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Les Miz pit advice

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Wow. It's been a while since I last posted here, but I feel this is a wise topic to touch on and it's a great conversation starter. You see, my community theater back in my hometown of Waterloo, Iowa (I'm in Dubuque, Iowa for college) is planning on doing Les Miserables for their summer show. Now they are obviously going to use the current licensed, so in regards to reeds there are three parts (Rd 1: Picc/fl/alto fl/alto rec; Rd 2: Oboe/Eng Hn; Rd 3: Eb clar/clar/bs clar/tenor rec). I have no doubt that this coming summer I will be doing this along (along with a summer job and the summer musical at the community theater in Cedar Falls). Is there any advice you guys and gals would like to give in regards to the woodwind parts in Les Miz? I've never played the show, seen the show (no plans on seeing the movie), but I love the music. Just some general advice on playing for this show would be most appreciated, as this seems like a very complex show to play for.

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    If you play the first part, make sure that you are comfortable with playing the alto in a "sleazy" manner...
  3. I do play the flute, but my forte is the clarinet but you never know. And do you mean play alto flute or alto recorder in a "sleazy" manner? And what do you exactly mean by "sleazy"?

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    My error; I misread the horn listing what with the abbreviations. It's the tenor sax part that needs to get the "sleazy" treatment. The "Master Of The House" number uses that timbre to advantage.

    As for sleazy defined, think of the saxophone ornaments in "Black Coffee", only a bit more up tempo.
  5. Okay. What's the song "Black Coffee" from?

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    1960s torch song, out of the "American Songbook". You should be able to find a rendition on line, and Lush Life Music should have one on their website as well.

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

  8. SOTSDO, ya I strongly concur with you and the torch song is really a nice song which I have heard in an Broadway event. Listening torch song or any song helps us to feel fresh and happy.
  9. I don't recall there being a tenor sax part, unless you meant the clarinet is meant to played "sleazy" on "Master of the House". I mean, there was an alto sax part in the original Les Miz pit, but no sax in the current version.
  10. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Well then, it depends on which version of the "book" that you get, I would guess. The one that a friend of mine did here locally had the sax part, and it was played on an alto.

    (I've never played (or seen) the show myself - only have heard the recording (and that far too many times, mind you).)

    These multiple versions are nothing new - I've played three different "arrangements" of West Side Story over the years, and I have yet to see the full orchestration version of Gypsy, even though I've done it in over five productions since back in the day.
  11. I would love to play in a full pit! Yeah, it probably might not happen in my case but it would be great! I would love to do Hairspray in a full pit. I'm starting to think though that Les Miz might not be a good choice for a summer musical.
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