Projection, etc

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by scottcgr, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. scottcgr

    scottcgr New Friend

    Mar 13, 2008
    Hi Mr. Mccandless,

    I recently had the privilege of seeing the TSO perform Tchaik 5 about two weeks before seeing the OSM perform the very same work (I'm from Toronto, studying with Ed at McGill). Both performances were expectedly stunning, but I was struck by one contrast between your personal performance and that of your counterpart in Montreal. In some spots where the trumpet is expected to soar out over the entire orchestra (i.e., the ascension to the high B in the final section, many others) I found Mr. Merkelo seemed to get occasionally lost in the shuffle while you managed to do a remarkable job of staying on top throughout.

    My question would be, as a principal trumpeter in such a situation, what strategies do you have for making sure you project over the entire orchestra and are heard at the top and back of the hall, without descending into tastelessness, fatigue, etc. beyond of course simply "playing louder". Thanks for your time.
  2. brass2002

    brass2002 New Friend

    Sep 12, 2004
    Firstly, please let me apologize for writing before Mr. McCandless replies.
    I just feel strongly that the above-mentioned statement is not fair to Mr. Merkelo. I do appreciates the poster's question about projection.
    Sometimes, I think IMHO when we go to concert, what we hear about balance and projection it may not reflect the player's abilities directly, maybe Mr. Merkelo wanted to play louder but the conductor did not. Who know?
  3. scottcgr

    scottcgr New Friend

    Mar 13, 2008
    I was not meaning to make a detrimental comment towards his performance-which was very, very, good-but to note a difference I heard in two different performances. Also the shape of RTH and Salle W-P are of course extremely different, and I couldn't say about the conductor's possible influence (though I would doubt it had a major effect). Sorry if you misunderstood.
  4. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2008
    Hi Scott,

    I appreciate your question and compliment. Thanks.

    First let me say that there are a lot of reasons that Paul and I may have sounded different. The halls are different. In my hall where you sit can really effect how you hear the orchestra. The conductor in Toronto that week wanted a lot of trumpet in several spots. That could have been very different in Montreal. Just keep that in mind when thinking about the two performances.

    As for how I approach those kinds of passages in the repertoire here are a few ideas that I like to think about when playing powerfully.

    First for me is vibrato. While it's important to not to use too much vibrato remember that vibrato can draw attention so even though you aren't playing louder you are noticed more which will result in the same thing.

    Tounging a little more aggressively can also get you noticed more. Again it can't be too aggressive because you wouldn't want to get outside what the music asks for, but it can be effective in getting you heard more.

    Lastly I try to stay right on top of the stick so that I'm almost in first all of the time. Of course I am sure to be with the orchestra, but I like to be on the leading edge. This also gives be a little more ear attention.

    Please let me know if you have any quesitons.


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