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Orchestral Horns


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James Becker
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khedger wrote:
GardyParty_11 wrote:
It seems like most orchestra trumpet sections are either exclusively Bach, Yamaha, or some blend of the two. There are few exceptions I can think of, but I'm pretty sure the Minnesota Orchestra and Oregon Symphony trumpet sections play Monette. I'm curious to know which sections are playing on Schilke or even Shires. Maybe Baltimore?


How does this work? I mean, if one were to get a job in the section of the Minnesota would they be obligated to then spend $20000.00 on a horn? Even if they don't like it? Do these organizations really dictate what horn a player must use? What a strange concept.

keith


Not that long ago, it was mandatory to play a Monette in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That began to change when Charlie took a year sabbatical, allowing the section to play what they wished. After Charlie’s retirement the section played a mix of vintage and Elkhart Bach C trumpets. In recent years collaborating with Yamaha they’ve switched over, and most are playing Stork mouthpieces as well.

The popularity of heavy trumpets in Boston has come and gone, in favor of more conventional equipment.
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loweredsixth
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is fascinating. Since when do people have the same sound if they play the same equipment? Do the clarinetists do this? Violinists?
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Vin DiBona
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen in at 7:20. The loud F# is not held by one strong player - it is passed back and forth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di8NDSBJb5w
They were all on Bach 229/25(H) pipes and Bach mouthpieces, all large 1 series. Interestingly, those 229 bells were lightweight ones.
It not only can be done it was and still is done. A highly skilled orchestral player can make horns blend and it is easier if the characteristics are the same or very similar.
English orchestras often use different pitch (Bb and C) and manufacturer's horns and it gives them the unique (I like it) individual sound of the section.
By the way, when you listen to the entire fugue, you will hear clams and some out of tune playing.
I know the reason for this as it was related to me by Robert Lambert, the principal trombone for the CSO during most of the Reiner recordings.
He lived in Bensenville, Il and his daughter and I were in high school together. Our band director knew him well and asked him to judge the brass soloists in our annual solo and ensemble recitals. (This was in April of 1968).
When we finished my solo (An easier Mendez one. I got a high mark on it) I had heard this recording and mentioned the great playing.
He said the little clams and out of tune notes here and there were the result of a long day of recording with this heavy brass blow piece being the last one for the session. Reiner was not pleased with the first time through and made the do the whole thing again!
That one was the one Reiner selected, slight errors and all.
R. Tomasek
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwag wrote:
I always wonder about Manny. Did he take a ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’ stance and play whatever he likes, or what looks beautiful?


Once they have tenure, they can do as they please (within reason).
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Vin DiBona
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel Manny sounds great on a Monette. He is often overlooked as one of the best principal trumpet in the world, which he is.
R. Tomasek
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vin DiBona wrote:
Listen in at 7:20. The loud F# is not held by one strong player - it is passed back and forth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di8NDSBJb5w
They were all on Bach 229/25(H) pipes and Bach mouthpieces, all large 1 series. Interestingly, those 229 bells were lightweight ones.


I'm not an expert on Bach history, but I believe I've seen credible sources saying that Herseth didn't play on the 25H pipe. (And presumably the other players in this recording didn't either, given that the original set of Bach C trumpets used in the CSO had the leadpipe that is copied in the current 25CC pipes on the Chicago Cs, and those are generally described as being a more "efficient" and easily overblown leadpipe than modern 25Hs.)
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Vin DiBona
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, you are correct.
In Tim Kent's book about his time in the Chicago Symphony, Herseth explained that older pipe as on the famed Chicago Bachs became the H pipe and the newer 25 pipe was a slightly different version.
Until he he was told, Herseth was surprised the H pipe was named after him.
Herseth had more interesting things to say about the 239 v. the 229 bells.
R. Tomasek
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bugleboy97
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vin DiBona wrote:
Steve, you are correct.
In Tim Kent's book about his time in the Chicago Symphony, Herseth explained that older pipe as on the famed Chicago Bachs became the H pipe and the newer 25 pipe was a slightly different version.
Until he he was told, Herseth was surprised the H pipe was named after him.
Herseth had more interesting things to say about the 239 v. the 229 bells.
R. Tomasek


I'm now curious. What did Herseth have to say about the 239 V. 229 bells? If there anyone to have a good opinion on the subject...
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romccormac2
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got a powell C and it is excellent!
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:54 am    Post subject: orchestral horns Reply with quote

I was just rereading some comments on orchestral horns and saw yours after I added my two bits. Auditioning at the top levels of orchestral playing is supposedly where the little bits of gold show up in the pan for those looking for gold. You have to be able and "willing" to blend as a horn player in an elite band or orchestral setting. I dreaded auditioning situations but wish I had done more. In auditioning, the little I did, it was about showing my abilities and willingness to approach a piece or learn, if the jury asks questions. I would have enjoyed the fun and challenge of playing a different brand of trumpet than I personally had to do the process of blending in with sections of an orchestra or band. An example I can think of is listening to the YouTube of the memorial service for 9-11 where different NY orchestra trumpeters all played the "Fanfare for the Common Man." Each one a brilliant individual but playing together in unison and unity magnificent.
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Surcouf
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: orchestral horns Reply with quote

Interesting discussion.

Are Bachs and Yamahas as far superior to other brands as their lead in marketshare indicates? Or are they institutionally entrenched brands that work well for most and thus appeal to risk-averse committees choosing players and instruments for their orchestras? I suspect the latter - in which case having a "correct" or "desirable" sound could become conflated with playing a Bach or Yamaha.

I am not trying to knock Bach or Yamaha's reputation - clearly well-earned in both cases. But brand preference in orchestras is clearly not a pure meritocracy or even a consideration of all available options, otherwise I assume we would see a wider variety of brands in use.
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Jon Kaplan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: orchestral horns Reply with quote

Surcouf wrote:
Interesting discussion.

Are Bachs and Yamahas as far superior to other brands as their lead in marketshare indicates? Or are they institutionally entrenched brands that work well for most and thus appeal to risk-averse committees choosing players and instruments for their orchestras? I suspect the latter - in which case having a "correct" or "desirable" sound could become conflated with playing a Bach or Yamaha.

I am not trying to knock Bach or Yamaha's reputation - clearly well-earned in both cases. But brand preference in orchestras is clearly not a pure meritocracy or even a consideration of all available options, otherwise I assume we would see a wider variety of brands in use.


This is an important question, so let me offer an alternate view. It's not really about which instrument you win the audition on - today's orchestra audition committees consist of not only trumpeters but voting members from other sections of the orchestra who are not aware of any of this equipment discussion. After you win the audition; however, one of the first things that happens is you find a way to work well within the existing section (and orchestra) paradigm. A few weeks at work with your new trumpet section is very revealing in terms of how your equipment blends/doesn't blend with the others it is YOUR JOB to play well with. This often leads to adjustments in equipment among new orchestra members within the first few years especially. At this level of detail and nuance, even the smallest differences in timbre, response, or projection can make life more difficult for you in the orchestra because it is hard to match the exact color and shape of your section mates sound at the extreme and particular dynamics we are often faced with. So in that sense, market preferences do play into what equipment we use in the orchestra, because it is a matter of probability that the majority of currently employed orchestral players use only a small variety of brands and models of trumpets - BUT it is not usually based on some partisan belief of what instrument works and plays to someone's subjective standard. It is also important to note that the trumpet you might find best for a smaller orchestral setting with fewer strings could be different from what you would prefer in the New York Philharmonic whose string roster is enormous.

PS - That's why it's great for people like Paul Randall to jump into this conversation - his section is happily all Powell and I'm sure they have come to a comfortable place in terms of their section blend and sound.
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Surcouf
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, Jon. Given the way you laid it out, it is easy to see how a small number of brands have come to dominate the landscape - even though we see plenty of examples of orchestras that sound great using a wide variety of other makers's horns.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: orchestral horns Reply with quote

blbaumgarn wrote:
I was just rereading some comments on orchestral horns and saw yours after I added my two bits. Auditioning at the top levels of orchestral playing is supposedly where the little bits of gold show up in the pan for those looking for gold. You have to be able and "willing" to blend as a horn player in an elite band or orchestral setting. I dreaded auditioning situations but wish I had done more. In auditioning, the little I did, it was about showing my abilities and willingness to approach a piece or learn, if the jury asks questions. I would have enjoyed the fun and challenge of playing a different brand of trumpet than I personally had to do the process of blending in with sections of an orchestra or band. An example I can think of is listening to the YouTube of the memorial service for 9-11 where different NY orchestra trumpeters all played the "Fanfare for the Common Man." Each one a brilliant individual but playing together in unison and unity magnificent.

Interesting. My first reaction to an 'orchestra that dictates what trumpet you must play' is that I'd never want to play there...but the way you look at it, it does somewhat makes sense Thanks for the insght, it's food for thought.
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lewis
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon, your post was right on target! I would also add, from personal experience, that even if the section is all using instruments made by the same manufacturer, lead pipe choice can make a difference. I had the experience in two different orchestras (two different sections--we all used large bore Bach Cs) in which the 1st trumpet played a 239 bell with a 25A lead pipe, the 2nd played a 239 bell with a 25C lead pipe, and the 3rd (me) played a 229 bell with a 25H lead pipe. We had no trouble playing in tune and blending with each other. In both orchestras, the 2nd trumpet decided he/she did not like the 25C lead pipe and got an aftermarket leadpipe made by a well-known maker. From that point on, the section had a lot of trouble blending and playing in tune. My unscientific opinion is that the overtones did not line up as they did with the original equipment.

HML
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