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Author Topic: Leopold Mozart trombone "concerto"  (Read 6978 times)
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harrison.t.reed

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« on: Apr 01, 2010, 09:25AM »

I've always wanted to post a question to the knowledgable members of this forum in regards to the Leopold Mozart "concerto".  I know it is three movements extracted from a larger "Serenade" intended for multiple soloists.  I also know that it is quite possible that alto/tenor trombone was not one of those instruments intended to actually take a solo part, and some other instrument like a viola was supposed to play the alto clef line.  I've even read many articles written by various experts who show that it was definately not intended for the alto trombone but could have been written for tenor, because the ornaments only make sense on a Bb instrument.

My question is this:

Why does every edition available use a different set of movements or a different ordering of the movements?  Typically, it seems like we get the Allegro, Adagio, and Menuetto movements in that order.  What's ridiculous to me is this:  If you look at the actual score from the Serenade, the "menuetto" movement doesn't come after the adagio.  It doesn't even seem to work at all as a conclusion to a concerto.  I feel like the Allegro makes an excellent first movement, the adagio is beautiful as a second movement, but the menuetto...What is up with that?!  Now in the score the movement that comes after it is the one that Christian Lindberg uses in his edition.  It is, albeit much more difficult, a much better finale to this piece, and it actually comes after the adagio in the original score.  Why is it that everyone plays the mangled, incorrect version?  Was this version created because the original arranger decided that the Presto movement following the adagio just could not have been possible on a trombone?  Does anyone know more about this piece, and the reasons behind the strange arrangements that seem to be the norm?
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 01, 2010, 01:30PM »

I've always wanted to post a question to the knowledgable members of this forum in regards to the Leopold Mozart "concerto".  I know it is three movements extracted from a larger "Serenade" intended for multiple soloists.
Besides the three movements for solo trombone, there are two for solo trumpet.

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I also know that it is quite possible that alto/tenor trombone was not one of those instruments intended to actually take a solo part, and some other instrument like a viola was supposed to play the alto clef line.
Leopold Mozart himself wrote on the manuscript of the serenade: "In the absence of a good trombonist, a good violinist can play it on the viola."

In fact, the solo trombone part was certainly written for Thomas Gschlatt, who was a member of the Salzburg court chapel from 1756 to 1779. Leopold Mozart may have added the annotation after Gschlatt left Salzburg, because he knew that the chances of coming across another trombonist of Gschalatt's calibre were slim indeed.

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I've even read many articles written by various experts who show that it was definately not intended for the alto trombone but could have been written for tenor, because the ornaments only make sense on a Bb instrument.
Many articles by various experts? And I thought I was the only one to make such claims! In any case, there is more to it than just the trills.

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My question is this:

Why does every edition available use a different set of movements or a different ordering of the movements?  Typically, it seems like we get the Allegro, Adagio, and Menuetto movements in that order.
Actually, you've pretty much answered your own question. The so-called "concerto" consists of three movements taken from a larger work, a serenade. The ninth (final) movement doesn't call for trombone, so what trombonist is going to program a movement, especially a final movement, in which he has nothing to do? And the three movements just don't make it as a stand-alone work. Probably the only chance of hearing the whole work in the proper order of movements would be if a conductor decides to program the serenade as a whole.

By the way, this sort of work is not at all unusual. The "concertos" by Michael Haydn are also made up of movements taken from serenades or divertimentos. And it is known that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also wrote several serenades for various solo instruments, including trombone; unfortunately, they don't seem to have survived or at least nobody has found them yet. In one of Michael Haydn's divertimentos, all of the soloists (I think there are five or six) are brought together in the last movement. But here, too, what trombonist is going to put together a performance requiring five other soloists just so that he can have a proper finale on his trombone "concerto"? I don't even think the movement in question has been published.

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Now in the score the movement that comes after it is the one that Christian Lindberg uses in his edition.  It is, albeit much more difficult, a much better finale to this piece, and it actually comes after the adagio in the original score.  Why is it that everyone plays the mangled, incorrect version?  Was this version created because the original arranger decided that the Presto movement following the adagio just could not have been possible on a trombone?
What original arranger? It was the composer who obviously did not want to have the trombone as a solo instrument in the final movement! I don't know Christian Lindberg's recording or what he played in the Presto, but it undoubtedly wasn't originally a trombone part.

Howard
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 01, 2010, 05:39PM »

I'm fairly certain that Lindberg inserted the 9th movement of the divertimento, which is a Presto for strings.  He simply played one of the violin parts on his alto.

Howard, as far as I know you ARE the only person to claim all of the Vienna pieces for the B-flat trombone :)  .  I read your article and wrote a rebuttal to it for my Eighteenth Century course in grad school.  I'm not completely convinced, but your writing was fantastic. Bravo!

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harrison.t.reed

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« Reply #3 on: Apr 01, 2010, 09:57PM »

There's a whole webpage dedicated to alto trombone stuff online.  There's a link in there to an article about "when is an alto an alto" and so forth, and another link to some british trombone society.  Both of these have several articles where people claim that Eb alto trombones never existed and everything written for trombone was intended for a Bb instrument.  The original alto trombone page has another article that tries to refute these claims.  He shows a list of all the trombones from the 1500's onwards that exist in museums, and it turns out that nearly a third are alto trombones.  Of these altos, almost all are in Eb, and just a few are in D, and there are a couple wierd ones in F.  But what is interesting is that when classical tromboning was at its height, almost a third of all trombones were altos, and it was the Bass model that was the rarity.  I have also read your article on why all of those old concerti were probably for Bb instruments, based on the ornamentation.

I guess all I have to say is that it is damn hard to feel comfortable playing any of those (aside from the wagenseil, which is almost a baby level piece) concertos on a Bb instrument.  If you practice your trills, and use alternate positions, the partials lay a lot nicer on an alto trombone.  I'd probably want to agree that perhaps the Mozart was written for alto in D.  That might make a little more sense.  But to play on a tenor...I've heard people try and the alto always sounds more comfortable, more clear, and more like a baroque piece of music.  The wagenseil seems to have been made for Eb alto.  It'd be difficult to convince me otherwise.  The range is perfect for the instrument and the ornaments work easily on alto. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnAV-4qrq1A I believe that this guy nails every one, using basic positions.

I guess I was wondering if the current order of the movements in the serenade are correct?  I thought we didn't have a real manuscript left, just copies and such.  There really exists an original of this piece?  Even the F. David concerto's original score was lost forever in a fire, and that was only a hundred-ish years ago.  I had asked christian a while back about that third movement and he seemed pretty convinced that it was the one intended for trombone as a finale.  I know he's wierd but we're talking about a guy who really pulled a lot of pieces out of the depths of history back in the 80's.  He knows his stuff.
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 02, 2010, 01:04AM »

I'm fairly certain that Lindberg inserted the 9th movement of the divertimento, which is a Presto for strings.  He simply played one of the violin parts on his alto.
I assumed as much.

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Howard, as far as I know you ARE the only person to claim all of the Vienna pieces for the B-flat trombone :)  .  I read your article and wrote a rebuttal to it for my Eighteenth Century course in grad school.  I'm not completely convinced,
I'd be interested to hear what you came up with to rebut it. I'm sure that there are many people who are not convinced, but so far only one other person has made an attempt, albeit rather feeble, to prove me wrong.

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but your writing was fantastic. Bravo!
Thanks!

Howard
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 02, 2010, 01:23AM »

Howard;

I believe that the correct quotation of Leopold Mozart is:
"In the absence of a good trombonist, a good violinist can play it on the viola."

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« Reply #6 on: Apr 02, 2010, 03:06AM »

There's a whole webpage dedicated to alto trombone stuff online.
I think I know the page you're talking about, but I don't recall some of the things you mention. Maybe it's a different website. Would you care to supply a link?

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There's a link in there to an article about "when is an alto an alto" and so forth, and another link to some british trombone society.  Both of these have several articles where people claim that Eb alto trombones never existed and everything written for trombone was intended for a Bb instrument.
The article "When is an Alto Trombone an Alto Trombone..." is my baby, and there shouldn't be a link to it since it's only been published on paper.

On the British Trombone Society webpage you'll find Ken Shifrin's dissertation, which goes in a different direction, or rather in several different directions, altogether.

My article, by the way, does not claim that the E-flat alto never existed. Rather that the alto trombone was never as wide-spread and widely used as is commonly thought today, and that much of what is today considered part of the alto trombone repertoire was actually written for tenor trombone.

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The original alto trombone page has another article that tries to refute these claims.  He shows a list of all the trombones from the 1500's onwards that exist in museums, and it turns out that nearly a third are alto trombones.
If this is what I think it is, you should take another careful look at it, because the author has misinterpreted and misconstrued a lot of things, and obviously does not want to understand what I've written in my article. (Could it be that the ideas expounded in my article pull the rug out from under his doctoral dissertation?)

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Of these altos, almost all are in Eb, and just a few are in D, and there are a couple wierd ones in F.  But what is interesting is that when classical tromboning was at its height, almost a third of all trombones were altos, and it was the Bass model that was the rarity.
The trouble with this reasoning is that it is based on a list of surviving trombones. However, we have no idea how many instruments have gone lost over the centuries. Judging from the amount of music written for trombone in the 16th through 18th centuries, there were obviously thousands of trombones that did not survive.

Concerning the pitches of the early alto trombone: the only really reliable evidence is to be found in written sources, and until the end of the 18th century, they show the alto trombone to be in D, that is to say, when they don't show it to be in A (but you'll have to read my article to understand that).

As valuable as surviving instruments may be as evidence, they have often been repaired and/or altered over the centuries - if they are even in playable condition - making it difficult, if not impossible, to determine their original pitch. Moreover, the list to which you refer is taken from Trevor Herbert's book The Trombone, and I know that Trevor did not examine all the listed instruments personally, but in many cases relied on published catalogues or other secondardy sources. There is nothing to be said against this in a general history of the trombone, but you can't really use it to prove anything since it doesn't provide information about when, where, and how the instruments were employed. For example, if you take a closer look at the surviving alto trombones, you'll see that many of them are from the second half of the 18th century and were made for, and in many cases are still in the possession of, the Moravian church. That is to say, these are instruments that never came into contact with music of sort written by L. and WA Mozart, J. and M. Haydn, Wagenseil, Albrechtsberger, etc.

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  I have also read your article on why all of those old concerti were probably for Bb instruments, based on the ornamentation.
I assume that you're referring to my short piece in the ITA Journal, which was really just a letter-to-the-editor in reply to an aritcle by Chris Buckholz. If so, I suggest that you get ahold of my article “When is an Alto Trombone an Alto Trombone? When is a Bass Trombone a Bass Trombone? – The Makeup of the Trombone Section in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Orchestras,” Historic Brass Society Journal 17 (2005), pp. 37-79. This is wider in scope and presents many of the actual soruces.

And while you're at it, you may want to take a look at my article on the pitch of early trombones: “The trombone: Changing times, changing slide positions,” Brass Bulletin 36 (1981), pp. 52-63. (It was an early effort, but has held up well.)

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I guess all I have to say is that it is damn hard to feel comfortable playing any of those (aside from the wagenseil, which is almost a baby level piece) concertos on a Bb instrument. If you practice your trills, and use alternate positions, the partials lay a lot nicer on an alto trombone.  I'd probably want to agree that perhaps the Mozart was written for alto in D.  That might make a little more sense.  But to play on a tenor...I've heard people try and the alto always sounds more comfortable, more clear, and more like a baroque piece of music.
I have to concede that no evidence survives concerning the size of the trombone played by Thomas Gschlatt in Salzburg. And my hypothesis that he, too, played tenor trombone is clearly indicated to be just that, a hypothesis. The parts written for Gschlatt do indeed lie very high, on average much higher than the Wagenseil and Albrechtsberg concertos.

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The wagenseil seems to have been made for Eb alto.  It'd be difficult to convince me otherwise.  The range is perfect for the instrument and the ornaments work easily on alto. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnAV-4qrq1A I believe that this guy nails every one, using basic positions.
Several years ago, I witnessed a competition for early trombone sponsored by the French ensemble Les Sacqueboutiers. The Wagenseil was the required piece for the final round. Of the five finalists, one played it on alto, the other four on tenor (probably because the edition is in tenor clef). The difference was striking: the fellow who played it on alto had to go through all kinds of acrobatics to produce the trills, while those who played it on tenor simply played the trills with no muss, no fuss.

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I guess I was wondering if the current order of the movements in the serenade are correct?  I thought we didn't have a real manuscript left, just copies and such.  There really exists an original of this piece?
Yes, the original set of parts is preserved in the library of Seitenstetten Monastery in Lower Austria. The annotation by Leopold Mozart that I mentioned earlier is found in Mozart's hand on the solo trombone part. The order of the movements in the modern score, but not in the trombone "concerto" editions, is surely correct.

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Even the F. David concerto's original score was lost forever in a fire, and that was only a hundred-ish years ago.
True, but the first edition published in Leipzig by Friedrich Kistner shortly after the premiere still exists. And I know of a hand-written copy of this edition from the late 19th century.

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I had asked christian a while back about that third movement and he seemed pretty convinced that it was the one intended for trombone as a finale.
Third movement? Which third movement?

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I know he's wierd but we're talking about a guy who really pulled a lot of pieces out of the depths of history back in the 80's.  He knows his stuff.
Does he? I have my doubts.

Howard
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 02, 2010, 03:18AM »

Howard;

I believe that the correct quotation of Leopold Mozart is:
"In the absence of a good trombonist, a good violinist can play it on the viola."
Oooops... Right you are, Avishai. Thanks! I've corrected it.

H
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 02, 2010, 04:28AM »

Let's understand one thing.

There can be a difference between "historically correct" and "pleasing to the listener".

If Christian Lindberg chose to use a movement not originally intended for trombone as his finale and it works, that's fine.  As long as he doesn't represent this as a historical performance.

We trombonists "steal" music from many composers to perform.  The Mozart Bassoon concerto K.191 is a good example.

Sorting through pitch conventions and instruments of the Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical eras is complex and I admire Howard for trying to sort through it.  It makes a lot of sense.  I've always wondered why we had brass instruments in Bb in an orchestra where the strings appear to be in A (at least that's the preferred tuning note ;-) ).  A trombone pitched in A at A-465 becomes Bb at A-440.  It's much harder to change the basic tune of the brass tube (as opposed to changing the tension of a bunch of strings), so we redefine the pitch of the instrument.

Lindberg's performance of the Leopold Mozart "concerto" is good if only because it presents a work rarely heard.  Of course it also shows off his virtuosity, which is another factor :) 
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HowardW
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 02, 2010, 04:55AM »

Let's understand one thing.

There can be a difference between "historically correct" and "pleasing to the listener".

If Christian Lindberg chose to use a movement not originally intended for trombone as his finale and it works, that's fine.  As long as he doesn't represent this as a historical performance.
I'm quite aware of this, and generally do mention that my personal interest is in the historical and historically informed performance aspects. However, as I've said before, I am of the opinion that even a modern orchestral trombonist should have some notion about the historical background of the music he/she plays.

My issues with Christian Lindberg are in another area, which I prefer not to go into here.

Howard
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harrison.t.reed

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« Reply #10 on: Apr 02, 2010, 01:53PM »

Very interesting!  I have definately read the "when is an alto trombone and alto trombone..." article on that british website.  I know you say it is on paper, but the article was definately there, and I definately read it.  It was excellent.  You should probably find out what happened, and why you didn't get royalties though. 

Arguing about the historical significance or correctness is sort of a moot point, because we don't have the extant physical instruments to back up either your or my claims.  Again, it would seem to me that in an era before valves, the Alto Trombone would be a natural choice for people who wanted to be virtuosic and play higher than their peers (typical trumpeter mindset).  Especially after hearing nothing but large bore tenors for so long, it sounds more like what a trombone would have sounded like (yes, I realize that tenors were also a lot smaller back then). 

As far as christian lindberg goes, yes, we had a long chat about it when he was here in...2005?  I'm not sure exactly when, but it was when he played the Aho Concerto (wow!) at DC National Symphony Hall.  I asked him about the final movement and why it was different.  He was pretty convinced that his was the correct way, and that at some point someone decided that the movement was too difficult and changed it to what is generally the final movement today.  If what most people play really is supposed to be the final movement, it might as well not be played as a concerto because it is a truly awful, anti-climatic finale to the piece.

Everyone always is giving Christian so much flak, but I wonder what the trombone world would be like today if he had never been born.  I'm talking about when he first hit the scene in '83.  You read those old ITF articles and people were going nuts.  "huge sound!"  "dark tone!"  "the best recording I've ever heard on trombone".  Today people say his tone is weak, and his vibrato is awful.  I agree that he doesn't play like he used to, not even close.  But something about the tone mindset must've changed between 1980 and 2010.  In 1980 the best trombonists were praising him for his dark tone and musicality, and today they just trash him.  I have a feeling he had at least a little to do with the shift we see today.  An inspiration at least.
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 02, 2010, 01:59PM »

Eh, there's enough virtuosity between all the trombone soloists of the last 150 years (British Brass Band guys, Jorgen van Rijen, Joe Alessi, and of course we can't forget Arthur Pryor himself) that I don't think the lack of Mr. Lindberg would hurt things much... only thing I can think of is your forte, multiphonics, which few other classical trombonists can pull off quite as passably.

Granted, at least one of the most "impressive" sounding pieces (Bourgeois Trombone Concerto) were written for Mr. Lindbergh, but we've also got pieces requiring equal virtuosity written for Jorgen van Rijen, Bill Reichenbach, Ben van Dijk, etc.

I guess the bigger question is whether trombonists would have easily bridged the gap between Arthur Pryor and Jorgen van Rijen without Christian Lindberg in the middle.
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 02, 2010, 02:12PM »

Yeah I wasn't really even talking so much about the virtuosity.  We can hear recordings of Pryor, and by today's standards his tone is terrible.  You really should check out some of the ITF journals from the early 80's.  His first set of recordings and premiers really made an impact on the people who were considered the "best" trombonists of the time.  They really did call his tone dark, and his vibrato "spot on".  What I'm getting at is that if you read those articles, what we think of as a great trombone sound, and what these dudes at that time thought of were two different sounds.  The virtuosity actually wasn't what they were talking about. On a side note, the man has written a crapload of great trombone concertos (along with many very crappy ones!).  I know people hate him, I just think that they aren't thinking in terms of what people were thinking in the 1980's. 

Is there a thread on "why we should hate christian lindberg" ?  I'd be interested in seeing what people have to say other than "Joe alessi is better" which is nonsensical, because this implies that you shouldn't listen to anyone but Joe Alessi.  Or "his tone sounds like when I was in 5th grade" (obviously haven't heard his recording of vox gabrieli or pictures at an exhibition, and if you sounded like that...where the hell are your recordings?).  I think a lot of people listen to like one recording of his and it happens to be the BIS recording of Motorbike Concerto (which is awful) and they think that he's all hype and don't listen to anything else.  The Aho concerto is probably the most substantial trombone concerto I've ever heard and hardly anyone has heard it.  I think there's nearly 100 concertos that have been written for him, and even if only a third are good, that's nearly equal to the ammount available before he was on the scene.

But I don't want to get too far off topic.  As far as whether alto or tenor should be used in these four pieces that we've brought up...It just seems like they are SO high.  I know people can play them on tenor, but it just seems almost sadistic.  The partials are so close together and it gets to the point that you're not even really moving the slide around.
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 02, 2010, 02:27PM »

Well, the one thing you can say about Mr. Lindberg is that he has wide horizons as far as recording music. Granted, he's recorded most of the heavy hitters (Creston Fantasy, Blue Bells, Hindemith Sonata), but he also has recorded a few works that few others have.  Concertino D'hiver isn't recorded frequently (His "Winter Trombone" is one of the few professional recordings of it I could find, as a side note I want this CD badly, but not $40 badly http://www.amazon.com/Armin-Rosin-Trombone-Jan-Koetsier/dp/B000001SP8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1270243151&sr=1-2 )

But yeah- our community orchestra (led by a trombonist) performed the Bourgeois Trombone Concerto about 10 years back for a spring concert with a student of Scott Hartman's on the solo. I'd be hard-pressed to say that that could have happened were it not for Lindberg making the trombone an 'acceptable' classical solo instrument. I've yet to hear that Aho Concerto, I'm hoping to get the chance at some point.

This list of his CDs is pretty damn impressive: http://www.naxos.com/artistinfo/Christian_Lindberg_6291/6291.htm

That being said? I find that I enjoy listening to other trombonists more than him (Did I say 'van Rijen' enough times in two posts yet?), personally. I wouldn't say that I "hate" him.

But, yeah, name recognition counts against most soloists in the eyes of musicians, it seems. People try to be "edgy" to some degree. So, when one of my non-musician friends mentions how much he loves Yo Yo Ma, or Itzak Perlman, I feel obliged to say that I prefer Mstislav Rostropovich and Hilary Hahn.

Is it true? Sure, but I'm being a loudmouthed pedantic jerk by "one-upping" them.
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 02, 2010, 02:34PM »

The Aho is amazing.  Aho, symphony no. 9.  You need a good 30 minutes.  I don't know what to say about it, other than the guy wrote it as a full symphony and didn't think about the limitations of the trombone when he wrote it.  It plays like it was written for some other instrument.  Plus you get to hear some great phrases played on an alto sackbutt. 

I just checked that CD out, the amazon one.  He's one of the trombonists who has the slow vibrato and never seems to start a pitch in tune, just waver around it.  Don't think I could make it through that one man!
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 02, 2010, 11:24PM »

Arguing about the historical significance or correctness is sort of a moot point, because we don't have the extant physical instruments to back up either your or my claims.  Again, it would seem to me that in an era before valves, the Alto Trombone would be a natural choice for people who wanted to be virtuosic and play higher than their peers (typical trumpeter mindset).  Especially after hearing nothing but large bore tenors for so long, it sounds more like what a trombone would have sounded like (yes, I realize that tenors were also a lot smaller back then). 


I disagree.  In the era before valved instruments, the natural choice would most probably have been the tenor trombone.  As Berlioz wrote, the alto trombone sounded shrill and should especially avoid the high register.  The tenor trombone could cover virtually the whole range of the alto and still keep its tone uniform throughout.  Why pick an alto trombone that sounds bad in the register that it is suppose to cover well?        
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 03, 2010, 04:01AM »

Very interesting!  I have definately read the "when is an alto trombone and alto trombone..." article on that british website.
Strange, I couldn't find it there, and also a Google seach came up blank.

Royalties? You must be kidding!

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Arguing about the historical significance or correctness is sort of a moot point, because we don't have the extant physical instruments to back up either your or my claims.  Again, it would seem to me that in an era before valves, the Alto Trombone would be a natural choice for people who wanted to be virtuosic and play higher than their peers
The physical instruments are only one possible source of information. There is also the music as well as written sources. For example, in his treatise Syntagma musicum II (1619), Michael Praetorius mentioned two trombone virtuosi: "the famous master Phileno in Munich" who could play from low D to c', d" and e" "without any particular effort or commotion," and Erhardus Borussus (i.e., Erhard the Prussian) who could play up to g" and down to AA "with fast coloraturas and leaps like on a lyra viol or a cornetto." It's clear from Praetorius's charts of the ranges of the instruments that both these trombonists were playing tenor trombones.

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As far as christian lindberg goes, yes, we had a long chat about it when he was here in...2005?  I'm not sure exactly when, but it was when he played the Aho Concerto (wow!) at DC National Symphony Hall.  I asked him about the final movement and why it was different.  He was pretty convinced that his was the correct way, and that at some point someone decided that the movement was too difficult and changed it to what is generally the final movement today.
Considering that the only known source of the serenade is at least partially in the composer's own hand, it should be clear that the composer never intended to have the trombone play in the last movement. And don't forget, there is also a solo trumpet part in the 4th and 5th movements of the serenade. Did the last movement also have a trumpet part that was too difficult and therefore changed? Before or after the supposed deletion of the trombone part? Lindberg was talking through his hat.

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If what most people play really is supposed to be the final movement, it might as well not be played as a concerto because it is a truly awful, anti-climatic finale to the piece.
Sure it's an awful, anti-climatic finale to the piece. But you don't seem to understand yet that it is not the final movement and was never intended to be the final movement. It is even questionable whether extracting the three solo trombone movements to make them into a "concerto" is legitimate from a musical point of view.

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Everyone always is giving Christian so much flak, but I wonder what the trombone world would be like today if he had never been born.
 There have been many trombone virtuosos throughout history, so Lindberg is not unique in that way. Yet, he surely deserves credit for being the only one to pursue a career as a trombone soloist and actually making a go of it, and also for popularizing the trombone as a solo instrument. For that, at least, I say: Hats off!

Howard
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"If you want to become phthisis-proof, drink-proof, cholera-proof, and in short, immortal, play the trombone well and play it constantly." -- George Bernard Shaw
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 03, 2010, 04:13AM »

But I don't want to get too far off topic.  As far as whether alto or tenor should be used in these four pieces that we've brought up...It just seems like they are SO high.  I know people can play them on tenor, but it just seems almost sadistic.  The partials are so close together and it gets to the point that you're not even really moving the slide around.
Don't forget that several historical sources that identify the "alto" trombone as an instrument in A or B-flat (i.e., as a tenor trombone) also say that the alto, tenor and bass trombones are the same except for the mouthpiece. Thus, someone playing the Leopold Mozart or Michael Haydn works for solo trombone should use appropriate equipment including the mouthpiece. That means a 6H or a 2B (and not a 42B or 88H), for example, with a small mouthpiece, if you want to play it on a modern trombone.

Howard
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"If you want to become phthisis-proof, drink-proof, cholera-proof, and in short, immortal, play the trombone well and play it constantly." -- George Bernard Shaw
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 03, 2010, 07:34AM »

Howard, hats off!  You know what you're talking about!  But as far as the quote you have about the alto sounding shrill...There are just as many quotes where people say it was excellent!  And it was a couple years ago that I read the article.  Here's the main alto trombone page I was talking about:

http://www.pittstate.edu/department/music/kehle/alto-trombone.dot

It is possible that it could have been this page that I read it on, and has since been removed or reduced to just the abstract.

It was also available on the British Trombone Society page for at least a time...I don't know I definately have read this article and thought it was good!
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Tone it up.
Stan

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« Reply #19 on: Apr 06, 2010, 11:13PM »

I think the piece on the British Society might have actually been Friends and Relations: The Alto Trombone, written by Carsten Svanberg.

Stan
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