Tips for playing Hummel on Bb

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by KTandCompany, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. KTandCompany

    KTandCompany New Friend

    Apr 29, 2013
    Hi everyone! I'm a music major and my professor is having me play the first movement of the Hummel for my jury this semester. All anyone tells me is "it's really just meant to be played on Eb." Problem being, I don't have access to an Eb. SO.
    Do you have any advice or tips for playing it on Bb? It's such a great piece and I want to do it justice.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    There is no rule anywhere that says that the Hummel (or Haydn or Neruda) must be played on Eb trumpet, nor any rule that any of these Classical Concerti should be played on Eb, so Bb isn't just allowed, but for me, even preferred. I find the modern Bb sounds a lot more like the original keyed Eb instrument than a modern Eb does. The Keyed Trumpet

    The Bb will work just fine.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I too prefer it on the Bb.

    There is a VERY strong tendency to use the smallest trumpet that one can get away with - for security. This has even found its way into major symphony orchestras. I think the sacrifice is too great.

    Tips: study the score before playing a note. Enter ALL breathing marks and stick with them for the whole preparation time. Start with a metronome. There is nothing more stupid than not getting the first 8 bars where there is NO ARTISTIC LICENSE not perfectly in time. Very seldom do I hear the correct rhythm at the beginning. It is a matter of sloppiness, even from VERY fine players. Check this YouTube out - rotary Bb and in the original E-Major (even although it says Eb)

    J. N. Hummel 1/2 Trumpet concerto in E-flat major (David Guerrier, Nantes, 2005) - YouTube
    J. N. Hummel 2/2 Trumpet concerto in E-flat major (David Guerrier, Nantes, 2005) - YouTube

    My favorite rendition! David is a french horn player....... Check out his Carnaval of Venice.....
  4. eviln3d

    eviln3d Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2013
    I would suggest you listen to some different players doing it... decide which you like better and then simply use them as a benchmark to aim for. I would suggest you find Timofey Dokshizer, Maurice Andre and Wynton Marsalis are a decent range to give a listen to. Personally I prefer the Dokshizer version, but that is probably because when I was studying trumpet he was considered the gold standard by which all trumpet players should be measured according to my teacher... so he was the first trumpet player I ever really listened to... but you will notice they all sound good, and yet are all to me distinct enough that I could tell you which was which just hearing a couple of bars...

    There is no secrete to playing it well, or doing it justice beyond lots of practice... just be glad you are only doing the first movement and not the 3rd its a bear to do justice to.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I'll simply echo what others have said - listen to a lot of different recordings, find what you like, find what you don't like, and try to find some takeaways to incorporate into your own version. Don't try to sound like someone else - you never will. It's important to develop your own sound. I say this having never once performed the Hummel, (worked on it many times, and did it once for an audition, but never for an audience) but I believe it to be a universal bit of good advice that I got somewhere else, and freely pass along whenever it seems appropriate.

    FWIW, as a drummer, I tend to do a lot of listening to find the things that I like, and I use that, along with the current context of the situation (instruments, players, parts being played/not being played, the room, etc) to structure my part accordingly so that it fits for the situation at hand. While I think in general it's less important for a trumpet solo work, similar things may still apply - if you are playing with a piano rather than a full strings orchestra, it might be a somewhat lighter approach overall.

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