Trumpet Concertos

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Famous Trumpet Concerti


Sonata Opus 2 No.11 - Benedetto Marcello (1686 - 1739)

Sonata a cinque No.1 - Giuseppe Torelli (1658 - 1709)

Concerto in D Major - Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)

Concerto in D Minor - George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759)

-(reconstructed by Jean Thilde)

Concerto in D Major - Leopold Mozart (1719 - 1787)

Concerto in E Flat Major - Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)


The trumpet has had a long and eventful history, in one formor another, whether to alarm the enemy in battle or to rouse the dead at theDay of Judgement. Fifteenth century princes in Europe saw the instrument as oneto boost the importance of a ruler, Matthias Corvinus boasting a band of 24 trumpetsand the Sforzas in Milan 18 and a dozen trumpeters are listed in the Salzburgarchives in the time of Mozart.


The Baroque trumpet, for which Torelli and hiscontemporaries wrote, was confined in range to the notes of the harmonicseries, so that lower notes were widely spaced and step-wise melodies were onlypossible at a high register.

Where more was required than a mere bugler's summon tothe cook-house a player had to cultivate the difficult and virtuoso art of clarinoplaying, using the upper partials of the series. The technique was developedparticularly at the basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, home of so manydistinguished instrumental players. Here, in the last decade of the seventeenthcentury, Giuseppe Torelli wrote a series of splendid pieces for GiovanniPellegrino Brandi, who was employed for major festivals at San Petronio forsome twenty years. Many of these compositoins follow the then establishedpattern of the

Sonata da chiesa (church sonata), with a sequence ofmovements slow-fast-slow-fast, and were designed to mark the beginning of the Mass.


The sonata by the Venetian writer and composer BenedettoMarcello, here scored for trumpet and strings, is typical of the existing styleof instrumental music, both in its sequence of movements and in its use of thesolo instrument. A near contemporary of Vivaldi, whom he satirised in his II teatroalla moda, a Hogarthian caricature of contemporary operatic practices, Marcelloand his elder brother Alessandro were gentlemen amateurs in the art ofcomposition, but none the less proficient for that, if less prolific than someof their contemporaries.


Telemann, a friend and successful rival of JohannSebastian Bach and god-father of the latter's distinguished son Carl PhilippEmanuel, was educated at the University of Leipzig, where he established the Collegiummusicum that Bach was later to direct after his appointment as Cantor at the Thomasschulein 1723. Telemann was the choice of the Leipzig city fathers for that position,but he wisely chose to remain in Hamburg, where he spent much of his professionallife. On his death he was succeeded as director of music of the five Hamburgcity churches by his god-son. In Hamburg Telemann had opportunities to providemusic of all kinds, for church, theatre and home. Of his 47 surviving soloconcertos, one is for solo trumpet.


Handel, established in England in the second decade ofthe eighteenth century until his death in 1759, made considerable use of thepowers of endurance of the trumpeter Valentine Snow, sergeant-trumpeter to theking from 1753. No trumpet concerto survives, although the oratorios provide copiousevidence of Handel's handling of the instrument. The D Minor Trumpet Concertois arranged by Jean Thilde from a flute sonata, a procedure not entirely foreignto the composer's own economical practice of borrowing from his own and others'music as occasion required.


By the time of Leopold Mozart, father of Amadeus, and formuch of his career Vice-Kapellmeister at the court of the Archbishop ofSalzburg, the Baroque trumpet had begun to go out of fashion. Its part inorchestral texture was to become much more limited, as the suaver tones of violin,oboe or flute replaced the heroic pretentions of the trumpet. Leopold Mozart'sconcerto for the trumpet was written in 1762, coming, therefore, at a time whenhe was already sacrificing his own interests to those of his son, whose geniushe had been quick to perceive.


Joseph Haydn's famous trumpet concerto marked a new stagein the development of the instrument. Baroque clarino-playing was something ofthe past, but now attempts were being made to widen the range of theinstrument, which earlier in the eighteenth century had reached unparallelledheights. One later technological development was the keyed-trumpet introducedto Vienna by Anton Weidinger, who had been appointed trumpeter at the courtopera in 1792. This instrument, which enjoyed some success until theintroduction of the modern valve trumpet in the 1820s, allowed a player to playthe consecutive of the scale in the lower register of the trumpet. Haydn'sconcerto, written for Weidinger in 1796, must have startled contemporaryaudiences by its novelty. At the first performance of the new concerto in Viennain 1800 a trumpet melody was heard in a lower register than had hitherto beenpracticable. Once neglected, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto has now become one of thebest known of all concertos.



Disc: 1
Trumpet Concerto, E flat major, Hob.VIIe:1
1 Adagio
2 Allegro
3 Largo
4 Allegro
5 Andante
6 Allegro
7 Grave
8 Allegro
9 Adagio
10 Allegro
11 Grave
12 Allegro
13 Largo - Vivace
14 Furioso
15 Adagio - Alla Breve
16 Adagio
17 Allegro moderato
18 Allegro
19 Andante cantabile
20 Finale: Allegro
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