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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningHistory of the Trombone(Moderator: bhcordova) Tchaik Violin Concerto trombone part
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Blowero

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« on: Mar 21, 2007, 11:43PM »

Not sure where to put this thread, but here goes:

There is a single trombone part for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. I have heard alternately that it was an added part intended to be used with reduced orchestras and shouldn't be played, or that it was intended as part of the orchestration by Tchaikovsky and should be played. Has anyone here researched this and know what the definitive informed performance practice should be?
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sfboner

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« Reply #1 on: Mar 22, 2007, 11:15AM »

I do know two things, 1) what is written on the part, which you've no doubt read, and 2) that every conductor for whom I've worked, when this piece is programmed, wants the part covered - no matter how large the orchestra!

I'm rather curious myself, and would be delighted if someone could answer your question properly.
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 22, 2007, 12:10PM »

I do know two things, 1) what is written on the part, which you've no doubt read,
Actually, I'm not sure what you're referring to. What's written on the part?
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 22, 2007, 12:27PM »

"nur bei kleiner Besetzung"

Which translates as "only with a small ensemble."

(Or as babelfish put it:  "only in the case of small occupation"  lol - does trombone playing qualify as a small occupation?)
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BGuttman
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 22, 2007, 01:08PM »

If I recall correctly (we played this thing a long time ago) the Trombone part doubles one of the horns.  If you are filling all the horn chairs, you don't need the trombone.  I found this out sitting there and playing and hearing my part echoed back from the other end of the stage. Way cool
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 22, 2007, 02:37PM »

I've always played it. The trombone helps out both the horn section, and sometimes the doublebasses.
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 22, 2007, 04:55PM »

Plus, playing the part gives principal pay to the person playing it.   Many orchestras do not have a principal stipend for the bass trombonist.  I was playing 2nd on a concert set where the violin soloist changed to this piece at the first rehearsal.  Neither one of the other players wanted to stay around and play it, so I was stuck with it - and made about $100 more on the gig than I would've just playing 2nd.  :)

I once played this piece when I was hired to fill out a youth orchestra section - the conductor had all four of us play it!
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 25, 2007, 09:13AM »

I can't even count the number of times the piece has been programed for the orchestras where I have been employed. In all those times the conductor has wanted the trombone part ONCE. Even then, the soloist (big name) seemed surprised and remarked that he didn't know there was even a trombone part AT ALL in the score!!
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 25, 2007, 03:22PM »

I can't even count the number of times the piece has been programed for the orchestras where I have been employed. In all those times the conductor has wanted the trombone part ONCE. Even then, the soloist (big name) seemed surprised and remarked that he didn't know there was even a trombone part AT ALL in the score!!

I asked this very question about 4-5 years ago on the Forum and Mr. Solomon said that it was not originally written with a bone part.
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 01, 2008, 06:07PM »

the soloist (big name) seemed surprised and remarked that he didn't know there was even a trombone part AT ALL in the score!!

Well, you know, it's NOT in the score. I never use trombone when I conduct it, either.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 19, 2017, 03:47PM »

I realize I'm engaging in thread resurrection, but this issue just came up for me since the Tchaik violin concerto is on the schedule for next year.

One of the scores on IMSLP has the bone part, one does not.

My director says that it's never done with trombone, so I don't get to play.  :-(
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 19, 2017, 03:58PM »

Last time I played a concert where that was programed the trombone wasn't used. Unfortunately we still had to come back after intermission.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 19, 2017, 07:14PM »

It's the 4th horn part.  One day at rehearsal our 4th horn was absent so I played.  But not for the concert.
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 19, 2017, 09:41PM »

A trombone part!

When I was in college our orchestra did the concerto with our violin teacher as solo.  I can't tell you how much I wished I could be part of the ensemble for that.

I forget what the trombones were in on that concert.  Probably another ghastly "20th Century" work that no one had ever heard of and no one has ever heard of since.
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 19, 2017, 11:26PM »

The funny thing about that part is it's not doubling specifically one part. It's sometimes the 4th horn, sometimes the 2nd bassoon, sometimes the double basses, (or all of the above obviously if they're playing the same thing).It's also sitting out large portions of the piece where those others are playing.

So I never understood what exactly was the point of having that part in case of a "reduced orchestra", since it can't on its own replace any of the parts it's doubling if they're absent, and if they are present but the orchestra is small, then why would you want to double them!
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 20, 2017, 04:42PM »

It's an optional part, put together by an editor - not Tchaikovsky. None of the conductors that I've worked with here have ever wanted it played. I'm pretty sure that you can only find that part in one edition (Kalmus?), so conductors that have purchased their own scores don't usually even have it in their score as an optional part. I've stopped asking if they want it, and the librarian has stopped putting it out in my folder. I don't know of any Tchaikovsky that has any scoring other than 3 trombones or none.

It's a great opportunity to go get a coffee.

Jim Scott
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