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Trumpet Lesson in Sao Paulo, Brazil!!



 
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Derek Reaban
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Joined: 08 Jul 2003
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Location: Tempe, Arizona

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Trumpet Lesson in Sao Paulo, Brazil!! Reply with quote

I had a marvelous time on Friday evening in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil! I am travelling on business and was able to arrange a lesson with the Principal Trumpet player of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo) Ė Fernando Dissenha.
Iím staying in a city thatís about 50 miles from Sao Paulo and it was a real challenge to drive this distance on a Friday night with the tremendous amount of traffic that we encountered. Surprisingly, we arrived at the hall in just about 2 hours (my driver estimated well over 2 hours) and I had time for a full lesson.

I was able to find a picture online of the Sala Sao Paulo which is the main venue where the symphony performs:

Outside of Sala Sao Paulo at Night



This was a train station thatís over a hundred years old which has been converted into a performance hall that seats just over 1500 people. It was beautiful inside and out!

My driver and I met Fernando Dissenha at the Boulevar Entrance and he welcomed us by giving us two tickets for the concert later in the evening. As we made our way upstairs to the very large practice studios, I discovered the Fernando had been in school with David Krauss at Juilliard. I told him all about my trip to New York several years ago and how much I had enjoyed getting to hear David play as well as the lesson that we had together.

The upstairs hallway was visually striking, with the dark hardwood floors contrasting with the white stone walls:

[img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/102/264898451_e0885b912d.jpg?v=0[/img]

When we arrived at the room, I told Fernando that Iíve been using my Montreal mute for the past week in the hotel room, so I was looking forward to getting to hear my sound in this wonderful practice space. I played a few notes and then told him that I was going to start with a melodic etude to get my sound working. I chose Rochut No. 23 and immediately when I started I could tell that everything was working very well. He stopped me when I got to the bottom of the page and said, ďThat sounds great!Ē He liked my sound and my ability to shape a musical phrase.

He said, ďLetís move on to some excerpts,Ē so I opted to begin with Pictures to get a feel for his comments with something very familiar. He joined me on the second trumpet part, and I knew that this was going to be a very fun lesson. He very quickly identified aspects of my playing that I know can be better and we spent time shaping those first 11 beats. He told me that he heard a tendency in my playing to rush the eighth notes and got me to hold back just a little which allowed the music to feel more grounded.

My driver, Giovanni, was listening to the lesson, and after Fernando and I had finished playing the complete opening together and Fernando was providing me with some comments, we heard a playback from Giovanniís cell phone (he was recording the lesson)! Fernando joked with him for a few minutes in Portuguese and then we picked up with Bartok Concerto for Orchestra.

I very wisely opted to play the second trumpet part and put the first trumpet part on his stand. This is something that Iíve worked up for auditions in the past, and I really feel most comfortable playing 2nd trumpet. The first page of the first movement all went great. When we got to the fugue section at 329, we had a chance to discuss articulation style and at 359 I held back a little too long on the tie and he stopped to fix this. The second time through this was much better. He was such a fine player and so easy to match!

We played the 2nd movement (without mutes because I only had my Montreal mute) and then got to the beautiful chorale. Our intonation locked in perfectly. We played this several times because it worked so well!

Then we jumped to the Finale and ran the two big sections and had a chance to talk about clarity of articulation. The quality of my articulation has improved greatly over the past two years, but Fernando quickly identified that I could be clearer. He told me that his boss requires clarity in everything he plays and provided a very interesting suggestion that I havenít heard in exactly the way he put it.

He told me that Vincent Cichowicz had a concept related to staccato articulation where you could fool the audience into hearing staccato by playing with a marcato articulation while maintaining full note duration so that the air never stops. In this way (especially in something like the Bartok), thereís clarity without stopping the airflow. He had me play a second line G to F# slurring in sixteenths at a comfortable tempo to set up a constant airflow for 4 beats, and then to play articulated sixteenths on the second line G with the same airflow but with a slightly stronger Marcato approach for four beats. He immediately shook his head saying, ďThatís it! Do you hear it?Ē It was a great technique that I havenít used in my regular practice, but I will from now on!

Then we played the big section at the end (549 to 573) and it was so much fun to play my part while hearing Fernando soar on the trumpet one part. He told me that when was in school in New York the LA Philharmonic came to town and did CFO, Donald Green was just spectacular. He can hear that sound in his mind when he plays this part!

With the rest of the time that we had, I commented that I had swapped to a dorsal style of articulation several years ago and have been working very hard to coordinate this new approach (both T and K) in my playing. He told me that he has been working the past 3 years on his Gi articulation (like in the word Soggy). Ga is too far back and Gi moves it right to the front. I told him that Iíve been using Que for the same reason. Fernando studied with Chris Gekker at Juilliard, and he said that Chris has incredible clarity in his articulation and recommended spending a lot of time on Gi. I do quite a bit each day, but Iím going to change the balance a little and do at least 3/4 of my articulation time on Gi and see what happens. Fernando spends the majority of his articulation time on Gi!

At the end of the lesson, Fernando gave me a copy of his CD. I had a chance to listen to the whole disc on Saturday when the colleagues that are on this trip with me took a day trip to Campos do Jordao in the mountains. What a marvelous recording! All of my colleagues enjoyed the CD and none of them had ever heard a trumpet / piano disc before. I thought it was fantastic writing and playing and I can see myself using a number of these pieces for prelude music in Church in the future.

.Fernando Dissenha

The orchestra sounded marvelous after my lesson, and I had the great privilege of introducing my driver to symphonic music (his very first trip to the symphony). He told me that heís lived here his entire life and never made it to a concert (it just happened to be his birthday). He said he would come back and bring his wife!

Hereís a view from the side of the hall where we were sitting:



Well, I just had to share part of my trip with everyone. Iíve asked Giovanni to email me the clips of me lesson from his phone, and if I can figure out how to upload them, Iíll post them here.
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Ralph
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Joined: 01 Dec 2002
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Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Derek. I was born in Brazil ( Sao Paulo actually) and your post brings back great memories. Brazil has a rich culture and they love all kinds of music. Wonderful place with wonderful people. Thanks.
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Oncewasaplayer
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wonderful post. You write well, Derek. I appreciate how you'll share the challenges these teachers can identify in your playing, and then their solutions. Can't wait to hear you in action. Thanks.
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Jim-Wilson
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Joined: 11 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post (and experience) Derek. Thanks for taking the time to share details of your lesson and experiences in Sao Paulo. Brings back memories of a visit to Sao Paulo in 1975 - I really can't imagine what the traffic is like today - I thought it was horrible back then. If you ever stop in Manaus check out the Opera House - what an amazing bit of history and culture in one of the most unexpected places.

Jim
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Ron Burgundy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek

If you run into a conductor named Fabio Mecheti in Brazil, could you stone him for me? He has the ears of a snake.

best

Ron
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jasonbergman
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Joined: 08 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your experience. Fernando is a great player, teacher, and friend. I am happy to hear you had a wonderful experience with him.

Parabens Fernando!
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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments everybody. Hereís a clip from my lesson with Fernando (I need to record myself more often!)Ö


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Derek Reaban
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