Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

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ttf_Stewbones43
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Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

Post by ttf_Stewbones43 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:00 pm

I am at present studying this piece ready to start conducting it with my community orchestra (rehearsal orchestra) and I have noticed an interesting bit in the bass trombone part. This is in the first movement, 4 bars after letter A where the bass trombone has a line of As  Image Image where the notes are all linked with ties and marked with accents, the dynamic is Forte. Here is a link to the trombone parts from IMSLP http://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/c/cd/IMSL ... ombone.pdf
The alto and tenor trombones have the same figure 2 bars later but without the ties or the accents.

Can anyone explain what should be done here?

Thanks

Cheers

Stewbones
ttf_fsung
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Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

Post by ttf_fsung » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:45 pm

Just listened to the section in the Haitink/London Phil recording. Sounds like they treat the ties as slurs, and the accents as soft-ish tongue, so the effect is similar to a tenuto.

[s]Here's a clip: http://www.webfilehost.com/?mode=viewupload&id=7445587[/s]

[edit: Hmm … the link's not working. [s]Probably futile, but trying an attachment …
[/s]

PM on the way …

[Edit: from Youtube

John Eliot Gardiner & Bayerischer Rundfunk: https://youtu.be/SDNucEHy5xo?t=105
Ton Koopman & Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra: https://youtu.be/xAHuYImgc7E?t=123
Claudio Abbado & LSO: https://youtu.be/xAHuYImgc7E?t=123

ttf_Le.Tromboniste
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Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

Post by ttf_Le.Tromboniste » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:34 pm

I'm not 100% sure, but I seem to recall that the Urtext edition (and if so, I would assume the manuscript too) has it both times (as well as in the woodwinds of course).

I played that part last May with period instruments. The conductor (Kenneth Montgomery) asked us to articulate that bit with breath accents only, and no tongue and no stopping the sound. We were reluctant at first, but I must admit that by the second or third performance, I was convinced. It really sounds amazing if done with conviction and in a good acoustic. The reasoning was : what else could Mendelssohn possibly mean with that marking? If he had wanted a tenuto he would have written tenuto...if he had wanted it portato, he would have written it under one slur with lines or dots. Same with any conventional articulation...An unconventional marking can only mean an unconventional effect. If one accepts the premise that ties are a rhythmic marking, not an articulation (which I assume we can all agree upon), then one must also accept that using ties clearly implies it should be "played" as one whole note, and then the accents can only mean breath accents within that "whole" note.

Also, remember that Mendelssohn had a big interest in antiquated styles of music. This type of repeated breath attack is reminiscent of the old 16th-17th century tremolo and trillo. And that movement has other "old-fashioned" vocal ornaments in it (for instance, the messa di voce on every note of the chorale earlier in the piece).


On a side note, gotta love that bass trombone entrance in the last movement, playing the role of the organ pedals...

Great piece!
ttf_Stewbones43
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Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

Post by ttf_Stewbones43 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:47 am

Thank you, gentlemen, for your replies.
I think that, with my amateur orchestra, it will be better to ask them to soft tongue the entry otherwise we may get all sorts of musical explosions! We will see.

Cheers

Stewbones
ttf_Stewbones43
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:35 pm

Mendelssohn Reformation Symphony, (No.5)

Post by ttf_Stewbones43 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:47 am

Thank you, gentlemen, for your replies.
I think that, with my amateur orchestra, it will be better to ask them to soft tongue the entry otherwise we may get all sorts of musical explosions! We will see.

Cheers

Stewbones
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