Wednesday, June 16 2:00pm
Clinic: David Krauss
Hamilton Recital Hall
Lisa Blackmore, Reporter
David Krauss has been principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York since 2001. His clinic on A Vocal Approach to Orchestral Trumpet Playing was helpful and inspiring. Krauss demonstrated how orchestral trumpet players relate to opera singers both physically and musically.
Krauss stressed good posture that he has seen in singers at the MET. The three points to remember are: head back, shoulders down, and chest out. He likened this to a Superman pose. Krauss played an aria from Dvoraks opera Rusalka with a beautiful tone and lyrical style demonstrating this style of breathing. His point of reference was the artistry of Rénee Fleming as she performed this aria at the MET.
The best type of breath is a natural one (as in a yawn). As he watched singers breathe, he noticed that they dont take big gulping breaths and generally breathe slower than instrumentalists. One should be able to take a full breath and then speak in a normal tone. There is a sense of resistance in the chest when a full breath is taken and this is used to move the air rather like a balloon deflating. He performed an aria from Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten and stressed that he does not want to push for the high note in the aria, but takes in enough air to do the job. One must simply release the air rather than pushing. Krauss also demonstrated this idea on the high a'' from the opening of Beethoven Symphony #7 and the high c''' in Wagners Parsifal prelude.
Singing methods generally dont offer much help to trumpeters, but tongue placement was mentioned. If the tongue is low airspeed is too slow. When the tongue is arched higher air speed is the result. This helps center pitch, project the sound, and aids in resonance. Krauss mentioned that if he aimed for only volume he was not successful. It was only when he considered his breath that he played with a centered tone and got the resonance that he wanted.
Krauss also felt it was very important to listen to vocal music in order to get a proper interpretation and to lift the music off of the page. Krauss acknowledge that many vocalists had influenced his development as a musician. One example was the Russian singer Dimitri Hvorostovsky. Krauss performed the fourth song from Mahlers Song of the Wayfarer. There are many nuances in interpreting notes on the page. As an example Krauss stated that there are important differences between sixteenth-notes from the Italian to the German styles. One must always keep in mind the text setting and accents when interpreting rhythm, and to know the performance traditions of the literature. He demonstrated with excerpts from Puccinis Tosca where the written rhythm is very different from the way it is generally interpreted.
Krauss answered questions from the audience and stressed again the importance of posture, breathing, and musicality when making music
his sense of humor and beautiful lyrical playing were appreciated by the audience. David Krauss accompanist for this session was Rebecca Wilt.