CONTENTS IN THIS CHAPTER
Last updated 4/11 – 2022
1 – WIND BANDS/ORCHESTRA
2 – THE BAND STAND
3 – THE DISTIN FAMILY
4 – THE BRASS BAND MOVEMENTS PROPAGATION
5 – BRASS ORCHESTRAS/ENSEMBLES
6 – WIND BANDS – WILHELM FRIEDRICH WIEPRECHT (1802-1872)
7 – PATRICK GILMORE (1829-1892)
8 – TWO FAMOUS STAR CORNET SOLOISTS – JULES LEVY AND MATTHEW ARBUCKLE
9 – OTHER WIND BANDS
10 – BACK STAGE BANDA (WIND BAND) IN OPERAS
11 – BRASS CHAMBER MUSIC COMPOSERS
12 – BRASS CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLES
13 – THE BUILDING AF BRASS INSTRUMENTS
14 – WORLD EXITBITIONS
15 – GERMAN AND CZECH INSTRUMENT MAKERS
16 – INSTRUMENT MAKING IN ENGLAND – BESSON
17 – HENRY DISTIN
18. VACLAV FRANTISEK CHERVENY
19 – A WELL TRAINED ORCHESTRA
ROMANTICISM III (1830 – 1900)
1. WIND BANDS/ORCHESTRAS
The introduction of the valve instruments caused a real revolution in the wind bands/orchestras, in seize as well as in strength. It happened little by little, not as standardized as nowadays. The wind bands were very popular and to a lot of people it was the only type of orchestra one ever heard. The repertoire was mostly national hymns, marches, and more of that kind of music, but arrangements of all kind of popular music and “classical” music were also played. Most composers agreed with no further comment that their music was arranged for wind band, at that time there was no such thing as ”copyright” and they mostly saw it as some good and “free” publicity.
2. THE BAND STAND
BAND STAND – THE NAME SAYS IT ALL.
As wind bands/brass bands began to get bigger, Band Stands appeared everywhere as a platform for outdoor concert performances.
BANDSTANDS IN ENGLAND.
In England 1833, the Select Committee for Public Walks was introduced so that ‘the provision of parks would lead to a better use of Sundays”. Music was seen as an important moral influence and the eventual introduction of the bandstand became a significant aspect of the reforming potential of public parks. In their heyday, there were over 1,500 bandstands in England, attracting crowds of over 10,000 in the case of the Arboretum in Lincoln. Up until the beginning of the Second World War most of London’s parks held regular concerts.
3. THE DISTIN FAMILY
THE DISTIN FAMILY QUINTET about 1834.
John Distin (1798-1863) was with the band of the 1st Guards as a keyed bugle player when the allied armies occupied Paris after the Battle of Waterloo (June 18th 1815) where they stayed for six months, and the following account is given:
“When the allied armies entered Paris, after the Battle of Waterloo, the band of the British Grenadier Guards was in the great column of soldiers that marched in review before the grand stand where the Duke of Wellington and the Grand Duke Constantine, (Russia) who had a keen ear for music, appreciated highly the playing of the Guards’ band, but was especially impressed with, and had his most lively curiosity awakened by, the keyed bugle played by John Distin”.
He later had a brilliant career in London where he played both natural trumpet, keyed bugle and (English) slide trumpet. A highlight for Distin was two performances as soloist with the Italian violin virtuoso, Niccolò Paganini, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden London.
From 1836 Distin begun to perform on brass instruments with his four sons George Frederick (1817-1848), Henry John (1818-1903), William Alfred (1822-1879) and Theodore (1823-1893) performing on brass instruments as The Celebrated Distin Family (see more about Distin in ROMANTICISM I, 7 OTHER INSTRUMENT FAMILIES and later here in ROMANTICISM III, 17 under INSTRUMENT MAKING IN ENGLAND).
THE DISTIN FAMILY
– by William Gear (1806-1866), The New York Public Library Digital Collection.
THE CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA 1838
Painting by Sir George Hayter
When Queen Victoria (1819 -1901) took over the throne John Distin played principal trumpet at the Coronation, which took place in Westminster Abbey in 28 of June 1838. John Distin is one of the trumpet players far right
Close up showing the trumpet players:
A PAYBILL FOR A PERFORMANCE ON THE EVENING OF APRIL 28th, 1840, IN THE THEATRE-ROYAL IN WORCESTER, ENGLAND. The performance have acting, dance and also featuring The Celebrated Distin Family, with Mrs. Distin on Piano and a singer Mademoiselle Schiller from Berlin. The lower part of the playbill lists 15 musical numbers performed that evening.
In Paris the Distins got acquainted with Sax, who made them a set of saxhorn in 1844. Accounts vary as to exactly how the Distins first acquired their saxhorns. In the accounts by the Distins themselves it began the February 3rd, 1844 , on hearing “a French artist” (or three, as it is likely that the Distin’s heard François Dauverné (see ROMANTICISM I, 20 – THE TRUMPET), Jean-Baptiste Arban (see ROMANTICISM I, 8 – THE CORNET á PISTON) and Jean–Louis Dufresne (1810–1866) at the concert at Salle Herz,) performing on the new saxhorn . The next morning the Distins went to inventor Adolph Sax, who had only completed three instruments as models – a soprano in Eb, contralto (soprano) in Bb and an alto in Eb – and had not yet any for sale. Henry Distin made an arrangement for the loan of the three instruments, and when they were tried by his family at their hotel they awoke a sort of enthusiasm. Mr Sax readily agreed to complete the necessary instruments on the same principle for the quintet, and as soon as sufficient practice in their use had been attained they were brought out in public.
SALLE HERTZ, PARIS 1843
– the location of the Adolphe Sax concert attended by the Distin Family.
The Distin family was really successful on their concert tours in England. The Sax horns made the family famous and the family helped create the british brass band movement.
DISTIN FAMILY QUINTET 1845
Charles Baugniet (1814-86), lithograph. Collection Arnold Myers.
Here is a review from The Illustrated London News, December 14th, 1844: “The Distins are at present the only performers on the Sax Horns, which unites the powers of the French horn and those of the cornet-à-piston, but is infinitely superior to both, for it combines the mellowness and sweetness of the former, with all the brilliancy and power of the latter. The pieces which the Distins perform are of their own arrangement, and do credit to their musical skill.”
A German composer Heinrich Marschner wrote about the Distin Family in The Musical Gazette, London, August 3rd, 1846: “These artists use their splendid instruments (the saxhorns) with a most remarkable superiority; and I feel bound to testify that their execution really leaves nothing to be desired. An ensemble so perfect has never been heard. These five artists play as if they were but one man. To say how great, how profound was the impression which they produced upon the public, is an impossibility; during their entire concert, nothing like the slightest idea of criticism could enter the minds of their audience.”
After a performance in Berlin in 1846, the composer Meyerbeer commented, “Never have I heard wind instruments played with so much splendour, purity, and precision… nothing equals the grandeur of their style”.
THE DISTIN FAMILY ON A JUG
That the Dist Family really was publicly known can be seen i.a. on this jug made of Samuel Alcock (1799–1848). He was a leading pottery manufacturer who operated as Samuel Alcock & Co in Burslem, Staffordshire, England from 1828 to 1859. They were especially noted for “picture jugs” modelled and moulded in relief in various ceramic materials, a popular type of object in these years.
4. THE BRASS BAND MOVEMENTS PROPAGATION
Adolph Sax expected a lot of his Sax horns. Some of them became a regular part of the wind band, and some of them became rare guests in the symphony orchestra. But through the English Brass Bands they got a breakthrough and spread which surely will have been far above his expectations. Here they appeared in pure culture and got dedicated supporters both among the players and among the audience.
BESSES O’ TH’ BARN BRASS BAND about 1870
This band was already founded in 1818. The picture shows that in the 2nd. half of the 1800s. The strength of the band still was kind of loose, there is a clarinet and two ophicleides. In time the combination of instruments got more and more standardised though.
The phenomenon ”Brass band” belonged to the English working class, as a kind of social activity, but also appeared in other social environments, as for example ”the Cyfarthfa Band”, founded in 1838 and privately financed by the ”iron- & coal baron” Robert Thompson Crawshay. From the middle of the 1800s the English Brass bands activity was build around competitions, as we know from the world of sports. It was rather ironical, as the 1st price for the many bands who still played the ophicleide often was an euphonium – the instrument that little by little displaced the ophicleide.
In the second half of the 18th century a group of three came to dominate the brass band development: John Gladney, Alexander Owen and Edwin Swift; later called the ‘triumvirate’. Gladney received the unofficial title ‘father of the brass band movement’. He was the undisputed champion as a winner of brass band competitions. His record is quite phenomenal. At least 113 bands were conducted by him (it may have been more, but the records are not complete) and he won the title on at the British Open competition no less than 19 occasions, between 1873 and 1904.
Fig. JOHN GLADNEY
THE CYFARTHFA BAND
In a long forgotten corner of the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum in south Wales an amazing discovery was made in the mid 1980’s. 105 part books containing 350 arrangements and a number of brass instruments belonging to the Cyfarthfa Band. Formed around 1838, the band was famous of its time with a rich patron in the shape of ”iron- & cole baron” Robert Thompson Crawshay. He provided the band with the very best instruments and players that money could buy. In the beginning the band used rotary valve instruments, keyed bugles and ophicleides along with the usual piston valve instruments.
Some of the players were were employeeds of the iron works that Crawshay owned, some were well known local musicians and some, like the ophicleidist Sam Hughes were a well-known professionals. Hughes had been professor of ophicleide at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall and at the Guildhall School of Music and was a star in Jullien’s orchestra (see ROMANTICISM I, 22, THE JULIEN ORCHESTRA). Robert Thompson Crawshay arranged for him to have a job as a railway agent in Merthyr – beside playing the ophicleide in the band.
A Brass band exists of a soft sounding instrument family (apart from the trombones) which is almost identical with the Sax-horn family. The biggest difference is the soprano, the cornet, which is not with an upward bell like the tuba, but the bell is pointed straight forward. A Brass band does not have the same contrast in sound like a wind band, but it can have a very homogeneous sound, like a string orchestra or a choir. It was possible to subscribe to publications of Brass band sheet music. You could buy the most important parts, and later, if necessary, buy the rest. Only a few parts were important, so those players who were not that qualified could easily join the band later and play the less important parts. All parts (apart from the bass drum and the bass trombone) were written in the G-treble key, so the fingering was the same for all instruments which made it easy to switch between instruments. (not for the trombones though, as they had slides i.s.o. valves).
The popularity was enormous and in the end of the 1800 century there were about 20.000 Brass bands in Great Britain, that means that there were about 800.000 amateur musicians. The press wrote that at a special Brass Band competition there were more than 16.000 people in the audience.
BACKUP OLD BRASS BAND, ESTABLISHED 1858.
ALEXANDER BRASS BAND, NEW ZEALAND 1900
From Great Britain, the brass band movement came to Australia and New Zealand. Only later it was spread to other countries.
AN UNKNOWN BRASS BAND FROM BATHURST AUSTRALIA, ca. 1890.
POSTER FOR A BRASS BAND CONTEST JUNE 27. 1885.
Many events with brass bands contests contained much more than just music – and with a very popular appeal. Here there is both singing and dancing included – and a special train as a transportation option.
CHRISTCHURCH CYCLING BRASS BAND
published in the New Zealand Wheelman 1898.
5. BRASS ORCHESTRAS/ENSEMBLES
In many places small ”brass orchestras” (or rather ensembles) came into being – from quartets up till bigger military bands. In Denmark and Norway they were called horn orchestras (hornorkestre), in Sweden Brunns sextet (even if there were seven musicians included percussion) or hornseptett, in Finland torviseitsikko, in Germany they were called Trombone choir (Posaunenchor – which mostly played in churches) and in USA: Brass bands (which had nothing to do though with the English Brass bands). At the age of 19 the finish composer Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) wrote a series of small pieces for a brass orchestra that existed of: cornet in Eb, two cornets in Bb, alto horn in Eb, tenor horn in Bb, euphonium in Bb and tuba.
DANISH MILITARY MUSICIANS FROM CA. 1910
Historically correct coloring: Mogens Gaardbo.
DRAWING OF AN AMERICAN MILITARY BAND WITH THEIR SPECIALTY “OVER THE SHOULDERS” INSTRUMENTS
8TH NEW YORK STATE MILITIA BAND, in ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 1861
A SPETACULAR PHOTO FROM 1864: A USA UNION ARMY OVER THE SHOULDER BRASS BAND
– posed and playing at a Lookout Point, Tennessee. Photographed by Robert Linn. Wisconsin Historical Society/Photo Researchers, Inc.
BANDSMEN of THE 107th U.S. COLORED INFANTRY. 1865
BAND AF THE 10th VETERAN CORPS. WASHINGTON, D.C. 1865
AN ARMY BAND OF THE NETHERLANDS TAKES A BREAK
Painting circa late 19th century
RUSSIAN MILITARY BAND, MOSCOW 1889
PARADE OF THE GUARDS in COPENHAGEN, DENMARK 1892
Music Corps of the Regiment with brass instruments. Part of the painting by E. Henningsen.
FROM THE FIRST BRASS BAND CONCERT IN COLORADO, USA
Picture taken in Black Hawk, 1863
FEMALE BRASS BAND FROM SALVATION ARMY, USA 1880.
NIELS ALBRECHTSEN HORN ORCHESTRA FROM ABOUT 1880
N. Albrichtsen is to the left on the front row. Theese small brass ensembles were splendid to play in the open air. They got very popular in small as well in bigger towns and in the countryside.
BRUNNS SEXTET FROM MEDIVI, SWEDEN 1912
Even being civilian, as an exception they perform here in military uniforms. Take a look at the valve trombone with the bent bell, a Swedish speciality made by the Swedish company Ahlberg and Ohlsson, who made brass instruments from 1850-1959.
A COMPLETE SET OF BRUNNS SEXTET-INSTRUMENTS FROM AHLBERG AND OHLSSON
WERNERBLECKET – A BRUNNS SEXTET FROM OUR TIME
THE MORAVIAN TROMBONE CHOIR OF THE MORAVIAN CHURCH
in Emaus, Pennsylvania, USA, c.1900. Today Moravian music is also played by mixed brass ensembles and wind bands
(see VIENNESE: 17 TROMBONE ENSEMBLES)
POSAUNENCHOR, PHOTO from 1889
The German protestant Posaunenchor-movement played in churches.
JOHANNES KUHLO (1856-1942) and his KUHLO-HORN
The name POSAUNENCHOR got somewhat misleading at the time when the valve instruments came along, because from that moment most of the ”posaunenchor-movement” ensembles existet only of soft sounding valve instruments. The priest Johannes Kuhlo was a person who had made a speciel flugelhorn, that got his name: “Kuhlo horn”. In his opinion the soft sound was so superieur that he said: ”Why be content with a sparrow or a chaffinch, (cornetto or trumpet) when you can have a nightingale! ”(Kuhlo horn)
DANISH POSAUNENCHOR FROM THE MORAVIAN BRETHREN, CHRISTIANSFELD
Among their instruments are 3 Kuhlo-horns (look after TROMBONE ENSEMBLES, VIENNESE).
DIE ”KAPELLE HARTNER” (Burgbernheim) 1901
NEW YEARS CARD FROM 1904
Painted by Alfred Mailich (1869-1946). In Germany the brass ensembles still have the old tradition to play from the city tower.
THE SHEPARD FAMILY BAND
The Shepards were based in Massachusetts and were active in the late 1880s and 1890s.
METLAKAHTLA INDIAN BAND 1907, Alaska, USA
FINNISH BRASS SEPTET – TORVISEITSIKKO
The traditional Finnish brass septet consists of: Eb-cornet, 2 Bb-cornets, tenor (alto) horn in Eb, 2 baritones/euphoniums in Bb and tuba. The Torviseitsikko is a central factor in Finnish band history, having been the most common type of ensemble in villages, societies, fire brigades, etc. from the 1870s and up to the 1920s. The scores were normally for seven parts, sometimes expanding with percussion, but in performance there usually were some doublings in the brass parts. In his youth, Jean Sibelius spent his summer holidays in the small idyllic town of Loviisa. 1889-1891 the finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) wrote some charming pieces for the Loviisa brass septet, the band of the Loviisa fire brigade – It was so early in his career that these pieces didn’t get an opus number yet!
A very special culture for brass ensemble playing took place in the Russian aristocracy around Grand Duke Alexander of Russia (1845–1908), later Tsar Alexander III (1881–94). He was an enthusiastic cornet player, and it was his pleasure to meet every Thursday evening at 8pm at the Grand Hall of the Admiralty, with fellow aristocrats, other nobles and the bandmasters of the guard bands, to rehearse and perform brass ensemble music with “The ‘Society of Wind Music Lovers” founded in 1872. Wilhelm Wurm (1826–1904), the German born ‘Cornet Soloist was the personal teacher of Grand Duke Alexander and director of his band (see CHAMBER MUSIC, ROMANTICISM, II, 20). At one of the French cornet-virtuoso Jean-Babtiste Arbans visits in Russia an elegant presentation copy of Arban’s Grande Méthode was given to the Grand Duke Alexander.
Fig.40 THE OCTET (here with 9 players?) OF THE IMPERIAL HIGHNESS CESAREVICH ALEXANDER ALEKSANDROVICH
Photo taken 1872 in the village of Krasnoe where they played often.
Standing (l–r): Prince Alexander Petrovich Oldenburg, Franz Osipovich Berger, Grand Duke Alexander, Count Alexander Vasilyevich Olsufiev (playing alto horn/tenor horn), Fyodor Andreyevich Schreder, Franz Osipovich Terner. Seated (l–r): General Mikhail Viktorovich Polovtsov, Count Adam Vasilyevich Olsufiev, Alexander Alexandrovich Bers.
Close up showing the coming Tsar playing alto horn/ tenor horn:
The Grand Duke continued to participate in his ensemble until his ascension to the throne in 1881 as Tsar Alexander III. It is told that one day a minister, busy reading to him an important document, beheld the Czar vanish suddenly to intone in the adjoining room a rhapsody on his favourite instrument, the cornet .”Excuse me,” he said, returning after half and hour, “but I had so lovely an inspiration.”
He later played the tuba and the helicon, an instrument that he was reported to have taken up when the pressures and responsibilities of being Tsar meant that regular cornet practice was no longer an option. “But we won’t give up music quite,” he remarked to Prof. Wurm. “Now I shall choose the great saxtuba.” He founded his own brass band of about forty performers, mostly officers and begged the conductor to treat them all “sans façon” (as equals), for certainly otherwise nothing sensible would come of it. At the head of them sat the Czar, his gigantic instrument slung around him, and tooted bravely with the rest.” Werner’s magazine. March-August 1899.
CIVILIAN BRASS ENSEMBLE PLAYING FOR INITIATION OF GARDERHØJ FORT
IN JÆGERSBORG, DENAMRK
painting from 1892
ITALIAN STREET BAND
BRASS ENSEMBLE from BERLIN 1880
Before musical instruments were electrically amplified, it was often small brass ensembles orchestras that functioned as circus orchestras.An American specialty was “the cornet” band: Brass instruments with a clarinet and a piccolo flute for the sopranino parts.
THE BALL BEARING AXLE BAND
Photo from the Princeton, Illinois Farmer’s Carnival 1908
A horse-drawn carriage with a band advertises for
THE CAMBELL’S WESTERN SHOW 1921
CIRKUS BAND AT CIRKUS BARNER, Denmark c.1900
Before the instruments were electrically amplified, small brass bands often acted as circus bands.
6. WIND BANDS – WILHELM FRIEDRICH WIEPRECHT (1802-1872)
The Wind Bands, with their wood and brass wind players prospered with the new valve instruments. There were (if possible) even more individual strenghts of instruments without any standardisation whatever. Compared with the Brass Band there are many more contrasts in the harmony orchestras with much more variation and possibilities in sound, which was, allready at that time, somewhat like the sound of a symphony orchestra. There were harmony orchestras all over Europe and USA. What did they sound like? After some research with old arrangements and with old instruments the verdict is that they sounded like the orchestras of today, albeit somewhat ”diffuse”, and with some problems in intonation and not that loud. The balance would certainly have been in favour of the wood woodwinds.
WILHELM FRIEDRICH WIEPRECHT (1802-1872), COMPOSER, ARRANGER AND CONDUCTOR
– was not only partner in the invention of the tuba, (see ROMANTICISM I), but a pioneer in the development of the modern wind band. He finally became the chief of the complete Preusian military music, which he reformed using his own ideas. He worked with big strenghts, using all new valve instruments, focusing on the sound in the middle and low register of the harmony orchestra. He became very famous, and his work was praised by composers, like Leo Delibes, Hector Berlioz, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Caspara Spontini, Ambriose Thomas, Franz Liszt and the conductor Hans von Bülow. The climax in his career took place on the 21st of june 1867, at the world exhibition in Paris, where he won the competition for military orchestras, and there were orchestras from nine countries!
MILITARY MUSICIANS, AT THE WORLD EXHIBITION IN PARIS 1867
WIEPRECHT AND HIS BAND AFTER RECEIVING THE FIRST PRICE
Vereinigte Königl. Preuss. Garde Musikcorps aus Berlin unter Leitung des Königl. Preuss. General-Musik-Directors Heern Wieprecht Ritter p.p.
Auf dem intaernationalen Concours des europäischen Militär Musikcorps in Paris am 21 July mit dem ersten Preis gekrönt.
MUSIKCORPS I. GARDE-REGIMENT ZU FUSS
The German infanteri band who provided music for the German emperor Wilhelm II, . photo 1897
A RUSSIAN LINE-INFANTERY REGIMENT AND IT’S BAND WHICH CONSIST MOSTLY OF BRASS INSTRUMENTS
During the reign of Emperor Alexander III, 1881-1894.
(He was very interested in brass instruments and an enthusiastic amateur musician himself. See BRASS ORCHESTRA/ENSEMBLES fig. 53)
7. PATRICK GILMORE (1829-1892)
BOSTON BRIGADE BAND – one of Patrick gilmores bands
The wind bands spread all over USA and became extreme popular. One important person was PATRICK GILMORE. At only 23 he became leader of the Boston Brass Band, later he took over Boston Brigade Band and became in the end became the conductor of New York 22nd Regiment Band, also called Gilmore’s Band, the first professional wind band in the USA. The band was a pioneer of its kind, it performed all over America and was on tour in Europe. The brass section in Gilmores band was rather big: 1 Eb- cornet, 4 Bb-cornets(2 parts), 2 Bb-trumpets, 2 Bb-flügelhorns, 4 french horns, 2 Eb-tenorhorns, 2 baritones, 2 euphoniums 3 trombones og 5 tubas.
Gilmore arranged spectacular performances as well, he had the musical responsibility for two big festivals with an amazing amount of participants: “National Piece Jubilee ” and “World’s Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival “.
PATRICK GILMORE (1829-1892)
He came from Ireland and worked at first as a cornet player. There is a famous ”duel” between Gilmore on the cornet and Ned Kendall on the keyed bugle in december 1856.The competition should show which instrument was best, but even if it almost was a draw, the winner was Gilmore on the cornet. (see: Keyed bugle, Viennese ).
NATIONAL PEACE JUBILEE HALL, INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR
– built in Boston for the National Piece Jubilee 1869, big enough for 50.000 people, amongst them 1000 musicians and 10.000 singers.
WORLD PIECE COLLOSEUM, INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR
– built in 1872 for the World’s Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival also in Boston, which could have twice as many people, that means 100.000 in the audience, 2000 musicians and 20.000 singers. Musicians from Europe performed here as well, amongst them Johann Strauss as a conductor. There was never ever such an amount of brass musicians in one place.
8. TWO FAMOUS STAR CORNET SOLOISTS
– JULES LEVY AND MATTHEW ARBUCKLE
– who both came from Great Britain and became soloists in Patrick Gilmore’s band. They developed an immediate rivalry which Gilmore exploited. The rivalry between Arbuckle and Levy was anything but a secret, so Gilmore, realizing that each had their own following of admirers, decided to make the most of this battle of egos and boost ticket sales in the process. The cornet was the replacement for the keyed bugle that had been the solo instrument of choice some years earlier and no group of soloists seemed to capture the imagination of the populace as the cornet soloists.
Left: JULES LEVY (1838–1903) was Born in London. After immigrating to the United States, he began a significant musical career as a cornet soloist.. He was a member of Patrick Gilmore’s’s band for several years, and was also a tester and promoter for the Conn Company manufacturer of musical instruments. Among Levy’s most famous were “Una Voce” by Rossini, “Carneval of venice” “Grand Russian Fantasia”, and his favorite “Whirlwind Polka”. He was arguably the first cornetist to be recorded, having participated in an early public demonstration of Thomas Edison’s’s phonograph. Levy’s prodigious ego was easily observed in his attire. He refused tol wear uniform, preferring to wear a dress suit adorned with his medals and a monocle stuck in his eye. Levy was billed as “The World’s Greatest Cornetist”, widely regarded as a foremost player, although the claim of World’s Greatest has some challengers. One of them was:
Right: MATTHEW ARBUCKLE (1828 – 1883) known as “The Great Favorite American Cornet Player”. He was born in Lochside, near Glasgow, Scotland 1828, into a very musical family. At the age of 13 he persuaded his father to let him enter the English Army as a musician. He took later what is called a “French leave” – in other words he deserted the Army and emigrated to USA. (This is also why he never came back to England on tour). From 1860 Arbuckle joined Gilmore’s Band. At the National Peace Jubilee in 1869, Arbuckle played the trumpet obbligato, accompanying Madame Parepa Rosa in the aria from Samson by G. F. Handel, “Let the Bright Seraphim”. At the World Peace Jubilee of 1872, Arbuckle conducted the opening fanfare of fifty trumpeters and played the same trumpet obbligato part with Madame Ermina Ruggersdorf. In 1880, he became the musical director and bandmaster for the Ninth Regiment in New York.
9. OTHER WIND BANDS
GUISEPPE CREATORE AND HIS ’ITALIEN’ HARMONY ORCHESTRA
A photo from Boston from around 1900.
There was a time when harmony orchestras like this one were imported from Italy to the USA. The leading person was Giuseppe Creatore (1871 Napels – 1952 New york City). His fame rivaled that of his contemporary, John Philip Sousa, during the first two decades of the twentieth century. By combining showmanship with musicianship, he and his concert band performed to huge and enthusiastic audiences in the United States, Canada, and England. He studied at the Conservatory in Naples and became an excellent trombonist and conductor. He reportedly became conductor of the Naples Municipal Band in 1887 when he was only seventeen. Creatore immigrated to the United States in 1899, playing trombone in Ellery’s Royal Italian Band end became an overnight celebrity when he replaced the conductor Minoliti, who had become ill. Creatore was reported to have created a hypnotic spell over the musicians–one that exacted the most inspired performance. Stories claimed he also had a spell over the audience, especially the women who reportedly jumped on the top of tables and writhed and emoted as if in a frenzy.
This gigantic band of 120 German military musicians posed for the camera on the extended stage of the Tivoli Beer Garden in Hannover, Germany. The title Monstre-Concert was a French term used to describe performances by especially large forces of musicians and instruments, usually with hundreds of brass, percussion, and woodwinds. In the 19th century there was of course no electronic amplification, so more instruments equaled more dynamic volume. For special outdoor occasions or sometimes in very large halls, several regimental wind bands would be assembled into a single monstrous musical ensemble. This concert dates from no later than the 1903 postmark on the back of the postcard sent to Mr. Louis Persenot of Saint-Denis, Paris, France
MEMBERS AF THE DANISH LIFE GUARDS BAND, PHOTO FROM 1875
The following characteristic brass instruments is shown, from L: Alto Valve trombone. Tenor Valave trombone, 2 French horns, Trumpet with rotary valves and a narrow build F-tuba.
BUFFALO BILL CIRKUS’s COWBOY BAND, April 28, 1887
Many circus bands were actually wind bands
photo by “W. & D. Downey”
THE ZANESVILLE RUBA BAND
A circus like clown dressed band used for parades
Photo 1908 by John Lincoln Smith
10. BACK STAGE BANDA (WIND BAND) IN OPERAS
ITALIAN TRUMPET PLAYER c.1840
– maybe a member of a ”Verdi-banda”?
Composers such as Rossini and Verdi made use of back stage music played by a banda (wind band) in their operas. The banda comprised about twenty players, but was generally not part of the opera company – usually, the local impressario selected the players from a military band or an amateur wind band. The composers wrote their back stage music on two staves, piano score, and the local bandmaster arranged the music for the wind band.
THE STAGE MUSIC IN THE OPERA RIGOLETTI OF VERDI
After the prelude to 1 act. the banda is heard as a part of a ball in the Duke of Mantuas palace. Here is Verdi’s piano notation for the stage music:
At the Paris Opera Adolphe Sax was leader of the stage band from 1847 until 1892. He arranged only for brass instruments, and took advantage of the opportunity to use his own instruments: Sax trompas, sax horns and sax tubas.
It was especially Verdi who used stage music in his operas. The so-called Kinsky band at Venice had a very high reputation, but in his opera AttilaVerdi had refused to write any banda music for it . After this had been criticized he took later good care to include stage music in all his subsequent operas written for the “Teatro La Fenice” in Venice.
FANFARE DEI BERSAGLIERI
– a contemporary version of Verdi’s banda?
11. BRASS CHAMBER MUSIC COMPOSERS
One would expect that chamber music for brass instruments would florish with all these new chromatic brass instruments with valves. However, there was no tradition to build on, people should almost ”invent” it. So there was very little chamber music written for brass, it is possible that the brass sound was more associated with a wind band, a big orchestra or with the popular music repertoire. It is a bit unclear exactly who wrote the first piece of original chamber music for brass instruments that inculcated the new valve instruments. These 5 composers are believed to have been pioneers:
JEAN BELLON (1795-1869)
1 – JEAN BELLON was a composer, concertmaster of the Concerts Musard, and conducted various Parisian orchestras. His 12 small brass quintets was written 1848-1850 in a Rossini style, and they are probably some of the oldest chamber music for a group of brass instruments which include valve instruments. The music is scored for flugelhorn in Eb, cornet, horn trombone and ophicleide and was Published in Paris in the 1850’s.
ALEXANDER ALEKSANDROVICH ALABIEV (1787 –1851)
– was a Russian composer who had a colorful and dramatic life. He joined the Russian Army in 1812, during the Napoleonic War, and fought as an officer until 1823. He participated in the entry of the Russian forces into Dresden and Paris, and he won two awards. After the mysterious death of a man he spent all night gambling with in February 1825, he was arrested on a charge of murder. While the evidence was not conclusive, Tsar Nicholas I expressly ordered him into exile to his native town of Tobolsk. Freed in 1831, he spent some years in the Caucasus before returning to Moscow. He wrote seven operas, twenty musical comedies, a symphony, three string quartets, more than 200 songs, and many other pieces. His brass quintet, written in 1847 is one of the earliest chamber music pieces for brass quintet.
In Skt. Petersburg, Russia, there was up to ca.1900a very special environment for chamber music played by brass players. It seems that the modern brass chamber music cradle has stood in Skt. Petersburg in Russia. Some of the most important people for the development were: Mauer, Ramsöe, Wurm and Ewald who all have worked here. Ramsöe and Mauer have even been colleagues in the Italian Theater Orchestra where Maurer was the concert master and Ramsöe played Viola.
LUDVIG MAURER (1789-1878)
3 – LUDVIG MAUER was a german composer, conducter and violinist. Maurer went to Russia at in 1806, where he would stay for most of his life. For this reason, Maurer is considered both a German and a Russian composer. In Russia, Maurer became the conductor of the Count Vsevolozhsky’s orchestra until 1817, and after this engagement he toured as a performer in Germany and Paris. By 1833, however, Maurer was back in St. Petersburg, where he would remain for the rest of his life. He became musical director at the Mikhaylovsky Theater, known as the “French Theatre”, 1841-62 Inspector of Imperial Orchestras and 1841-71 conductor of the orchestral concerts of the Imperial Concert Society, with the title of “Imperial Russian Conductor”. His “12 small pieces” for two trumpets, two horns and trombone, is written in a charming Viennese Classic style , and it is nowadays still part of the standard repertoire for modern brass quintets (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba). His brass music was written for either in the circle of Russian amateur musicians around Tsar Alexander II. Nicolayevitch Romanov (see Fig. 53 ), or else in the brass chamber music class established at the St. Petersburg Conservatory by its first professor of cornet, Wilhelm Wurm, Germany (1826-1904, professor from 1869).
Fig.60 WILHELM EMILIO RAMSÖE (1837-1895)
4 – WILHELM RAMSÖE was a danish composer and conductor. He worked in Copenhagen, e.g. as conductor and composer of theater music at the ”Folketeatret”. In approximately 1877, he moved to St.Petersborg,first working as a viola player in the Italian opera orchestra, and later at the Bolshoi Theater with the Russian opera orchestra. In 1887 he was engaged as Royal “music director” at the Mikhaylovsky Theater, known as the “French Theatre” (the same position as Mauer had earlier). His ”6 quartets for brass” are exceptional and were written between 1866 and 1888. They all have four movements, and are almost written like a string quartet. The quartets are written for: Cornet in Bb, trumpet in F, (valve-), trombone and tuba, but not the fifth, written for 2 cornets, tenorhorn in Eb and tuba. They were published with parts and score, first at the publishers Horneman & Erslev, and later at Wilhelm Hansens Music Publishers. His 6th quartet, which has remained in manuscript, was composed for the famous “Kaiser-Cornet-Quartett” of Julius Kosleck (1825-1905) from Berlin (see ROMANTISICM I, THE TRUMPET).
VICTOR EWALD (1860-1935)
5 – VICTOR EWALD is seen as the father of the modern brass wind quintet. Victor Ewald (1860-1935) was born in the then Russian capital St. Petersburg and lived most of his life there. At the surprisingly young age of 12, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he studied cello with the famous virtuoso Karl Davidov and composition with Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov. He pursued a dual career as a professor of civil engineering and as a musician. He served for 20 years as the cellist of the famous Belaiev String Quartet and composed a string quartet which was awarded a prize in a quartet competition whose judges were Tchaikovsky and Rimsky Korsakov. He lived in Sct. Petersburg, Russia, and like many Russian composers of that time, he had another civil job as mechanical engineer. Apart from being a composer and being a cellist, he played the cornet, the trumpet, the tuba and the piano in his life. His ”3 quintets” were written between 1888 – 1912, not especially for the modern quintet, but for: 2 cornets, altohorn in Eb, valve trombone and tuba. They have become classic repertoire for the brass quintet, they are played very often, the style being somewhat ”Russian-Brahms-ish”.
6 – WILHELM WURM (1826-1904) was a german trumpeter who emigrated to Russia. The first year as professor at the Sct. Petersborg Concervatory he established a brass-ensemble class. Wurm composed or arranged 75 pieces for brass quartet and 30 cornet trios for his students (see BRASS ORCHESTRA/ENSEMBLES, ROMANTICISM II ). Wurm was cornet teacher for the Russian Grand Duke Alexander of Russia (1845–1908), later Tsar Alexander III (1881–94) and conductor of his brass ensemble and brass band. In 1873, Wurm met cornet legend Jean-Baptiste Arban. The two became very good friends and Arban dedicated one of his best pieces, “Caprice and Variations”, to Wurm; My excellent friend and famous colleague.
12. BRASS CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLES
THE DISTIN FAMILY BRASS QUINTET 1844, wood engraving
Although the Distin family did not play much original “classical chamber music”, but more arrangements and light classical music, they must be mentioned here as prominent pioneers and to anyway appear as a real “brass chamber music group”.
THE FIRST BRASS QUARTETS BY RAMSÖE WAS WRITEN FOR AND DEDICATED TO:
From left: Fr. Lottenburger (cornet), F.F. Nielsen (trumpet),
Frederik Wilhelm Møller (tuba) (se ROMANTIKKEN I, 15) og W. Jespersen (vealve trombone).
UNKNOWN BRASS QUINTET FROM 1865
RAMSÖES FIRST 4 QUARTETS WAS WAS PLAYED BY THESE MUCICIANS:
Fra left. to right.: Fr. Lottenburger (cornet), F.F. Nielsen (trumpet),
Frederik Wilhelm Møller (tuba) (see ROMANTICISM I, 15) og W. Jespersen (valve trombone).
All Ramsöes quartets was dedicated to somebody, the first 4 was to his “own” brass quartet:
Quartet nr.1 op. 20 -to Frederik Wilhelm Møller
Quartet nr. 2 op. 29 – to Fr. Lottenburger
Quartet nr. 3 op. 30 – tto W. Jespersen
Quartet nr. 4 op. 37 – to F.F. Nielsen
Quartet nr. 5 op. 38 – tto Edmon von Hoboken. Holland (maybe the reson for the other combination of instruments?)
Quartet nr. 6 op.44 – to Julius Koslecks (se ROMANTICISM I, 21) “Kaiser-cornet-Quartett” in Berlin. This quartet was never published.
The german trumpeter JULIUS KOSLECK (1825-1905) was principal trumpet in the Berlin Köngliche Kapelle 1853-1893 and from 1893 professor at the Berlin Conservatory. He was famous for his performance of baroque trumpet parts (see TRUMPET, ROMANTICISM I ). In 1870 he formed a brass quartet. Just as the Distin family had a sponsorship with Adolp Sax, Koslick had the same arrangement with the bohemian maker Vaclav Cerveny. In 1876 the Kosleck-group got 4 unique instruments from Cerveny dedicated to the Russian crown prince Alexander (later czar Alexander III, see BRASS ORCHESTRA/ENSEMBLES, ROMANTICISM II). The instruments were shaped as cornets but was otherwise similar to a quartet af 2 Bb-cornets, Bb-alto horn and Bb-baritone. The quartet was from now on called KAISER-CORNET-QUARTET. In 1872 they toured Russia and North America.
A LATER “KAISER-CORNET-QUARTET” from 1906
– under the leadership of: Robert Königsberg, Königl. Kammermusikus, 1. Trompeter a. d. Kgl. Hof-Oper in Berlin.
COLLECTION OF MUSIC FOR CORNETTS QUARTET
Arrangements of folk tunes and original compositions
BOSTON COMEDY ORCHESTRA BRASS QUARTET 1906
In Russia, the spread of “brass chamber music” continued after the St- Petersborg period:
BOLSHOI BRASS QUINTET
A c.1895 Photo (standing from the left: Vassily Brandt (1869-1923), Ivan Lipaev (1865-1942); sitting left – Mikhail Tabakov (1877-1956), F. Putkamer)
PHOTO OF THE SAME GROUP FROM 1922
– partly with new members (From left to right: Vitold Patsevich, Vassily Brandt, Feodor Shevchenko, Dmitry Gruzinsky)
A LATER DANISH BRASS QUARTET PLAYING RAMSÖE, photo 1910.
Wilhelm Suhr – cornet
Lauritz Sørensen – trompet
Anton Hansen – ventilbasun
Jensen Jørgensen – tuba
13. THE BUILDING OF BRASS INSTRUMENTS
The invention of the valve made the production of brass instruments grow perceptible. At first in small firms, driven by craftsmen, but after 1850 in big factories with more than a 100 employees. The establishment of commercial houses made the link to a bigger market. The smaller firms specialized in the production of bells, valves or mouth pieces.
Fig.69 LITHO: BLECH-BLASINSTRUMENTENMACHER, ca. 1870, GERMANY
Brass instruments gradually were fabricated all over Europe
BRASS INSTRUMENT MAKERS WORKSHOP.
Colored woodcut by G. Luvles 1880, Germany
14. WORLD EXHIBITIONS
Between the World exhibition in London 1851 and the World exhibition in Turin Italy in 1911, a range of exhibitions were showing brass instruments with improvements, inventions and patents, and it was possible to get prices for them. Paris had up til now been the promoter for new ideas, but after some time the German instrument makers came along.
Medals won by the French firms COURTOIS, F. BESSON and GAUTROT and the German firm ANTON HÜLLER
ADOLPHE SAX’s SHOWCASE IN THE 1851 LONDON INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION 1851
Science Museum, London. Kodak Archive
– AND IN THE WORLD EXIBITION PARIS 1867
PIERRE LOUIS GAOUTROT’s SHOWCASE IN THE WORLD EXHIBITION 1867 LONDON
– AND THE SAME SEEN FROM THE SIDE:
JOHN F. STRATTON
For the 1876 Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia, the John F. Stratton Co. presented a large display containing a wide variety of instruments that they offered for sale
15. GERMAN AND CZECH INSTRUMENT MAKERS
MARKNEUKIRCHEN – (until 1858 called Neukirchen) is a town in the part of Germany called Sachsen, just at the border with the Czech Republic. Up til this time there still is at huge amount of instrument builders, in various firms.
Instrument company SHUSTER and CO, Markneukirchen 1890
All employees at SHUSTER and CO. 1892
Instrument maker Robert Petzold (1870-1951) from Markneukirchen with his smallest and his biggest instrument
A pocket Cornet and a large Imperial bass, both with rotary valves. Below sees a picture of his workshop.
C-TRUMPET WITH CROOK TO Bb, from company WILHELM AUGUST GLIER (1849-1934), MARKNEUKIRCHEN
CORNET PLAYER AT PHONOGRAPH RECORDINGca.1890
Museum of the Amati company Museum, Kraslice, Czechoslovakia
16. INSTRUMENT MAKING IN ENGLAND – BESSON
The Besson-firm was established in Paris in 1837, by Gustav Auguste Besson (1830-1874), who as an 18-year old boy designed cornets, superior to all other cornets. But because of the severe competition by instrument makers like Sax, Courtois og Gautrot, he moved the production to London in 1857, where he built a large factory. In 1894 Besson had 131 employees, he produced 100 brass instruments a week and he had contact with 10.000 orchestras and ensembles. Besson became the biggest supplier of the English Brass Bands and the instruments were exported to other countries as well.
EXHIBITION WINDOW, SHOWING BRASS INSTRUMENTS BY BESSON, ENGLAND. Woodcut 1885.
AVERSIDTING FOR BASSON’s PARIS COMPANY, 1889
Bessons daughter Martha continued to lead the Besson shop in Paris
17. HENRY DISTIN
Another important brass instrument company was established by Henry Distin (1819-1903), son of John Distin. After having lived as a performer with his father and brothers John and Henri Distin established an instrument manufacturing and sales concern, Distin & Co., in London 1849 selling Adolph Sax’s instruments.In 1850 Henry took over the business from his father as Distin & Co. and in 1851 he started making instruments themselves. Distin became the leading brass instrument manufacturer in Britain and he was able to influence the Brass band development at a critical stage of its development.
Fig.80 DRAWING AND PHOTO OF A PANTENDED CORNET MADE BY DISTIN 1857
In 1854 Distin patented a rotary valve cornet with tension springs in barrels in France and it was registered in Britain as a design in the same year. Only one surviving instrument of this kind is known, a cornet (serial number 1105) in the Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.
AVERSIDTING FOR DISTINS LONDON FACTORY SHOWING HIS GOLD MEDALS.
Following receipt of a prize medal for the superiority of his instruments over European competitors at the Paris World’s Exposition, in 1868, Henry distin sold the business including a shop on Cranbourne to what would become the Boosey company and later Boosey and Hawkes. In 1876, Henri Distin came to the United States and set up a business manufacturing cornets in New York.
In 1882, Henry John Distin, along with his son, William Henry Distin, moved from New York to Philadelphia to work with the music publisher J. W. Pepper in producing a full line of band instruments
THE DISTIN FACTORY IN PHILADELPHIA
Starting in mid-April, they oversaw the construction of a new factory connected to the existing Pepper building on 8th and Locust streets. If the image is accurate, the left side of the building stated, “J. W. Pepper, American Distin Band Instrument Factory, Supervised by the Original Henry Distin from London, Eng.”
DISTINS FACTORY IN PHILADELPHIA, USA 1883.
Left: HENRY DISTIN POCKET CORNET FROM 1872. Right: HENRY DISTIN WITH ONE OF HIS POCKET CORNETS
Several pocket cornet designs came from Distins London factory in the late 1860’s and they were subsequently copied by most other makers. Henry Distin may well be called the “Father of the Pocket Cornet.”
ADVERTISEMENT FOR DISTINS POCKET CORNET, HERE CALLED FOR BABY CORNET
HENRY DISTIN PLAYING ON HIS TENORHORN WITH 7 BELLS, 1878
English: TENORHORN in F, German: ALTO HORN in F. WITH CROOKS
DISTIN ca. 1855
18. VACLAV FRANTISEK CHERVENY
VACLAV FRANTISEK CHERVENY (1819-1896)
– was a Czech inventor and musical instrument maker from Bohemia. From 1833 he studied metal-wind instrument making in Prague, later in Vienna. Founded his own company in Königgrätz / Hradec Kralove in 1842.
Cherveny invented from 1846 in rapid succession several tuba instruments: Contrabass tuba (1846), the helicon (1846), sub-contrabass tuba (1846), and in 1883 the kaiser bass (emperor bass), a tuba with the biggest possible bore. His work and inventions were not only highly rated in the Austro-Hungarian empire as it then was, but were acclaimed throughout Europe from Russia to France and even won him respect in USA.
In 1878 The Czech journalist Jan Neruda describes Cheveny’s energetic character as follows: “Cerveny is always inventing something. He has already been inventing for more than thirty years, he is always at it. It is to do with a kind of obstinacy, which is also expressed in the fact that he cannot and will not endure having so mething better beside him. In Vienna he had to be better than Vienna, in Paris he beat Paris, and wherever there was some exhibition in Europe, Cerveny took the first place in it”.
Fig.90 ILLUSTRATIONS FROM CERVENY’S CATALOGS:
A BRASS OPHICLEIDE or A TUBA WITH KEYS?
CHERVENYS HELICON PATENTED 1846
CHERVENYS CONTRA-BASS and SUB CONTRA-BASS TUBAS PATENTED 1846
CHERVENYS KAISER BASS TUBA PATENTED 1883
The Cherveny factory was after 1945 as one of Amati Denak’s factories in Graslitz / Kraslice, and since 2016 as an Amati factory, which in turn belongs to the British company Geneva.Today the factory is running again under the old brand name Cherveny.
MONTRE WITH CERVENY PRODUCTS
19. A WELL TRAINED ORCHESTRA
A WELL-TRAINED ORCHESTRA
From a series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000. He assumes that even playing a brass instrument will be mechanical in the future.