I’m in San Diego this week playing one of my favorite pieces of all time: Camille Saint-Saëns‘ 3rd Symphony, known as the Organ Symphony.
This piece has everything: Gorgeous melodies, stimulating harmonies, clever structures, and the most epic instrument ever created…..the ORGAN.
The trombone parts are very satisfying to play, and one of the most satisfying moments is the subject of this week’s sequence.
Chris Smith, laying it down.
One thing that has struck me playing this piece this week, is the clarity of articulations and brilliance of the fronts of ALL NOTES.
The new principal trumpet of the SD Symphony, Chris Smith, has been setting an incredible example all week of a brilliant/colorful sound, and clear/energized articulations. Chris most recently held a position in the Montreal Symphony. The OSM is based in Canada but it is essentially a French orchestra, and Chris’ experience in the group makes him the closest thing to an expert on French music that I have access to. I am doing everything I can to soak up his playing.
Find the Sweet Spot
I left this video unedited (except for 2 times I fast forward while writing in the music) so that you could accurately judge what I sound like as I move through most of my range, and you can play along if you are interested.
I play strait through the pdf twice, starting with a Bass Clef and proceeding to the Bass Clef LOW.
You can hear how the upper range creates a challenge at the beginning before I hit my sweet spot about 5 or so keys in. The sweet spot of sound and musical command stays solid for a while, but as I get into lower octave it becomes increasingly challenging to phrase and maintain the clarity of sound and articulation.
This change is NORMAL, and I is simply a reflection of how well I can play this sequence on May 3rd, 2019. I know, that if I continue to work, and strive for the excellence that I imagine in my head, this will improve.
I challenge you to play this all the way through at whatever tempo you can and find your sweet spot. This week, work on expanding that sweet spot by one key in each direction.
Good luck, and Happy Practicing!
Excerpt starts at 4:45, but you should start listening at 4:35 or before to get the lead in.
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