Trumpet Discussion Discuss Busser: Andante et Scherzo in the General forums; Hi Manny,
I am preparing this piece for a recital later on in the year and I haven't as yet ...
Busser: Andante et Scherzo
I am preparing this piece for a recital later on in the year and I haven't as yet found a recording of it. When preparing a piece I usually get a few different recordings of a piece and copy my original score and after careful listening delete all of the dynamics/articulations etc and start annotating again using the recorings of great trumpeters as my guide.
As I can't find any recordings of Busser's Andante et Scherzo I wondered, if you know the piece, if you could give me any tips on how you would perform it. Thank you.
Sorry to disappoint you... I have no experience with the piece. Think of it this way: your interpretation will be fresh as you have no one else's tradition to go by. If you want to have a better sense of the accompaniment perhaps you can find a pianist to read it with you and you can make a rough recording of the "sesion" just for reference. Maybe you could even make a recording of the piano part alone for your own uses if you have a good friend who can play it that well.
Shame that you don't know this piece Manny, I was hoping for some of your thoughts on it.
I played this at university (this was the changing piece for me - it was this one that I consider to be the one that started me on the right path) and have taught it a bunch since. I still haven't come across any recordings of it, although have been slightly tempted to put a version down on tape myself sometime.
If you don't mind thoughts about this piece from a much lesser player than Manny, I will happily put my own thinking about the piece down on paper (or screen, but that doesn't sound quite right). My copy of this piece still has much of the scribbling from my university lessons on it - I am more than happy to share.
Thanks you don't even have to ask... let's just see if we can offer some help to Graham and myself, quite frankly, as I'd like to know about another good piece.
Doug Lindsay (Associate Principal, Cincinatti) recorded the Busser. Tap Music (www.tapmusic.com) currently sells it for $16.
Thank you very much for your replies and offers of help and the recording reference. I will be working through it with my accompianist which I will start soon.
Mike, I would really appreciate your thoughts on this piece as you obviously know it extremely well from when you studied at university, and from your teaching of it. I will be doing the ABRSM performance assessment in November in preparation for the Dip ABRSM which I hope to do next April/May, and this is one of the pieces I would like to include in my recital. Not having any trumpet teachers over here makes it quite difficult, but I have decided to get lessons on my musicianship from an excellent flautist/pianist which I think will help.
The biggest thing I worked on as a student and that I work on with mine is the idea that there is a HUGE amount of detail in this piece. Just about every bar has something in that can be worked on, especially in terms of dynamics and articulation or a combination of both (frequently the case). Much of the French trumpet music of this time was written for end of year exams at the conservatoires, meaning that every detail is expected to be included.
In the Andante, the habit which I was forever being warned against was breathing in between the tenuto notes. The way we worked on it was that those notes with tenuto are supposed to be driven through, no gaps, keep the airflow constant. Where you breathe is up to you, but avoid breathing between any two notes that have tenuto marks on.
Dynamics are a very important part of the opening Andante. The opening should have a definite impact. A full fat sound is essential. When you come down to mf (bar 7), I would actually come down a little more, so that the crescendo through bars 7 & 8 can really make an impression.
A common breath amongst my students (before we really work at it) is at the end of bar 11 (the low concert G). I try to get them avoiding this one. In fact, I quite like a slight crescendo through this note (even though it is just a crotchet (quarter note)), it really gives the octave jump a nice kick.
The next entry (in my edition line 3, just after the 3 bars rest) - really quiet, as soft as you dare. Aim for a total contrast to the first entry - a chance to demonstrate your smooth, seductive side
Throughout the Andante, aim for the most lyrical style you can. When it is a louder dynamic - loud and lyrical (imagine a great operatic tenor belting away), when it is softer - soft and lyrical. The end of the Andante should really die away to as soft as you possibly can.
The Scherzo - really aim to sound like you are enjoying the piece. Let it bounce along.
How fast you take the Scherzo is up to you. The tempo mark is between 132-144, which gives you quite a scope for performance tempo. I have played it at the top end (and a bit beyond ) as well as nearer the lower. It all depends how confident you are of rattling off the semiquavers (16th notes) and how the accompanist finds the part. What speed my students work on this piece depends mainly on how well they double tongue.
Again, aim for the dynamic contrasts. When the changes in dynamics are bar by bar (take the first two bars of the Scherzo as an example) - don't allow a cresendo or diminuendo to sneak into your playing. Aim for the changes to be sudden, leave the gradual changes for when they are actually written. The effect this can have is quite dramatic, especially if you are playing in venues with a fair amount of echo. When you have a bar of forte, then one of piano, the piano bar can almost appear out of nowhere. Likewise, when the change is the opposite way round, the forte passage can hit the audience straight between the eyes.
The ending is a place where you can really enjoy yourself. The final trill is one of those wonderful moments when a trill can start almost inaudible and rise to being practically deafening for the last couple of bars.
The majority of this piece is on the page in front of you, play what is there (which is one heck of a lot) and you can't go far wrong.
Hope some of this helps, if not, just yell at me - I'll try and do get something more useful down soon.
Manny - it's a nice piece this one (and rapidly becoming a standard of the repertoire over here), I would definitely recommend you getting to know it - if only so we can hear a recording of you playing it
Thank you very much Mike - I will print this off and study it in more detail with the music. I was struggling with the interpretation of the Andante more than the Scherzo, as this seems to bounce along in a cheerful cheeky way and sounds quite good as written. I will go home and practise using your advice. Three quick questions -1) do you slur much of the Andante?2) is it better to play the high D towards the end which is a optional note in my edition? 3) I don't understand the circle with a cross through it and the coda marked at the end, it sems to me like you just play the music from beginning to the end but is there meant to be a repeat? - I am a bit unsure as I have not seen this notation and thought it may be unique to the french? - my edition is the Leduc which is probably the same as yours as it's the one recommended by ABRSM.
Thank you again,
Yep - same edition, that will make discussion that little bit easier
Originally Posted by music matters
That sounds all too familiar - musical interpretation of slower passages always seems to be more difficult.
I was struggling with the interpretation of the Andante more than the Scherzo
Only where it is marked. Where the slurs come within another slur (or phrase mark), I soft tongue the start of each inner slur. For example, line 3, first 2 bars - soft tongue the B (all notes being described for Bb trumpet - I am guessing you are playing it on that instrument from the way you write) at the beginning, the C crotchet at the end of the first bar, the B that starts the 2nd bar then both the E and D# at the end. As smooth a tongue as you can do, but not quite slurred.
1) do you slur much of the Andante?
I prefer it when I play it, but for my students I leave it to personal choice. It all depends how confident you are of hitting the D at the end of the piece and which version you prefer. I have had students play the lower option and I have liked the way they have interpreted it. It is a personal matter of taste.
2) is it better to play the high D towards the end which is a optional note in my edition?
I have been taught this as an optional cut. I assume this is for contest performances where there is a time limit. I have seen very similar on a number of older brass band pieces.
3) I don't understand the circle with a cross through it and the coda marked at the end, it sems to me like you just play the music from beginning to the end but is there meant to be a repeat?
I have never used the cut and have never taught it. I should probably try it one day with the cut, just to see how/if it works.
anytime - hope it is of some use.
I have also used this piece in recitals and competitions a number of times. Spent a very long time at a lesson with Howard Snell on this piece knocking it into shape!
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