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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000648.txt from 2003/10

From: Dan Leeson <>
Subj: Re: [kl] For Erik the drooling trombonist
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 09:29:09 -0400

Erik Tkal wrote:

> At 05:03 PM 10/23/2003, Dan wrote:
>> Erik, you of course have the best part of the three trombones, but
>> are you aware that there is a small possibility that there are
>> supposed to be four trombones in that piece? The missing trombone
>> is a soprano, also called a slide trumpet.
>> Ever see one? I haven't.
> -------------------------------------------------
> I usually play the first part, but with trombones it's not really
> first/second/third but more like alto/tenor/bass. Since I don't have
> an alto, I hate playing the alto part on my large-bore tenor, so we
> recruited someone with an alto starting with the concert this weekend
> (Mendelssohn's 5th). So for the Mozart I get to play the tenor part,
> including the Tuba Mirim solo. :-P
> None of the scores I have seen for the Requiem show a fourth higher
> trombone part. Though I have heard of such a horn I have never
> actually seen an soprano trombone, nor have I ever seen any
> orchestral pieces that call for one.
> Erik
Well that is a small part of the problem. Mozart allegedly uses three
trombones, with each voice covering and doubling a vocal line, namely,
the first trombone covering the alto voices, the tenor trombone covering
tenor voices (and also used in the Tuba Mirum solo), and the bass
trombone covering the bass voices. But there is, supposedly, no
trombone to cover the soprano voice (which, were it identified, would
certainly be a soprano trombone). And it is not surprising that you
have never seen any Requiem score showing or even suggesting anything to
cover the soprano voices. That is because it is very much unclear in
the manuscript of the Requiem. However, it is possible to suggest that
the manuscript really does request one. That was the whole point of my
original note. In this case, Mozart's intentions with respect to the
number of trombones to be used is not at all clear. In fact, it is damn


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**Dan Leeson **
** **

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