Author Topic: M5 with CSO principal trumpet  (Read 377 times)

Offline ChrisH

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M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« on: September 22, 2021, 02:03:19 PM »
A nice little video featuring Esteban Batallan, the new principal trumpet in the CSO. He plays the excerpts from the 1st movement and talks about them a little. He's an incredible player and plays in a similar style to Herseth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifxCyMfkdmM&list=RDifxCyMfkdmM&start_radio=1


Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 06:44:39 PM »
Here's hoping that Esteban even gets to play any Mahler in the next few years. Aside from the pandemic, Muti isn't very keen on Mahler. I guess he lets the guest conductors do it occasionally.

Offline erikwilson7

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2021, 06:47:06 PM »
Unfortunately I’m not seeing any Mahler in the coming season for my two regional orchestras: Chicago and Milwaukee.

Chicago only has their season planned through January, so fingers crossed.

And this Batallan is amazing.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2021, 07:13:27 PM »
Muti does have Scriabin's "Death of a Trumpet",     .    .     .   Oops! I mean, "Poem of Ecstasy" in his repertoire. Maybe he could use that to highlight Mr. Batallan.

Offline ChrisH

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2021, 06:44:56 PM »
Esteban is an incredible player. He plays orchestral trumpet just like Bud. Bud used to be a lead trumpet in big bands, so, in some ways, that's what he brought to the orchestra. Esteban is of the same mold. It should be very loud, with lots of zing in Chicago.

Barry, I liked, "Death of a Trumpet"

For some more Mahler with Mr. Batallan here is a soundcloud link to the HK Philharmonic doing the M7  with Jap van Zweden:
https://soundcloud.com/hkphilharomic/mahler-symphony-no-7

This is, basically, trumpet porn.

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2021, 08:35:51 PM »
I'm of two minds about that. Yes, it's important to have strong trumpets, as Mahler's parts are very demanding. However, Mahler wrote demanding parts for most everybody. The trumpets need to know when to cut through, and when not to. Much of Mahler's main-line brass writing is often times in the horns, and not in the trumpets. Other times, it's the other way around. I once saw a performance of M7 with MTT in San Francisco and I hated it - it sounded like a giant concerto for trumpets with orchestral accompaniment. Granted, some of that must have had something to do with where I was seated. One of my big complaints about Solti era Mahler in Chicago, is that their fabled brass played with a dynamic range that stretched from forte to triple forte. Loud, louder, loudest - to the point that not only the strings and woodwinds had trouble keeping up (at times), but they're percussion got buried over too!

Much of that brass bravura was led by 'Bud', so I'm not always a fan-boy. I once heard Herseth and Solti do Mahler 5 in S.F., late in both men's careers (in the latter 1980's). It was awful! Seriously - possibly THE worst orchestral performance of anything I've ever heard. To be somewhat fair, I don't think they got a chance to rehearse in Davies - they completely over-blew the hall. Solti was flipping his arms and wrists all over the place, and nobody in the orchestra was looking up at him at all. Many of them had their stands up. I swear, the cymbal player brought about seven pairs of cymbals, and each stroke sounded worse than the previous one. Gordon Peters stayed behind the bass drum and oddly under-played everything. The timpanist was atrocious. I was shocked by how poor it really sounded. It just seemed that by that point (late '80s), their 'let's blow the roof off' approach had just grown stale. Rather than working towards a musical goal, the entire orchestra sounded as though it were at war with itself.

So yes, I hope Batallan brings strength and endurance to the table, but also with a good sound. More to the point, I hope that he - and any other brass player! - also understands that when a composer writes "piano", that's what they mean. More to the point, I hope they're willing and able to make a distinction between mezzo piano and mezzo forte. Such gradations are absolutely essential in Mahler. I will listen to the van Zweden/HK Phil. M7, as I very much like van Zweden.

As a side-note, I can't stand Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy", until you finally get to its orgasmic, climactic ending. I think someone should edit it and lop off about five minutes from it. Just an opinion - probably a bad one.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 08:45:59 PM by barryguerrero »

Offline ChrisH

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2021, 06:37:23 PM »
I tend to agree with your line of thinking on this, Barry. The biggest complaint I have about trumpet playing and Mahler, is that the conductors don't seem to realize the change of timbre and color that these players can produce with their instruments. It's what I enjoy about Phil Smith's playing so much, he always tries to fit his sound in to what is going on in the orchestra. His recording of the M5 with Mehta is incredible because of this. Listen to the lyrical section of the 1st movement. Phil soars over the orchestra, as it should, but it's riding on top of the sound of the orchestra, not boring holes through it. He gives you the power when it's needed, but he also gets you the pianissimos, the fat heavy articulation in the low registers, and his sounds melds so well with the rest of the brass section. He and Alessi had something very special there. Chris Martin fits into that chair very nicely. I heard them do a great M5 in Ann Arbor a few years back, it was one of the first JVZ concerts.

Brass playing needs to be a bit more nuanced, but I don't know how much of that is player, or the conductors. More than likely, a bit of both.

Of the players from the Bud time-frame, I really enjoyed Phil Collins in Cincinnati, Tom Stevens in LA, Roger Voison in Boston, and Adelstein in Cleveland. I'll also throw Mel Broiles, formerly of the MET, in there for his utter conviction while playing the R. Strauss opera rep.

As an aside, funny Mel Broiles story. In the late 70's Mark Gould won the 2nd princpal trumpet spot at the MET. They have 2. Mel rarely spoke to Mark about much of anything. Mark would play this, Mel would play that. After about a year or so of playing, Mark is in the mens room, using the urinal. Up walks Mel, takes the next urinal, looks over at Mark and say, "Remember Mark, men die in battle to the sound of the trumpet!" Zipped up and walked away. 

Offline barryguerrero

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Re: M5 with CSO principal trumpet
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2021, 08:06:53 PM »
That's a great story about Mel Broiles. There are so many orchestral brass fables like that. I think it's even more so within horn sections. Anyway, I'm completely in agreement with you about Phil Smith. The man just 'got it'. And let's hope that Esteban even gets the chance to play some Mahler in the next few years. I know Muti isn't crazy about Mahler, so he probably resists the idea of even guest conductors doing any. I listened to the first three movements of of the van Zweden/HK Phil. M7 - pretty good! Batallon sounds good, as you promised. I think he overplays just a tad here and there, but that's probably better than the other way around. He'll be fine.

 

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