• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

A Letter from Adolph Herseth



 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Orchestral/Chamber Music/Solo
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Denny Schreffler
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Apr 2005
Posts: 204
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:55 am    Post subject: A Letter from Adolph Herseth Reply with quote

Made a new trumpet friend in our community yesterday who had a career in Chicago until a medical condition put him out of commission.

He showed me three letters that he had received from Adolph Herseth over the years. A couple are very brief and related to specific business/personal things but I was given permission to publish a letter from 1959 while the recipient was playing with the 7th Army Symphony in Europe.

Sounds like Chicago had a chance to do the 1959 European tour that was done by the NY Phil but for the “pigheadedness” of Fritz Reiner.

Basic advice on why to practice.

Mention of recent recordings.

He signs this letter as, “Adolph Herseth.”
He signs a 1961 letter as, “A. Herseth.”
He signs a 1986 letter as, “Bud Herseth.”


-Denny



Oak Park, Ill.
Sept. 11, 1959

Dear [----]

I’m sitting here in front of my hi-fi listening to our recording of “Zarathustra” (how conceited can a guy get?) to test my amplifier which I just overhauled – two loose connections were lousing me up but it sounds pretty good now.

I suppose if it hadn’t been for Reiner’s pigheadedness I [sic] be seeing you guys about this time of year. From all reports the [New York] Philharmonic is doing a bangup [sic] job over there but I still think we can cut ‘em all. I’m really sorry we didn’t make that tour. It would have been real rough, but the experience of a lifetime.

I hope you’re keeping up on your horn so you don’t just stand still. You know – one goes either ahead or he’s going backward. So even if you feel dragged [sic] with everything, make the most of your spare time by practicing. Listen to whatever good music you can over there. You can be inspired by good playing – to emulate it. And you can be inspired by bad playing, too – knowing you can do better.

I understand Wobitsch + Longinetti [sic] are giving a seminar on trumpet playing sometime next year. Will you be there or not? Might be interesting to catch that.

Are Paul + Charlie still there? If they are give them my best regards, will you. Also if you see Bill Carroll greet him from me. You guys certainly uphold the Chicago tradition of trumpet playing in Europe. Why don’t you sign as a section with one of those orchestras over there that needs a brass section so badly.

We made a lot of fine records again last season. “Don Quixote,” a Wagner album, Sibelius Violin Conc. with Heifitz, Mahler 4th, Prokofieff’s [sic] “Alexander Nevsky,” a Russian album, and a whole pile of stuff I can’t even recall.

I’m busy practicing these days to get ready for the season. I laid off a couple of weeks during vacation, so now I’ve got to work again.

Well, must close for now. Don’t forget to work on that “barking iron.”

Yours sincerely,

Adolph Herseth
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mhenrikse
Regular Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting letter, thanks for posting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pat
Veteran Member


Joined: 18 Nov 2001
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a historical note from an old guy.

The 1959 NYP European tour mentioned by Herseth is the famous 10-week, 50-concert tour with Bernstein which started in the old Soviet Union. The tour was in part the result of some slight thawing of the Cold War between the US and the Soviets, helped in part by Van Cliburn charming the Soviet people when he won the Tchaikovsy competition the year before, and his coming home to the US to a hero's welcome.

On the day Herseth wrote the letter (I just looked it up) the NYP concluded a concert in Moscow with the Shostakovitch 5th and afterwards the composer, who was in the audience, came up on stage for a bow. Shostakovitch was so revered in the music world (though not necessarily by the Soviet govt) that one NYP musician later recounted that it was as if Beethoven himself had come up on stage.

When Bernstein and the NYP got back to the US, it made that iconic recording of the 5th Symphony with that picture of Shostakovitch on stage adorning the album cover.

So, just maybe, if Reiner hadn't been so "pig-headed," I would be hearing Herseth's high C in my head at the end of the Shosty 5h rather than Vacchiano's.

Thanks for letting me reminisce. I now return the forum back to you younger guys.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Denny Schreffler
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Apr 2005
Posts: 204
Location: Tucson

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just heard Charlie Geyer make a comment on a video about the Chicago SO never having toured outside of the US when Solti took over, and that Reiner had scheduled a tour thru the State Dept but "became very ill right at that time and had to cancel it."

About 10 min into this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STZ5tVGii28

Herseth's perspective as an intimate observer at the time of the cancellation might put some doubt on the legitimacy of Reiner's purported illness unless "pigheadedness" is a medical condition.


-Denny
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 426
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand, Reiner was known to be a tyrant. One of the last of the "tyrant" conductor days.
_________________
Selmer Radial 1970
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ktrha
New Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Allston, MA U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:43 pm    Post subject: A Letter from Adolph Herseth Reply with quote

Thanks so much for posting....also it's great to know that Mr. Herseth was taking break from playing during his vacation time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
O00Joe
Veteran Member


Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Houston & Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Is the "barking iron" a nickname for the trumpet? If so, that's a good one!

It doesn't matter really but I think "Wobitsch" should have a [sic] as well, assuming he is referring to Helmut Wobisch.
_________________
1981 Bb Bach Stradivarius 37/25 ML raw - VBC. 5C & 6BM, Curry 5DE
2003 C Bach Stradivarius 239/25A L silver - Stork Vacchiano 4C26B & 4D26B
2006 Bb/A Schilke Piccolo P5-4 silver - Reeves A adaptor - Stork SM SP6
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dstpt
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 500

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Don’t forget to work on that 'barking iron.'”

That's it! Seems to be a constant theme in the life of Herseth, where later he would answer Charlie Geyer before allowing the younger to ask a question over the phone: "I have one word for you, Charlie: PRACTICE!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Orchestral/Chamber Music/Solo All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group