on one of those horns, he sounded spectacular on that clanky piece of plumbing.
    I don't know who you have heard but I would get some recordings, or get to a Vienna concert quick.

    The living composers I have played for, when writing high soft passages, expect angelic sounds to come from the trumpet. I have never been asked to sound as though I were straining. A beautiful pianissimo is breath-taking.
    Wilmer
     
  4. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Manny,

    Lou Ranger's lyric for that particular passage was "If I..miss this high C..it's unemploy..ment..for..me...(f, eb, c, C)"

    Best,
    EC
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    :lol:

    ML
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    mea culpa!

    I was hoping to more make the point that if a composer wanted a high soft passage played into a box on a piccolo trumpet using a flugelhorn mouthpiece he would specify it to be so played. Sorry if I missed the mark.

    I think that part of what makes a beautiful pianissimo so breath-taking is the danger that comes from taking a note to the edge of silence in rhythm.

    (As to the Wienerhorn, "The Record Shelf," on NPR once did have a comparison of "Til" openings, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and the "ridiculous" Wien recording was witty and funny and funky and perfectly in character.)
     
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    The lick Manny spoke of in Das Lied, the Parsifal solo, the choral in the sixth movement of the Mahler Third Symphony and my favorite soft passage from Death and Transfiguration are moments of sublime beauty. Every major trumpet player in the symphonic field has a pppp that is done on standard equipment. No tricks, just beauty.
    Think of the final chorus entrance in the Verdi Requiem or at the end of the Mahler 2nd Symphony. Now strive for that ethereal quality on your instrument. Singing is what we want.
    Wilmer
     

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