Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

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JonTheCadet
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Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by JonTheCadet » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Hi all,

In Tuesday I have to participate in a concert where I need to play the concerto by Rimsky-Korsakov. I have no access to a tenor trombone currently, nor a smaller mouthpiece. I am fine playing the 2nd and 3rd movt, but I struggle to hit the high Bb in the 1st movt. I can do it without breathing and changing embouchure, but then I lack air playing the descending melody after that. I can hit it 80% of the time, the rest 20% I would either slur down from Bb to Ab or simply play an Ab. Same playing Bb in 3rd position.

Any tips? I don't think I would get used to a small mouthpiece immediately either.

Best regards,

Jon
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robcat2075
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by robcat2075 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:51 pm

Is the high Bb real?

I'm looking at an original score on IMSLP and dont' see a high Bb in mvt 1


Edit: Yes, there is a high Bb :shuffle:
Last edited by robcat2075 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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robcat2075
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by robcat2075 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:02 pm

I'm looking at the first published version for Solo trb and band, the 1950 Soviet version on IMSLP.

The highest note is G three lines above the staff.

I think a high Bb is a Western editor's contrivance. Perhaps to try to assert some copyright on his edition.


Edit: Yes, there is a high Bb
Last edited by robcat2075 on Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
>>Robert Holmén<<

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LeTromboniste
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by LeTromboniste » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:14 pm

robcat2075 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:51 pm
Is the high Bb real?

I'm looking at an original score on IMSLP and dont' see a high Bb in mvt 1
There's definitely a Bb in mvmt 1. Rehearsal mark F or 11 in the scores I have here (one of them is a print from the IMSLP soviet band score you refer to).
JonTheCadet wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:41 pm
Hi all,

In Tuesday I have to participate in a concert where I need to play the concerto by Rimsky-Korsakov. I have no access to a tenor trombone currently, nor a smaller mouthpiece. I am fine playing the 2nd and 3rd movt, but I struggle to hit the high Bb in the 1st movt. I can do it without breathing and changing embouchure, but then I lack air playing the descending melody after that. I can hit it 80% of the time, the rest 20% I would either slur down from Bb to Ab or simply play an Ab. Same playing Bb in 3rd position.

Any tips? I don't think I would get used to a small mouthpiece immediately either.

Best regards,

Jon
Tuesday? You're giving yourself very little time to deal with that, wow. Not ideal, but one solution that might make sense musically if you're too afraid about cracking the Bb (or if taking the risk is unacceptable for you in a live performance), would be to drop those four bars down the octave, starting from the Bb itself. The fifth bar being a repetition of the fourth gives a nice opportunity to switch back to the written octave not only without cutting the phrase but actually creates a musical gesture that can make it more interesting (i.e. using the repetition up an octave to create a change of color or to add emphasis to that point of the phrase)
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robcat2075
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by robcat2075 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:51 pm

Yup. I see it now at 11.

I guess you're stuck.
>>Robert Holmén<<

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harrisonreed
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:00 pm

Maybe don't perform a concerto in a concert if you have both the wrong instrument and you can't play the concerto (yet!)? It's so last minute that I'd think twice about it.
jbayes75
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by jbayes75 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:16 pm

Try to find an original scoring for this piece. Although I have not seen it for many years, I believe all, or at least most, of the triplet figures going to Bb are in the lower octave, beginning on the Bb one octave above pedal Bb. It is a different piece when the original range is played where Rimsky-Korsakov put it. There are recordings that observe this range, but availability os same is a question. Davis Shuman recorded this concerto around 1945/50, and played all those triplets in the upper octave, very well indeed. Since that time it seems to be the favored way to present it, but the original scoring has a strong, almost guttural quality that can be attractive. Shuman was also responsible for the 45 angle slide that never made any headway into the market.

I would be certain to have an original score for the judge if you were to go that route, so as not to be accused of simplifying the range to suit you. I believe it is perfectly legitimate to perform in its original scoring, and wish you well with it.
JonTheCadet
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Re: Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto on a bass trombone

Post by JonTheCadet » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:41 am

Thanks for all the advice. I was lucky enough to hit the high Bb during the performance. All is well!

Best regards,

Jon
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