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Author Topic: Orchestra- Vibrato or no?  (Read 3822 times)
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Jeff Smith
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« on: Apr 26, 2006, 10:41AM »

I've been thinking about this lately, and I wanted to get the collective opinion of the OTJ.

Is vibrato good to use in an orchestra?

Personally, I've always kept an unwavering tone, and color it from there, depending on the literature.

I only use vibrato for solos, and right now, my personal vibrato is jaw vibrato, but I did experiment with lip and diaphragm for a while.

I use slide vibrato for jazz, in case any one was wondering.
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grub
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 2006, 02:19PM »

I don't use it either.  The orchestra seems to be an odd mix of straight-tone and vibrato playing.  I like the bones to play it solid and without vibrato, except for important solos where appropriate.
-->grub <not much help on this one>
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Stewbones43

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« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 2006, 02:30PM »

I have heard that there is some historical  theory that French music should be played with a vibrato style. I don't know enough to comment. Don't know

Stewbones
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Jeff Smith
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:22PM »

Stewbones,

I have used vibrato in French literature(Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, and Damnation of Faust.

The conductor liked that certain taste, especially on the ascending low brass crescendo in March to the Scaffold.

Berlioz wrote good trombone parts. Thanks Berlioz!
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Derek Ream
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:41PM »

I dont use it, for the fact, that in a lot of cases, I am just playing as background brass, and, there is no need for it. Mahler, I have not used vibrato on Mahler, which, in my opinion, I think is not " Mahlerish" to do so as a bass bone player. Even the "Titan" symphony, I would not use it in there, or, his 2nd symphony, I would not use it in the choral. The tenor bone in my opinion would do fine to add a little vibrato in the Mahler #2 choral. But in a lot of cases, the bone isnt always the soloist, unless its the famous orchestral works that we find ourselves playing, like, Mahler #3, would be awesome for the tenor to put a little vibrato in. Can you go more in depth specifically what pieces, or time period you are questioning about?
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Brian Dupuis
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:42PM »

The only time I've ever used it in a Sypmphony situation:

1.  In a solo part (or on top of a section soli)

2.  When the conductor asked for it.
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Jeff Smith
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:59PM »

Derek, it was just a general question. If you read my original post, I was just asking if vibrato is appropriate for an orchestral setting. I don't use it, unless I'm soloing, or the conductor asks for it.
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Derek Ream
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 26, 2006, 06:01PM »

I see, but, I put in my $.2, thats all. I wasnt saying you did, I read it all.
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Stan

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« Reply #8 on: Apr 26, 2006, 06:55PM »

If you're close to a music library, swing by and check this out something:

Norrington, Roger. “The Sound Orchestras Make.” Early Music 32/1 (2004): 2-5.

VERY iteresting article concerning orchestral vibrato.

Stan
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Brisko

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« Reply #9 on: Apr 27, 2006, 06:44AM »

It really depends on the taste of the orchestra.  See Walt Barrett's article on the subject here.

For instance, historically, clarinetists used significant vibrato in some European orchestras.  As did the horns.  Strings would not think of playing without vibrato, unless specifically directed.  Singers in some choral groups use no vibrato-- it is a beautiful effect, but harder to execute.  Again it is all a matter of taste.  Listen to a big band from 1930, and compare that to one from 1950, and you'll hear a huge difference in the way vibrato is treated.

But back to orchestras: in the more homogenous orchestral styles of today, the trombone should probably limit vibrato to solo passages, unless directed otherwise.
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 27, 2006, 06:49AM »

Some people like to use vibrato for something like Bolero. I've heard suggestions to us jaw vibrato for the first position long notes (like high Bb) and slide vibrato for everything else.

Ed Kleinhammer said he used a VERY small amount of vibrato for soft chorale passages like Brahm's 4th Symphony. Just enough to 'warm' the sound.

The general default in the U.S. is no vibrato, but probably the best answer is what was already mentioned ... check with the conductor.
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kd7taq

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 11:33PM »

My high school teacher basically instructed me never to use vibrato in orchestra.  I never really have, although I might consider it in a very exposed solo passage.  I would of course also do it if the conductor requested it--but as of yet this has never happened to me.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2006, 11:03AM »

And then there's the Russian POV on the matter. I've heard big vibs from Russian Trumpeters in orchestral recordings, but do the Trombones do the same?
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Dave Taylor

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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2006, 11:50AM »

I've never been a fan of vibrato on any instrument under any circumstances.  I prefer the essentially vibrato-free vocal technique used by many early music specialists, and I like instrumental playing in the same vein.  I know that vibrato is stylistically correct in a bunch of music, but I don't care for it, I've never used it (at least not on purpose!), and I've never been asked to use it.
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Brian

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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2006, 12:05PM »

I'd say 95% of the time, definitely no. Blowero, yes, if you like. Other solo parts, your call. I don't like much on Tuba Mirum, but I've heard players do it. If it's a pops concert and you're doing old big band tunes, then of course play it like you would in a big band.

I sometimes hear players let it creep in accidentally; that's a no-no. Chorale passages like Rhenish, Mahler 2, Brahms 1, end of Tchaik 6, etc. are usually done sans vibrato. You might hear vibrato on really old recordings, but these days almost never. There are always exceptions, but you have to know the rules before you can break them.

Yeah, BFW - I love that period-style singing too. Really beautiful. That operatic wide-vibrato gets annoying to me after awhile. ;-)
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