Kopprasch Project Continued, No. 3

Here we have the third installment in the Kopprasch Op. 60 etudes, which makes for a great study on staccato articulations.  The project is going well, and I think after some experimentation I’ve finally arrived at the recording setup I want to use for a while.  If you compare this video with the recording of No. 2 from last week, you’ll see that I am in roughly the same position for both recordings.  For some reason though the sound quality seems to be better on No. 3, even though I changed nothing from one recording to the next.  I think the microphone was a bit too close for No. 2, causing some distortion at high dynamic levels, although this distortion doesn’t come through as much on the recording of No. 3.  This week I’m going to keep my same basic position, but move the microphone further away and higher in relation to me.  One thing I meant to add in previous posts on this topic are my suggested tempos for each etude.  I’ll try to keep up with that in future posts.

No. 1: quarter note=ca. 88

No. 2: quarter note=ca. 88

No. 3: quarter note=ca. 104

For the second part of this post I want to discuss some of the various Kopprasch Op. 6 editions.  If you watch the opening credits on all three of my videos you’ll see that the edition I’m using has been copiously edited and/or revised, first by Oscar Franz, then Albin Frehse, and finally by James Chambers. I like the engraving in this edition, which is published by International Music Company, and in my opinion it is a good value for the money (see the cover below).

There are a few typos in some editions of Kopprasch, particularly in the “Blue Book,” otherwise known as 335 Selected Melodious, Progressive, and Technical Studies for French Horn, Book I, by Max Pottag and Albert Andraud, published by Southern Music Co., 1958.  I haven’t encountered any errors in the Chambers edition yet, but I will keep my eyes (and ears) out for them.  Although students really need to buy their own copies of Kopprasch, there are a couple of free (i.e. Public Domain) editions out there, available through IMSLP and the Mutopia Project.  The Mutopia version is I believe a newly engraved copy of the older 19th-century publication available on IMSLP.  They both have errors, and some interesting notation things.  For instance, No. 2 is notated using half notes in 4/2 time, which is changed to 4/4 time and quarter notes in modern editions.  Another edition worth mentioning is a compilation of several selections from Book 1, compiled and “brutally” edited by Kendall Betts.  I got my copy the summer I attended the Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and we spent at least one hour every day working from this very special Kopprasch edition (cover image below).

For each of the thirteen selected studies found within, the editor has added additional dynamic, articulation, and phrase markings to help students get the most out of each etude.  Generally all of the dynamic markings are exaggerated, which is great for building strength and consistency.  And finally one edition I recently heard about but have not had first-hand experience with is available through CornoPub, a publishing company run by Corbin Wagner, third horn in the Detroit Symphony.   According to his website, this new Kopprasch edition has some great features.  See the quote below for more details.

Kopprasch Complete has all 60 Selected Studies.  So much has been changed!  You will find first off, before you even open the book, that the materials are beautiful.  It is spiral bound, plastic covers, color picture…really nice paper and feel.  Then when you open it up, you will find no more squished notes, faded ledger lines or unclear markings.  Everything is in clean clear laser printing.

The etudes themselves have no more nagging mistakes.  Some others have extra markings to keep them consistent throughout the etude.  Some even have added measures (though I doubt you will find them).

Lastly are the extras.  In the back of the book are scales…all of them.  Arpeggios, trill fingerings and on and on!.  This book is the flagship of cornopub.  Order this and throw the older editions into the birdcage. (http://cornopub.com/page28.php)

Mr. Wagner’s edition certainly sounds enticing, and I would love to look at a copy some time.  If you are in the market for a set of the Kopprasch Etudes you ought to check those out.

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