26. March 2009 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

I’m looking at the second oboe/English horn part to Scheherazade. Does anyone every “cheat” and play those last low Cs and Bs on EH rather than oboe? They are marked pp. That would be so much easier a fifth higher on EH. (Dear composers — don’t you get that?!)

(We are doing this next year. In my effort to waste and entire day I’ve been looking up some of our works for next year. I know the book is sometimes split and I can hope for that, but who knows? If it’s not, it sure would be easier to shoot those notes out with EH.)


  1. Karen Birch Blundell

    We played it a couple of weeks ago and I actually found those last C’s and B’s weren’t as stressful as they seem on paper. The orchestration actually felt thick enough for me to give a little body to the note. I agree, however, that it would have been nice to play them on English horn instead…it was just sitting there after all.

  2. Does your group split the book or did you play both parts? Just curious!

    Thanks for the info … I’m glad to hear it isn’t as bad as it looks. 🙂

  3. joethemusician

    I used to do a lot of that with soprano saxophone and alto saxophone (usually the other way around). It was usually during “new music” ensemble so there was not much precedent for the works or the composer did not have strong words either way. If we clarinetists (sometimes I am one hehehe) can swap Bb/A for technical ease i cant see why in a somewhat thick scoring an English horn can’t toot a few notes in substitution. I suppose I wouldn’t know anything about that though since I’m not a professional orchestral player and it seems silly for me to give you advice on oboe all things considered (ask again in 20 years please!).

  4. Hmmm. 20 years, eh? I am guessing I might not be on this dusty planet by then, although of course I might be. (If I am, remind me to ask you!)