Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Second-Class Music?

Why is it that you etudes are always restricted to the practice room? That's the only place we ever hear you! Seems like you can never find your way onto the recital stage. Too bad, because some of you are way too good just to be practiced and shelved. You should have an audience. But no, you are destined to remain lowly etudes with no titles, only a number, prisoners in the music world, and to be stashed away in trumpet students' lockers.

Rarely are you considered artistic. You are only an assignment on the professor's to-do list. You simply occupy space in a book, and only one page at a time, no more no less. You are an uninspired piece of boredom. You function merely as a project for the featured key of the week, or for your 12 lines of nonstop triple tonguing. Don't even think about inspiration or fame. We've heard the Bach Cello Suites, and you're no suite.

Let's liberate some deserving etudes from performance quarantine. Instead of the usual recital fillers, how about finding some gems from the etude world that ought to have a hearing, and giving them some respect. Here are just a few possibilities:

Bitsch - 20 Etudes. #1 could be a flashy opener. #17 is expressive and lyric. #20 is cool played in one, with a loud straight mute. You could combine three or four or more of these etudes together. Think of your own titles for each movement. These will be more inspiring as you think of performing them. Give each a story of some sort.

Caffarelli - 100 Etudes for transposition has a good supply of musical possibilities. #66, 40, and 70 are favorites. Even the Sachse - 100 Studies for transposition has a few. You could have a transposition feature on your recital including a selection of contrasting styles all transposed in different keys. Amaze your professor with your initiative and creativity! Who says you can't be musical and transpose at the same time?!

Reynolds - 48 Etudes for Trumpet has many nasty studies that you may prefer to keep in the practice room. There are several however that you could group together as an unaccompanied solo work on your next recital. Consider mutes too. If you are inclined, you might consider writing piano, percussion, or whatever accompaniment you like.

Tap the etude literature for solo possibilities. Audiences usually have to attend, so let's keep it entertaining, challenging and creative.

1 comment:

fhotzel said...

Also many of the Charlier etudes are good for this too.