August 3, 2011

Operetta Week

This week my days have been echoing with really light, cheesy, off-beat-full music that's so easy (and dare I say...BORING) to play that it's difficult to maintain focus enough throughout the program to play it well.

To add injury to insult (yes, I'm intending that phrase to be read backwards), our parts were written for a large orchestra stuffed back into a dark pit somewhere and because we'll instead be accompanying the singers on stage, if the page says ƒƒƒ it really means mƒ (but gall-durnit it had better still sound as if the walls of Jericho are about to fall!), and if it says it just means that I'm going to have to pray really hard (and maybe send up a burt offering or two) that a next-to-inaudible, but still-lovely sound will somehow come out of my bell without cracking or double-buzzing or covering up the soloist. It's sensitive and tricky and annoyingly maddeningly challenging...even though it really IS easy.

I'm playing 1st trumpet on the second half of the program which features selections from Operettas by Austrian composer Robert Stolz, and if you like Rogers & Hammerstein you'd love his songs. He writes trumpet parts that last from the beginning of the songs straight through to the end, so even though it's real simple Lawrence-Welky kind of stuff, it leaves my chops exhausted and my cynical side so SICK of hearing lovely-twirly-chirping-birdy kind of love-sick fluff that it's all I can do to keep myself from wanting to kick over a music stand somewhere.

THERE!!! glad I got that out...


  1. When we went to Bacharach, Germany on the Rhine we had drinks the Altes Haus. It was built in 1368 and supposedly the inspiration for Stolz's song about little violets blooming. There was a whole placard about it on the outside of the house but I had to take a picture of it and get Nicola to translate.

  2. I've always had significant problems with operetta. In your words "lovely-twirly-chirping-birdy kind of love-sick fluff." In other words, I'm sorry. But you sound like you're having a fabulous time there (in general, apart from operetta) and I'm absolutely jealous of you.

  3. It's all part of the package and, thankfully will pass. Your final week is sure to be a rousing high for you. (I hope)