Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Randy the Main Man

I’ve been preparing instrument parts for Christmas as I head into Advent. While last year I was in a GIA parish, my current parish is primarily of the OCP lineage.

As I have said before, I think OCP gets a bad rap. For one, they keep more of the “old-tyme” lyrics than GIA does: “Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.” They also are more careful in their editing, I find.

I am now discovering another asset this organization has: the wonderful trumpet descants of Randall DeBruyn. These parts just sparkle with interesting rhythms and meticulous articulation markings. The melodic makeup is nearly always interesting; in particular, his use of motives and quasi-canons (cf. his part for LASST UNS) is intriguing.

Then I broke open the Gather Comp C instrument book, and several thoughts pop into mind:
1) GIA does do us a favor by printing the melody lines along with the descants. (I am Finale-ing the DeBruyn parts because OCP only gives the descant.)
2) The descants are, on the whole, much less interesting. They look more like 1st-species counterpoint (i.e. note-against-note) .... which, ok, is what my own trumpet parts tend to look like when I write stuff.
3) I’m looking at a C book - why the blazes does GIA put a trumpet part in a C book? Even if our trumpeter is, in fact, playing a C trumpet, he/she is probably able to transpose readily.

What would be most helpful would be trumpet/woodwind/melody/bass editions of things in either book. Right now I am deciding whether to write new flute parts to these many Christmas hymns or to ask the flute player to play GIA’s trumpet parts - which, though they are less trumpet-ish than OCP/DeBruyn, are still not very idiomatic for a woodwind.

1 Comments:

At Sunday, November 25, 2007 7:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those books are great. In fact, transcribing the Gather Comp book for French horn to play for school Masses which got me interested in church music!

-Gavin

 

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