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.

Of Summers Past: Kendall Betts Horn Camp

In two previous posts (here and here) I discussed a couple of large, fairly lengthy summer music festivals, Brevard and Round Top.  While these types of festivals are great for many students, the reality is that lots of college students simply cannot afford to spend six, seven, or eight weeks at a summer festival. They have to work, often at full time jobs, just to be able to afford to go to college in the fall.  However, there are still plenty of other summer music opportunities in the form of one, two, or three week camps and festivals.  Some of these are full-fledged orchestral programs, while others cater to families of instruments, like the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, or even specific instruments, like the Kendall Betts Horn Camp.  See the list at the end of this post for additional music festivals lasting three weeks or less.

I attended KBHC the summer after finishing my master’s degree.  At the time,  students could attend the camp for week one, week two, or both weeks – the camp has since expanded into three weeks.   I was looking to attend a short music festival, and since I was also getting married that summer, the one-week option at KBHC made the most sense. I’d heard lots of great things about the camp from classmates who had attended, and Douglas Hill, my teacher at the time, was also on faculty there.  It was an intense week, filled with master classes, small ensembles, recitals, and private lessons. Most days began with a two hour warm-up/master class with one of the KBHC faculty.  Afternoons were full of additional master classes, private lessons, horn ensemble rehearsals, and individual practice.  Evenings usually featured students and/or faculty soloists in recital.  Some of my fondest memories from that busy week are playing for Hermann Baumann in a master class, and getting to experience the faculty’s wide variety of teaching and playing styles.  I also vividly remember Kendall Betts saying in his opening address to all the participants that practicing was not allowed late at night, because after 10 hour days full of horn playing, “no one wants to hear it.”  The camp is open to anyone who plays the horn, from retired medical doctors to freelancers and other professionals.  There really is something for everyone at KBHC, and I would wager that even students who have to spend most of the summer working could find at least one week to participate in this one of a kind experience.  There are also a number of scholarship opportunities available, and the applications usually involve sending in several required excerpt recordings as well as an essay explaining why you want to attend.  The setting in rural New Hampshire is gorgeous, and although the accommodations are “rustic,” the food is excellent and the company is great.  Because of the incredible diversity of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests, competition at the camp is kept to a minimum.

Short(er) Summer Music Festivals

Rafael Mendez Brass Institute

Kendall Betts Horn Camp

Bar Harbor Brass Week

Daytona Beach and Lugano, Switzerland Horn Camps

Colorado College Summer Music Festival

Sarasota Music Festival

Barry Tuckwell Institute

Fearless Performance for Musicians Summer Seminar

Atlantic Brass Quintet International Summer Seminar

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music Institute

The Banff Centre Summer Music Programs

Lieksa Brass Week

Spoleto Festival

Audition Mode Horn Seminar

University of Michigan Summer Horn Institute (High School Students Only)

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