Etude No. 50 is similar to No. 48, but focuses primarily on diatonic (instead of chromatic) scales and arpeggios. Suggested tempo is quarter-note=104-120, although a more brisk Presto can work as well, provided that everything is clean without sounding frantic. The “espressivo” marking is interesting, and there are probably several ways to interpret it, including shaping the phrases through dynamic changes (beyond what is marked), varying the intensity and strength of articulations, and perhaps even a small amount of rubato.
This week I once again updated the video page on this site to include links to all of my current Kopprasch videos. Hopefully the table format will make it easier to find a particular study. In looking back through all thirty-nine of the etudes to find the links, it was quite interesting to notice the equipment changes (mouthpiece and horn), wardrobe variation (sometimes dressy, sometimes quite casual), and hair length (too long vs. too short). More importantly, though, this chart makes it clear how much of the project is complete, and how much remains. Though I’ve recorded nearly two-thirds of Op. 6, I don’t anticipate completing the project anytime soon – certainly not this academic year. With various performances and other projects in the works this year I realistically don’t expect to be able to record a large amount of Kopprasch, especially given the greater difficulty of the remaining studies. I’m fine with this, and actually really like the idea of having a long-term project out there. I’ll keep working on and recording them as I can, and posting updates here.
Other new additions to the video page include a short tutorial on stopped horn as well as some links to recent performances. If you have time, feel free to stop in and check out a few.
Here’s another video in the Kopprasch Project, No. 39 (Molto allegro). My edition suggests a tempo of quarter note=76-112, and for this recording I settled around quarter=95. One key to playing this one-at least for me-was to avoid excess jaw tension in the mid and upper range, especially when approaching an isolated low note. For example, in measure three it’s very easy to tense up in the first half of the measure, which makes it more difficult to pop out the the “c” and “g” below the staff in the second half of the measure.
Speaking of Kopprasch, I recently read about a new edition of Op. 6 (Book 1) in the “Music and Book Reviews” section of the latest Horn Call journal. This new edition, published by Carl Fischer, includes a CD recording by Michelle Stebleton, Associate Professor of Horn at The Florida State University. Of course, I was very interested, especially because Professor Stebleton is a fantastic teacher and player. I’ve ordered my copy, and will probably put down a few thoughts on this site once it’s arrived and I’ve had a chance to look and listen a bit. Jeffrey Snedeker writes a very thoughtful review of the publication, but you’ll have to pick up the October issue of The Horn Call to read it. This story points out yet another reason why it’s important to join the IHS: news and information on new music and publications. Even though there are some excellent horn-related websites out there, The Horn Call is still a great go-to place for news and information in the horn world.
This week’s Kopprasch combines triadic and stepwise patterns. Strive for evenness of sound and articulation across the dynamic and register changes. Focus on air speed intensity rather than excessive embouchure motion at a slow tempo before attempting faster speeds. Suggested tempo is quarter=84-88. Make sure you put enough air into the descending octave slurs, (mm. 17-18).