Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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This morning I played trumpet in church for the first time in a long time, accompanying the choir on J.S. Bach's "Nun danket Alle Gott" from Cantata #79. (Normally, the accompaniment is either an organ, two trumpets, organ, and tympani, or two trumpets, trombone and tympani, but we just had one trumpet and a piano.)

Here's what it should sound like. It's not especially difficult, but it's not an easy piece (it's much harder to play than it sounds, even though it's relatively slow and is "only" a bit over 2 minutes long), and the lead trumpet part isn't normally something one would give to a relative beginner.

I made a few mistakes in the first half, but most likely little or nothing most of the congregation would have noticed. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the way through my lip gave out and completely stopped supporting the high notes. Usually resting for a measure or two is enough for me to come right back in and keep playing the high knows, but I couldn't even do that. I ended up dropping probably six or eight measures total in two sections (I'm not going to go back right now and actually count, because that would only make me depressed), reached for and noticably missed a few high notes in that section, and pretty much screwed it up. I managed to get mostly back on track after the last high section ended, and finished out the last two lines of the piece well enough, so that it at least ended almost as well as it started. Two hours later, my lip and jaw muscles were still sore. All the rehearsals and my practicing had gone pretty well; I hadn't had my lip really go out like that in about a month, and I've only had the music for six weeks.

Most likely this happened because I still only have enough stamina for playing high notes to play the piece once well or twice well enough, and the actual performance was my third time through this morning. (I played the high parts down an octave the first two times in order to save my lip, but I guess it was just one time too much.)

I'm happy with the parts I played, but I'm very disappointed that I had to drop out for so much of the piece. I really wanted to finish and have that feeling of nailing it, but I would have been plenty happy enough just to make it through with roughly the same degree of success as I had in rehearsal last Thursday, but I don't have either one. I got several compliments, which felt good, but I know that it wasn't anywhere even close to the sort of performance I could have and should have had.


Better to try and fail than not try at all, I guess, but next time, I hope to either try something that isn't quite so much on the bubble of my still-fledgling trumpet abilities, or something on baritone. (I could've play the lead trumpet part on baritone with basically no problem, but since the melody wasn't intended to be played that way, it doesn't sound quite "right". Thus trumpet.) Or maybe by this time next year I'll have the endurance to play the piece right.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: church, music, trumpet

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