Topic: Pines of Rome?

Lately I've taken to calling it the PAINS of Rome...

The excerpt from the first movement has made our excerpt list at CCM this year. Does anyone have any tips or shortcuts for the slurred triplet passage? My brain/fingers don't seem to want to move as quickly or smoothly as they need to up there. High D-C-D-Bb... what a nightmare. sad

Any tips would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
BM Bassoon


Re: Pines of Rome?

I would suggest taking up the contra smile

Re: Pines of Rome?

While I wish I had a "'trick" for this passage I'm afraid that once you're up in those shark-infested waters there aren't many options. Practice slowly and aim for a target tempo one or two clicks lower than your favourite recording - with the adrenalin at the audition it will be fast enough!

However you can try and simplify the fingerings a little bit by freeing up your hands. Some suggestions:

- do not use the left hand E-flat resonance key (except on the F if you must); at that speed it doesn't make a difference acoustically, and it's good to have your LH pinky up to free your hand up as much as possible;

- play the A only with the left hand (1 + 2 + 3 + thumb on high A and C#)

- do not use the whisper key on the G

One more suggestion about the resonance key in general: use it only on E, F, G and A above middle C. It will help simplify your technique and can also even out the tone from note to note in the high register, and in specific passages then you have the option to add the resonance key if you like the sound better. In my experience the 'resonance' effect of that key is often an illusion, as the low E-flat tone hole is actually directed at you, and not towards the audience.

Hope this helps, and good luck!


Re: Pines of Rome?

I haven't looked closely to see if this is what you need, but here is a link to specific solutions for Pines.

Last edited by Kent Moore (2009-08-06 17:59:32)

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Pines of Rome?

I've had good luck on Pines by using a "short" high C fingering (from Fredrick Moritz ~1968) and a flattened high D# to play the 2nd high D.  My bassoon has a G ring key, so I use that for the A on the way down the scale.  More spefically, I play the first high D with a normal fingering, the following high C with only the high C (or D depending or reed) thumb key and the 1st finger of the left hand

c (or possibly d)

then play the high D as

x!00|xxx       where the '!" is the (F#??) trill key between the 1st and 2nd fingers
c (or possibly d)   

the next high C is again with the short high C fingering.  I just performed Pines this last Spring & those fingerings worked well for me again.  I'm used to pictoral fingerings rather than ASCII -- I hope my explanation is clear.

In order to get the high D to pop out, I've noticed that, on my bassoon, when I half-hole the 2nd LH finger, it works better if the hole is opened by pulling my finger toward my palm rather than down the bassoon -- that is the open part of the hole is vertical rather than horizontal.  You may want to try that as well.

Good luck --

Tom Schubert