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Old 08-22-2017, 03:01 AM
tenorino tenorino is offline
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Default New tenor player

Greetings, all, from Down Under.

I'm a cellist and baroque cellist, and I've been playing the Tenor since early this year. I'm absolutely delighted with this instrument. Just thought I'd share a few thoughts here. (Are these forums still in use, or has the discussion moved to a Facebook group or similar?)

1. Thumb position is amazing. The timbre is much lighter and freer than a cello A-string, and you can go soaring up to the highest register of the flute. It's like flying!

2. The lower registers are a revelation. I hadn't expected much different from the lower registers, but the sul G sound on the lowest string is incredible (looking forward to doing the 2nd movement of the Franck sonata with this!) and the D string has a clarity about it that's indescribable. The A-string is more subtle than a cello A-string.

3. It doesn't feel like a small cello! Having played my fair share of 1/2 and 1/4-size cellos, and also experimented with GDAE tuning on a normal cello while waiting for the tenor, I can say this feels completely different. This is a Good Thing, but it surprised me ho long it took to the resonances being in different places. It really does feel like a violin an octave lower. I feel like I'm finally 'getting' it, 6 months in ...

4. You can play viola parts on this! Yes, really. I could already read alto clef, but hadn't realised that this instrument is ideal for viola parts in chamber music. Some double stops are difficult, though. I had a hard time choosing between the alto and tenor, but it seems that much of what you can do on an alto, you can also do on a tenor. Still saving up for that alto, though ...

Some of the students at the music school where I teach are writing pieces for/with the Tenor, and a composer colleague in California is interested in writing a piece!

As you can see, I'm really, really happy with this instrument. Looking forward to hearing your stories with the instruments too!

Frank
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:58 PM
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rjspear rjspear is offline
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Greetings, Tenorino, and Welcome to the Forums!

Things have been a little slow around here lately, but this is still the only place where New Family instrument players can communicate with each other. I'm delighted that you are enjoying the tenor so much. It has been such an under-appreciated instrument, so it is especially encouraging to hear from someone who has been able to find the benefits and opportunities the tenor offers. We have always said that the tenor should not be looked at as a small cello, but rather as a large violin. The differences seem almost tiny at first, but as one gets more comfortable with the tenor, those same differences suddenly become quite large! It's great to find someone who has reached that plateau and can write so positively about his experiences. Maybe we are not so crazy after all.

If you play in public performance, we'd love to have a video with good audio quality. We have a YouTube channel, and one of the things most frequently asked for are videos of performance on individual instruments. We have a number of videos of a New Family orchestra, but people who are considering the purchase of tenors or altos, etc., would like to see and hear them singly. Let us know if this is something that interests you.

I am also greatly encouraged by the news that your students are writing for the tenor. Since it is a voice that has been absent from the string family for over 200 years, there is a dearth of literature for it. On the positive side, there has been a slow trickle of tenors going out into the world, so there are opportunities for new works to be performed elsewhere. Let us know if we can help.

Thanks again for your delightful post, and I personally look forward to hearing more of your experiences in the future.

--RJ (Bob) Spear
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:03 AM
tenorino tenorino is offline
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Hi Bob,

It's great to have this encouragement! I'm hoping to make some videos sometime in the next few months. Performances here at the university are normally recorded, and we ourselves are in the process of creating a Youtube channel. Considering there are so many videos of the contraforte, the tenoroon, the lupophone, and other new woodwinds, it would be good to make some to show the potential of the New Violin Family too!

And when the student pieces materialise, I'll also let the composers know that there is an eager group of players worldwide who will be keen to play their music.

These are certainly exciting times we live in!
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:43 PM
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rjspear rjspear is offline
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Yes, and let's do our best to make it even more exciting musically. Great to have you on board!
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