Trumpet Discussion Discuss What is going on in this world? in the General forums; The overall level of trumpet playing in terms of technique has risen dramatically over the last 50 years IMHO. Whilst ...
What is going on in this world?
The overall level of trumpet playing in terms of technique has risen dramatically over the last 50 years IMHO. Whilst playing the Brandenburg was considered quite a feat 50 years ago, many conservatory students finish it off in their sleep (ok, that was a bit of an exaggeration). There are some players with superb techniques and who knows, in 100 years time, their technique may not seem so superb anymore. Yes, people still struggle to develop their technique but given enough time and correct practice most if not all can achieve the technique which was considered as 'virtuosic' many years ago. I think this is a trend with many other instruments as well. I've read somewhere that only about 10 pianists were able to play Liszt etudes at the time it was composed. And now, many conservatory students can play it. At this rate, lack of techniques will cease to be a factor in failing auditions but MUSICIANSHIP will be the main factor. I know that is the case in many situations already but it will become even more so right down to the very small community groups. What do you people think?
Bach Stradivarius 180/37
"I built my staccato like the piano; low register with the warmth of the cello; lyrical melodies like the violin; running notes like the clarinet" - Maurice André
I think part of what's happening is that contemporary composers are writing such demanding parts that it's forcing us to hone our craft as much as possible. I know in the recent big band stuff I've been premiering playing lead there have been a LOT of High A's to Double C#'s in the music. G's were common 40 years ago but things have changed due to the musical stimuli out there (Faddis, arturo, Wayne for high notes... Sergei, Hakan, Stevens, etc for contemporary classical music).
Originally Posted by _TrumpeT_
I used to think the Brandenburg was the end-all-be-all piece. Now that's I've spent some time with it and am performing it in a month I actually don't find it that challenging at all. It's an endurance test more than anything and I just have to stay efficient with my air and light with my articulation.
How about overall improvements in equipment?
I wouldn't think equipment has TOO much to do with it, while there has been without a doubt a revolution in the building of trumpet not seen before (Monette, Yamahas, etc), a lot of the prized instruments even today remain the horns built 50 years ago or before, for example getting your hands on a great playing Mt. Vernon Bach, chances are that those horns will play better than a lot of stuff offered today, same goes with the old Selmer Paris piccs, and such. I just think the stakes have been raised quite a bit, whether it be from revolutionary players that have changed the game *Herseth*cough* or due to the overwhelming number of trumpet players, it forces us to try to stand out above the crowd, my two pesos.
Music isn't a career, it's a way of life.
Quite simply, it seems to be "survival of the fittest". There is always someone better. We as a species are constantly evolving. What we do now was science fiction not 100 years ago.
"Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting
With better and better players come better and better teachers. Even those who are considered "naturals" got there because of someone else's influence or tutelage.
No doubt, better instrument and accessory (mouthpiece) design, and better manufacturing practices, have also had a profound effect on the improvement that we've seen. Add to that what the recording industry has done to make the listening aspect of the game another part of that process.
Today's players are better informed, but not better players than the "best of the best" fifty years ago. I was on that 1965 recording with Bob Nagel of the Brandenburg Concerto. He really did not need an assistant, I played a few of the lower notes. Nagel chipped one note, a written high D, in the first movement. They were ready to move on, but Bob insisted that they do another take. There was no "punching in" in 1965. They recorded the whole movement for ONE note. Bob nailed it
Originally Posted by _TrumpeT_
Today's players are a continuation of the great players of the past not a new breed.
There were no CDs fifty years ago. Adolf Scherbaum was one of the few trumpet players who bothered with the high trumpet repertoire in those days.
And how about George Swift? Jerry Callet turned me on to him. His duets with Alec Templeton are unbelievable.
The trumpet player today is plugged in, that is the difference.
Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear.
I also don't believe the level is higher now. Wynton is doing some impressive things on trumpet, but what about Clifford playing Donna Lee or Cherokee 50 years ago. Or Maynard's playing in his early years. I never heard that kind of playing later on. Faddis isn't playing higher compared to Cat Anderson or Bud Brisbois. I still think Gozzo is the best leadplayer ever lived. I never heard Moto Perpetuo played like Mendez did.
Just to name a few...
Great insight Wilmer; Thanks!
Originally Posted by wiseone2
I would not have thought about it that way but I'm now inclined to agree with you.
2008 Eclipse MHY Bb Trumpet in Silver Plate with interchangable leadpipes
Getzen Capri Bb Cornet
Bach, GR & Monette mouthpieces
It seems like a contradiction, but I think the quality of live music has risen, as recorded music has become more prevalent. Great recordings let us know what is possible, like the breaking of the four-minute mile suddenly made it possible for lots of runners to break it also
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
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