Topic: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

This octet has a few passages where the bassoons are noodling in the background - one of which is repeated G-Bb-Eb-Bb (slurred) around middle C.  (Sixteenth notes, quarter = approximately 120)  Any suggestions for making this go smoothly?  With the standard fingerings it sounds hopelessly messy, at least in my hands.  I have the extra Ab-Bb trill key if that helps (but not the articulated mechanism, which I suspect would be much more helpful).

thanks,
Nat

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Re: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

How do you play the top Eb? If you lift the first finger of your right hand when slurring up from the Bb, it should help with the smoothness of that slur.  The Ab-Bb trill won't really help you out much in this instance.

Matt Nickel
Bassoon and Contrabasoon, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra
MM, University of Michigan

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Re: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

Practice the passage using x o x | o o o for the high e-flat. That fingering may not sound very good when you play it slowly, but will work fine as the tempo increases. Avoid tensing your fingers and hands as your play the passage.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

natechols wrote:

I have the extra Ab-Bb trill key if that helps (but not the articulated mechanism, which I suspect would be much more helpful).

The articulated Ab/Bb does make the passage much easier. I'm sorry, I do not know if your mechanism helps -- my guess is not.

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Re: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

For the B-flat seven arpeggio (m. 173) allow your right wrist to move back and forth a little bit to help the fingers go between a-flat and b-flat. We should all know how much easier those passages were in Mozart's day. He knew what he was doing and was not around long enough to adjust for the fancy keywork we now have.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Mozart Serenade in E-flat (K375)

P.S. the a-flat / b-flat trill key will be no help in these passages.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com