January 5, 2012

High notes

I had no time to linger at sunrise this morning...though it was spectacular...

Professor Geyer's excerpt class was scheduled to begin at 7:45 and as I had been assigned to play (or attempt to play) the 2nd trumpet part to Mahler's 6th symphony, I had to arrive at Regenstein early enough to get in a reasonable warm up.

For me, the challenge of this piece has been to manage a seemingly endless string of enormous melodic leaps that have for the most part left me exhausted and unable to produce a sound after just 10 or 15 minutes of work. The range covered in the 2nd trumpet part runs from way down in the basement below middle C all the way up to what I consider to be the stratosphere, thought I'm sure someone like Maynard Ferguson would disagree with my terminology here. The highest note in my part was a concert C#, which is probably right in the happy middle of MF's comfortable range. Unfortunately he's no longer around and would thus be unable to debate me on such trivialities.

ANYWAY. I played ok. Didn't get the dang C#, missed one mute change and one quick transposition switch (Mahler seems to take a perverse amount of pleasure in confusing trumpeters by changing their transposition from F trumpet to B flat trumpet every few bars and notating that switch as inconspicuously as possible), but still mostly kept up with the other guys around me who all sounded like they could play it in their sleep.


Back to slowly but surely I guess.


  1. I think I can I think I can I think I can............. You CAN!!!

  2. I heard a spanish version of this maxim the other day that I quite like:

    "Sin prisa, pero sin pausa"

    Which means: Without great hurry, but without a pause. That's saying something.

    I know you are moving forward and doing beautifully :)