The purpose of the Warm-Up Variations is to take the player from a cold lip state to being fully warmed up. It is especially useful after a day or two off the horn. The warm-up starts very comfortably, then gradually widens in range and dynamics. A generous amount of rests are used to prevent fatigue and to keep breathing comfortable.
Each variation is a short exercise, focusing on a particular technique. Some exercises are general—slurring, tonguing, extreme ranges—while other cover specific problems found in orchestral repertoire. A few variations could use some explanation. Var. 5 should be triple tongued. Var. 11 provides practice for the rhythmic motif found in the first movement of Beethoven’s 7th. Var. 12 is just for fun. In Var. 15 (based on a second horn passage in Beethoven’s 3rd), the sforzandos should clearly stick out, but be sure to keep the other notes at a loud level. In Var. 20 (based on rhythms from Brahms’ 4th), make sure to differentiate between the dotted pattern (first two notes) and the triplet pattern (next two notes); however, don’t make the eighth note in the dotted pattern too short! Vars. 22 and 24 are triple and double tonguing exercises à la Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade. Var. 23 is practice for picking off notes: loud, soft, high, low. Var. 27 (from Mahler’s 5th) should be played very loudly, making sure both notes in the quick octave jumps are of equal weight. Also try to make the volume of the stopped notes the same as the open notes. In Var. 29, the glissandos are to be done with the lip, using one fingering for all the notes in the gliss (though a change of fingering may be needed for the “landing” note at the top of the upward glisses). The notes determine which fingering to use: all the glisses should be done with either 1st valve or open on the F horn, except the one beginning on A-flat, which can be done with 2nd and 3rd on the F horn.
Richard Goldfaden currently is a member of the Horn section of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he held positions in the Toledo Symphony Orchestra as well as several orchestras in Mexico City. For several years, he taught horn at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan in 1978. He studied horn with Louis Stout and Eugene Wade.
Mr. Goldfaden is also a natural horn enthusiast. In this capacity, he was awarded Second Prize in the 1979 Heldenleben Horn Competition, Hand Horn division, and received the Award for Outstanding Musicianship from the Detroit Waldhorn Society. His instructor in the art of natural horn playing was Lowell Greer.
While in junior high school, Richard Goldfaden began composing brass quartets he could play with his friends. He continued writing numerous compositions and arrangements for various gatherings of musicians. Understandably, most of his works feature the horn. His music is often light hearted and usually traditional in its harmonies. His goal is to make every part interesting and fun to play, though this often makes them challenging. He has transcribed numerous orchestral masterpieces for large horn ensembles.