For the love of melody.
We all practice technique and try to play very difficult pieces. What often makes the biggest different to an audience is the ability to play a simple melody with emotion to communicate the strong feelings of the music.
Let me try again – Peter Roberts soprano Eb cornet
It is important to play melodies every day, to sing them and to hear different people play or sing them, too. These things help a trumpet player to grow as a musician, to have a deeper understanding of music they are trying to perform, and to be able to perform with that understanding from the heart.
There is a lot one could say about ways to play any melody, or who might perform it best. I think the best way to start to think about melodies is to listen to beautiful melodies. Thinking back to the recordings that were very powerful to me as a new listener of music, the following recordings remain with me still. I often relisten to them. I hope you find these inspiring as did I. These are fantastic compositions and have been captured memorable performances!
Elgar: Enigma Variations, Arturo Toscanini, NBC Symphony 1951
Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountain, Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Vaughn-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
I feel fortunate to have studied trumpet in Philadelphia. I attended many concerts during my college years. The level of playing by the Philadelphia Orchestra was amazing and inspiring. That said, every year there would be a handful of concerts that were memorable stand outs among the many that an incredible orchestra like the Philadelphia Orchestra performs. Many are etched in my memory to this day. Music that is electric, a moment when magic happens, unbelievable – among them: Gustav Mahler Symphony #3: Mr. Gilbert Johnson’s post horn solo, wow! I wish they had recorded the Mahler that week, however they did not.
Attend live concerts whenever you can, listen to recordings when you cannot. Know that you can study with the best players in the world, if you practice hard. Music is not about a trumpet solo or a short excerpt, fall in love with the varieties of sound. Learn about the great singers and players of as many instruments as you can. Listen to all kinds of ensembles and genres of music and let it make a difference in your life.
The Concerto No. 1 by Vladimir Peskin one of the wonderful Russian trumpet concertos in the trumpet repertoire. This is a romantic piece that provides the soloist with the opportunity to show a fantastically rich sound color and a personal interpretation. Here are two different and outstanding performances. Notice both the differences (ex. tempos) and find also the common thoughts. How do they project their individual personalities in their interpretations and what remains the same because of the markings given by the composer?
Timpfei Dokshizer trumpet, Sergej Solodovnik piano
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Peskin Concerto No. 1 for trumpet in c minor
There are many Russian concertos and concert pieces, many of which are available from Marc Reift. Collections by both Dokshitser and Nakariakov can be added to your library!
One more piece: An exciting Russian trumpet soloist touring today. Hear him perform live if at all possible!
Sergei Nakariakov trumpet, Arutunian Trumpet Concerto
A Winter Night Anne McNamara trumpet – a new CD to add to your library
Ewazen Fantasia for 7 Trumpets – I just did a performance of this work with my Seoul National University Trumpet Ensemble. They had to work to make it happen but the growth and fun they had in the process gave them so much pride and they walked away wanting to play another concert next year. This was a big change in attitude. This is the performance they listen to the most.
Trumpet Excerpts Online – a starting point for learning your excerpts. You need to do much more listening then you think, all kinds (genre) of music, more works then just feature trumpet. Learn to identify composer’s music by their tonal language and know the different musical time periods.
A collection of authentic parts in the public domain of audition excerpts for trumpet.
The work of Regen Le Roy, from the University of Michigan School of Information.
A subset of the above is chamber music: this could be very helpful to your development.
University of Michigan School of Information
Sorry!!! The teacher in me requires that I say you can also use: SCALES and ARPEGGIOS from the above site. University of Michigan School of Information
Arturo Sandoval trumpet, London Symphony Arutunian Concerto (for a comparison to the version above).
First Light (Bb Cornet Solo by Ben Hollings) – Kirsty Abbotts cornet &
CMFCB from the CD – A Search for Peace. Kirsty Abbotts is a new cornetist to me, such a great sound!!
For the first half of the month I continued to practice Walter Roger’s The Harp of Tara for my Farewell Concert at Seoul National University. The performance went well, and important to me, my students loved the piece that was so different than the cornet solos that the were familiar with.
The second part of the month I began to practice extended scales and chromatic scales on the piccolo trumpet. I have been lazy and it is time to return to my routine to prepare for playing Bach’s Brandenburg No. 2. This routine helps me focus and get to a level of functionality with the piccolo trumpet. It also includes a variation routine based on Charles Colin’s Lip Flexibilities Volume 3. Finally, I also do some exercises from Rolf Quinque’s ASA Method which both help my endurance and the smoothness of transition between registers.
I always practice, but I use specific materials and methods of practice. These help me to produce results and importantly have the ability to be in focus to get that result. Remember to have a thoughtful plan of practice and use your time wisely.