Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

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Cell Suites: Tenor or Bass?

Tenor Trombone
9
24%
Bass Trombone
28
76%
 
Total votes: 37
henrikbe
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Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by henrikbe » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:41 am

As the title asks: Do you prefer to play (or hear) the Cello suites on tenor trombone or bass trombone?

(BTW, is it not possible to create polls on this forum? Didn't see any option for that)
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Matt K
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Matt K » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:53 am

At the bottom of new topics, there should be a tab that allows you to create poll options. I'm not sure if you had permission before or not (it' possible this subboard didn't get permissions copied). I refreshed the rules and just added a poll (and voted!) but do let me know if you can't make polls elsewhere and I'll take another look at it.

I prefer cello suites on bass if it has 2 rotors. Too much technical stuff in these suites to play on a single valve in my opinion. Take the prelude to #1 for example... all those arpeggiated figures that go down to low C. YIkes, no thanks on a tenor. Although I have a dependent tenor that I built with these in mind although frankly I haven't played them as much as I thought I would on it. There's a certain quality that I really like about the tone of a bass for these... or actually euphonium. I played these a LOT when I had a Wilson compensating. So fun.
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MoominDave
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by MoominDave » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:11 am

Cello, please.

But on trombone, bass. They sit better and more sonorously.
hyperbolica
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:37 am

I prefer cello suites on tenor, mainly due to phrasing. It's already hard to phrase these things on a wind instrument, but with the shorter air supply on bass, it's even harder. Plus, I've had the LaFosse edition since 1983, specifically adapted for tenor, so I'm kind of set in my ways. The first one is in C rather than the original G.
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BGuttman
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:13 am

To play the originals you would need a trombone with a solid low C. I wish I could figure out how to program in the scordatura (de-tuned string) used in one of them.

A double trigger indie bass might be best for them, but if you had a tenor with an E attachment (or a double trigger tenor) it might also be nice. Big problem is the fingerings, especially if you have to use large slide shifts.
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timothy42b
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by timothy42b » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 am

Either for playing, neither for listening.

These just aren't pieces to program. IMO.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Redthunder » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:42 pm

timothy42b wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 am
Either for playing, neither for listening.

These just aren't pieces to program. IMO.
I Disagree.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Neo Bri » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:53 pm

timothy42b wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 am
Either for playing, neither for listening.

These just aren't pieces to program. IMO.
I agree. In general. Some work, most don't.
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baileyman
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by baileyman » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:13 pm

I hear them with Mel Lewis on drums...
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:08 pm

baileyman wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:13 pm
I hear them with Mel Lewis on drums...
:good:

I like to play them on whatever instrument, but transpose them appropriately. In concert pitch, bass trombone seems to work best.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by jazzaltobone » Sun May 13, 2018 5:08 pm

Personally, I prefer to play them on alto. I play them a fourth higher (same relative positions as a tenor). Full disclosure: all I play is alto!
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by timothy42b » Mon May 14, 2018 6:57 am

So you add 3 flats?
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Neo Bri » Mon May 14, 2018 10:02 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:57 am
So you add 3 flats?
He would add 1 flat.
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MAliesch
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by MAliesch » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:59 pm

I prefer the sound of tenor. Particularly played by a certain Italian trombonist with the Cleveland Orchestra.

The version on his album Sempre Espressivo is even better. He does the whole first suite.

https://youtu.be/eqvapAxXsVE
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Mhoutris » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:08 am

MAliesch wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:59 pm
I prefer the sound of tenor. Particularly played by a certain Italian trombonist with the Cleveland Orchestra.

The version on his album Sempre Espressivo is even better. He does the whole first suite.

https://youtu.be/eqvapAxXsVE
This. His phrasing is masterful. Low range sounds fluid and effortless. The CD version is, IMHO, better than way too many cello recordings.
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Leisesturm
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Leisesturm » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:22 am

OMG! That video gives me hope. I too had seen one too many REALLY bad interpretations of Bach unaccompanied Cello pieces to believe they were playable (read: should be played) on anything other than Cello (or viola da gamba). Horn, Bassoon, Trombone, everyone has a go, sooner or later, when their technique is up to it, but ... ... often it isn't. And I knew, deep down, that it wasn't always just the instruments' limitations alone. Copious breathing is a must but obviously as the video shows, it can be done in a way that closely preserves the original phrasing. This is a tenor he is playing? F attachment? I am going to assume he has not transposed it upward so is actually playing real low C's on the F attachment. I really want to thank MAliesch for linking this because obviously if the Bach Suites can be done on an F attachment horn then so can the Vaughan Williams 'Six Studies in English Folksong'. Seeing as I've only had a straight tenor and only for about a week, give me ... two years. Watch this space.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:38 pm

The alto. Works way better






Last edited by harrisonreed on Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
hyperbolica
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by hyperbolica » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:23 pm

Wow. You know initially I thought yeah, the alto would be better because you can do more with phrasing. But hearing Lindberg play, that was really jarring. LaRosa's interpretation was so much better, and it didn't seem out of Bach or cello character. Lindberg is a great performer, but this interpretation is just jarring. Just seems out of character for the music. The suites may lie well on alto, but I'd like to hear someone else do it.
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BGuttman
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by BGuttman » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:47 pm

FWIW, we had a violist audition at my orchestra playing a Bach Cello suite excerpt on viola. Note that the stings on a viola are the same pitches as a cello, just an octave higher.
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Savio
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Savio » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:10 am

I prefer bass trombone when playing my self. For listening I like any instrument if it's good playing. I only use it for practicing my self.

Leif
harrisonreed
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:59 am

hyperbolica wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:23 pm
Wow. You know initially I thought yeah, the alto would be better because you can do more with phrasing. But hearing Lindberg play, that was really jarring. LaRosa's interpretation was so much better, and it didn't seem out of Bach or cello character. Lindberg is a great performer, but this interpretation is just jarring. Just seems out of character for the music. The suites may lie well on alto, but I'd like to hear someone else do it.
Of course. Better than I could do, by a lot. I think those recordings demonstrate that the facility is there and it fits in the register on alto, especially with the Bb valve.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by wwright » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:38 pm

I really enjoy playing Ralph Sauer's transcriptions for alto trombone:

https://cherryclassics.com/collections/ ... ducts/2781

It's good practice reading alto clef and is (I hope!) helping me get my intonation act together.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Leisesturm » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:43 am

hyperbolica wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:23 pm
Wow. You know initially I thought yeah, the alto would be better because you can do more with phrasing. But hearing Lindberg play, that was really jarring. LaRosa's interpretation was so much better, and it didn't seem out of Bach or cello character. Lindberg is a great performer, but this interpretation is just jarring. Just seems out of character for the music. The suites may lie well on alto, but I'd like to hear someone else do it.
Arnold Jacob was able to do everything demanded of a professional Tubist with only one lung! Phrasing is more in the abilities of the performer than the instrument. The earlier linked performance of the Suite #1 by the Italian Tenor Trombonist showcased phrasing at least on par with that demonstrated by Mr. Lindberg. I do not agree that Lindbergs performance is especially 'jarring'. And I'm not sure anyone could do it any differently enough to make a difference. Full disclosure: my YouTube computer is hooked up to a Behringer mixer with onboard reverb which is usually engaged. IF miked close up, and/or recorded in a very dry acoustic, that performance might indeed be 'jarring'. However, in that case, it wouldn't be Lindberg I would blame. Well ... not directly, but more of us wind instrument players should insist on good acoustics to record and perform in. It really makes a HUGE difference to the end result. One thing, however, cannot be argued: a Tenor (or Bass) player can simply take the original Cello score and play it as written, the notes anyway. Any other instrument (even Horn) will require a painstaking transposition to a key that can lie better for that instruments harmonic series. So ... no, as written, the Suites do not lie especially well for Alto bone although they can be edited to do so. The beauty of Bach is that his music is so darn 'portable' and works so well in so many different contexts.
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Matt K
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Matt K » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:19 pm

Seems like there's quite a spectrum. On one side, the idea is that music should be played as closely as possible to the original, including with respect to timbre, pitch class (no octave displacement or transposition), interpretation, etc. (So Bordogni aren't sung by a baritone therefore they are innately not as musical as when they are performed on trombone). On the other side, the idea that musicality comes from making adaptations even if things such as the pitch, timbre, or even the intervals are different. (Such as how Ralph Sauer takes up the low Cs one octave but leaves much else intact on his version of the prelude to the 3rd suite).

I tend to be on the latter side of that equation. I'm never going to be a cellist because I dont' want to. I like the sound of the trombone and Bach wrote good stuff, even if some of it has to be changed that isn't a bad thing per se. I really liked the Lindeberg interpretations, as well as really every sample provided here as they're all pretty tremendous musicians even if their aims are different (they lie on different parts of the above spectrum).
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by hyperbolica » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:38 pm

I think that oversimplifies it somewhat. There are inherent differences between a cello and a trombone, the most important of which is that sound on the trombone has to be interrupted now and then to breathe. The Bach cello suites are just more difficult to phrase on a trombone the way they were originally intended for the cello, because they weren't written taking breath into account. Given that constraint, I think LaRosa did a great job of preserving the musicality (maybe re-inventing it a little here and there to accommodate the breath problem) of the original music, while performing it on an instrument it wasn't intended for.

Music doesn't always transcend the instrument, however. I was reminded of this recently when I tried to transcribe some "stride" piano music into trombone quartet. I'm sure part of the problem was my lack of transcription skill, but it definitely lost something in the translation.

Just to say that sometimes it works, but that's not a given.
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Matt K
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Matt K » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:46 pm

Well, a spectrum naturally takes two extremes and then allows for gradations in the middle. Beyond breaths, the double stops really make it impossible to totally emulate a cello unless you have a few other players waiting around to just play those notes, afterall! :wink: But even then, I think you can make a compelling case that its merely different.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Well, there is multiphonics. I thought he pulled thatoff well!
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by BGuttman » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:38 pm

Another issue occurs in (I think) #5. Bach calls for one string of the cello to be tuned to a different pitch. I think it's called Scordatura. You need to know what string is retuned and what the note needs to be. Because the part is written for "normal" fingerings.
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Re: Bach Cello suites - do you prefer tenor or bass trombone?

Post by Matt K » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:07 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:34 pm
Well, there is multiphonics. I thought he pulled thatoff well!
Absolutely!
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