Which Solo Line gives you the Worst Willies?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Another thread got me firing up Sibelius 1st Symphony on U-tube as back in my 'golden age' I had a few tasty solos in it that my very humble YTR-232 handled pretty darned well.

    That got me thinking.

    Okay the really juicy ones in the final movement are a bit above the stave, but my memories of them are quite warm and comfortable. I have memories of other solos where the feelings are a fair bit closer to abject terror.

    And they were neither the high, nor the fast, nor the loud ones. I'll hold them in abeyance for now.

    Which are your scariest?
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    My first solo ever - and therefore the scariest - was a little bit of six notes in the middle of Schubert's 6th. Just a simple signal - but no one else playing. I was a total newbie - less than twelve months trumpet - and found myself First Trumpet of the Munich University Symphony, numbering at the time a staggering 154... many of them musicologists or budding music professionals. How they ever came to put me - a second year history student with less than a record on trumpet - in that seat without audition, I don't know. But although I almost dropped my trumpet - my first and only Bach 37, later fortunately stolen - I did those six notes and whenever I fire up my old cassette machine and listen to that concert recording, I'm still quite pleased with the result.
  3. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    The solo in the second movement of the Gershwin Piano Concerto. You have to know the style, be able to play that style and have the chops for the large interval jumps.
    Judge for yourself. Approximately 15 minutes in.

    Rich T.
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    ...and have the right quality bit of Axminster carpet to shove down the bell.

    Rich, that one is seriously scary!
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    It is. I played it in music school. I was too naive to know how hard it was to get right.
    Some guys play in hat, some use Crown Royal bags to get that slightly muffled, bluesy sound.
    I used to work for a customs broker who handled an importer who brought in Axminster carpet. After clearing it, I would send it to the finest hotels in Chicago for installation.
    Those who heard Herseth play this solo said they had goose flesh listening to him.
    Rich T.
  6. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    The worst one I've played was a couple years ago. Every year, my youth orchestra does a side by side with the buffalo philharmonic. We both are on the stage at the same time and play the same music together for a concert. My teacher, conveniently, is the principal trumpet in the bpo. So we were playing Copland Billy the kid suite, and during the concert I choked up on the slow solo before the gun battle, with my teacher sitting right next to me and a packed audience. Fortunately, the next year we played pines of Rome and I nailed the offstage solo in the second movement, therefore (at least in my mind) redeeming myself!
  7. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    I'm dumb, so is that actually carpet or some sort of foam it looks like?
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
  9. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    Les Miserable tune Solo! :(
    Went pretty well though...
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I was going to relate something about various heroic performances of the Last Post in the face of nithering weather etc etc. But I've done that one already. So I'll divulge a more painful memory.

    It was one of those weekend student music festivals, the highlight of which was to be a performance of Dvorak's New World Symphony by a scratch orchestra. A couple of iffy keys for Bb trumpet (finishes in written F# major as I recall). Quite looking forward to it.

    Then the disasters started to happen.

    2nd oboe came down with a dose of something nasty and disappeared along with his rather important cor anglais.

    The remaining oboe announced that even if we could find another cor anglais, she didn't know how to play it.

    We had more trumpets than strictly necessary.....

    ....and the conductor was my school head of music.

    So with the strictest instructions that I must strive to emulate the true and peculiar sound of the cor anglais (as opposed to some brass bandy cornetty sound), I was handed the part for oboe II/cor anglais. Cor anglais is pitched in F. The oboe isn't.

    Actually, the famous Da-di-deeee, Da-di-daaaah at the start of the 2nd movement was a bit of a doddle. For me, it was Eb major, all within the stave.

    Then the luck ran out.

    I find myself sight-reading a key change into C# minor. Realise rather late in the day that it's switched back to oboe II so I should be muted, transposing up a tone and sounding like a scared duck rather than down a 4th and sounding like a badly wounded okapi. Either way, it's into keys I didn't know existed.

    That wasn't the end of it by any means, but it's become just too painful for me to continue any further. Let's just say that the okapi didn't make it.
    zipperdu likes this.

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