DANISH MUSIC FOR BRASS
Is a series of recordings with brass players from the Royal Danish Orchestra
as chamber music players or soloists
CONCERTOS FOR 2 TRUMPETS
and CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
KETIL CHRISTENSEN, LARS OLE SCHMIDT – TRUMPET
PREBEN NØRGAARD CHRISTENSEN – ORGAN and HARPSICHORD
THE MORAVIAN – SILESIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTED BY PAVEL VITEK
THE ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA
The Royal Danish Orchestra’s emblem, the Royal Trumpeter Corps. Engraving from 1583. The Royal Danish Orchestra is the the world’s oldest orchestral institution. It started out 1448 as a trumpeter corps, and today it is an opera and symphony orchestra based at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen.
KETIL CHRISTENSEN and LARS OLE SCHMIDT
KETIL CHRISTENSEN studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Music with Kurt Petersen and became only 19 years old principal trumpet in The Royal Danish Orchestra. Co-founder of The Royal danish Orchestra Brass Ensemble and member of the chamber orchestra Collegium Musicum, Copenhagen. Has made many recordings and engagements as soloist. in 1980 he won a prize at the international competition for soloists in Munich and has later been a member of the jury at the same competition in 2018. Has been teaching trumpet at The royal Danish Academy of Music. The recipient of the Gade Scholarship and Gladsaxe Music Award.
LARS OLE SCHMIDT studied at North Jutland Academy of Music with Anton Hansen. From 1995 employed as principal trumpet in “The Prince Military Band” in Viborg and has since 2012 been associate principal trumpet in Ålborg Symphony Orchestra. Has played numerous concerts as soloist all over Denmark.
THE MORAVIAN SILESIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
– is established as a part of the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava in The Chech Republic and is well known for its unique string tradition. Pavel Vitek is professor of violin at The Academy of Music in Ostrava.
GEORG FRIEDERICH HÄNDEL (1685 – 1759): CONCERTO IN A flat op.5 no.1
I – ANDANTE
II – ALLEGRO
III – LARGHETTO
IV – ALLEGRO
ANTONIO VIVALDI (1678 – 1741)
JEAN THILDE (1908 – 1978): SONATE FOR 2 TRUMPETS AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
ON THEMES BY VIVALDI
With Bo Juel Christiansen – flute
I – ALLEGRO
II – MODERATO
III – ADAGIO
IV – GIGUE
JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1696 – 1765): CONCERTO in D, MWV IV 11
I – ALLEGRO
II – ANDANTE
III – ALLEGRO
JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER (1696 – 1765): CONCERTO in D, MWV IV 8
I – ALLEGRO
II – ANDANTE
III – ALLEGRO
NATURAL TRUMPET in D
by Johann Wilhelm Haas, Imperial City of Nürnberg, ca. 1710-1720.
THE TRUMPET IN THE BAROQUE ERA (CA. 1640-1750)
BAROQUE SPLENDOR: CAROUSSEL 1622
Engraving, National Library, Paris
The Baroque was a real period of splendor for the trumpet. The trumpet music was full of virtuosity and heroic expression. The two way of playing the trumpet was still in use: Clarino – playing in the high register and Principal – playing in the low register. The phrase Messa di voce (one long tone that grows and falls in strength) came from the Clarin, and the famous trumpet trumpeters of the day was known for their ability to splay softly in a singing vocal style. The tongue technique and the fanfare-like character came from the Principal, as we see in the start of the Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach:
Fig.14 TRUMPET PARTS FROM THE START OF THE CHRISTMAS ORATORIO BY J.S. BACH.
In trumpet groups, these 2 ways of playing were put together and the ideal of time was actually to focus on the deep tones! Thereby not only overtones could be created but also undertones. This contrasts with today’s focus on dominant 1st trumpet part in all kind of music in orchestras, wind bands and big bands etc.
THE TRUMPET CORPS’ SOCIAL STATUS
The renaissance Trumpet Corpses of the European Courts were still going strong in the Baroque, and there still was a certain special prestige in being a court trumpeter. As long as the trumpeters came from the Trumpet Corpses of the Court, their restrictions and privileges were in a way still in force. In a lot of orchestra’s the players were dressed in the same way, like an uniform, but often the trumpeters were allowed to decide which garment they should wear. The British trumpeters of the Court had – even in the time of Henry Purcell – to have permission of their Sergeant trumpeter to perform at concerts if there were musicians other than their own colleagues from the Court. The art of playing the trumpet was definitely high esteemed: In Great Britain the trumpet soli were played, when standing in front of the orchestra, next to the vocal soloists, a privilege that the other musicians would not attain. Today, this practice can still be experienced in England.
GIROLAMO FANTINI (ca. 1602 – ca. 1675)
– was seen as the leading trumpeter of his time, ”the monarch of the trumpet on earth today”. He wrote one of the first books on trumpet playing – Modo per imperare a sonare di tromba – and he was a pricipal to lead the trumpet into art music. He could play Messa di Voce , could play tones outside the natural harmonic series and as a forerunner for the trill as we know it, he could play “groppo” and “trillo”.
In the baroque area the trumpet was still a natural trumpet, the valves that made the trumpet full chromatic were invented much later in 1815. The baroque trumpet could only produce the natural tones and more melodic playing had to be in the high register. The ever growing demand on the playing technique of the trumpet made that the instrument in itself got a few minor changes. To be able to reach the higher tones both the bore and the bell became smaller, and even if the most wanted pitch was C or D, trumpets in another pitch were build. The biggest problem was the intonation of the ”out of tune” natural tones no. 11 and 13 in the harmonic series.
THE HARMONIC SERIES of NATURAL TONES
Being out of tune could possibly be tolerated in the trumpeter corpses, (being somewhat charming) but in art music it absolutely could not. In many years it has been a mystery how it was possible to master the clarin parts and play tones outside the natural harmonic series. Nowadays we think that the answer lays in one or more of these five possibilities:
1 – SPECIAL TRUMPETS
There was a range of variety in trumpets, and a few examples on special trumpets are known. You will find a Corno o Tromba da tirasi (German: Zugtrompete) in some of J.S. Bach’s scores, but there seems to be no example left of that instrument. Maybe it was an instrument like the straight slide trumpet of the Renaissance, with a single telescoping slide. Henry Purcell’s procession music to Queen Mary II Funeral, March and Canzona, is written for 4 Flatt Trumpets (also known as English slide trumpet).
2 – HAND-STOPPING
Another possibility was the technique of hand stopping the notes. By inserting the fingers of the left or right hand joined together into the bell, you can lower the pitch, or bend the natural tones. It makes it possible to correct the pitch of the natural tones 11 and 13.
The Italien trumpeter Cesare Bendinelli (c.1542-1617) (the principal trumpet player of the Viennese Court from 1567 to 1580) had build a very special trumpet, where it was possible with one hand to reach the bell, and “stop” the tones. He has written the book: Tutta l’arte della Trobetta (1614)
Fig.17 GOTTFRIED REICHE (1667 – 1734),
– engraving (1727 ) after a painting by Gottlob Haussman. On G. Reiche’s spiral formed trumpet, it was easy to use the hand-stopping technique. Reiche was a town musician in Leipzig, known as Bach’s “star trumpeter”, and he probably has played most of Bach’s trumpet parts (but not the trumpet part in the Brandenburg Concerto nr. 2, because that was written for the Margrave of Brandenburg, and had its premiere in Coethen in 1722). In Leipzig Reiche got the title of “Oberste Stadt Pfeiffer” starting in that position in 1719 right up to his sudden death in 1734. To show the virtuosity of Reiche, he has a music part in his hand with a tremendous virtuoso phrase:
REICHE PERFORMING ON HIS SPIRAL FORMED TRUMPET.
Reiche was in Leipzig much earlier than Bach, and this picture should show Bach’s predecessor Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) conducting a cantata. We can see Reiche with his round Instrument and two of his trumpet colleagues with long trumpets.
3 – HOLES IN THE INSTRUMENT
2 trumpets made by William Shaw, England, in 1787 have a set of vent holes and a trumpet now In Frankfurt Historsches Museum made in 1790 by G.Haltenhof of Hanau had one hole. The holes are placed on special places, and when keeping them open, the natural tones are ”pushed”, so more tones are available. Likewise, there is a hypothesis: you could make a bigger hole (like at the cornett) that could raise the pitch with a fourth. In that way you could play the problematic tones nr. 11 and 13 as the ”save” natural tones nr. 8 and 9. Many ”Baroque-trumpets” that are produced today have 3 or 4 holes, but there is no historic evidence that these holes should be there.
4 – THE ACCOUSTICS OF THE INSTRUMENTS OF THE BAROQUE
The interior of the modern brass instruments is very smooth, which gives a stabil sound, and that of course is a big plus. The old instruments were made of hammered pieces of metal, which gives a more or less rough surface. That makes it easier to play ”off-side” the natural tones.
5 – THE PLAYING METHOD IN THE BAROQUE
The dynamic possibilities of the baroque trumpet are much less compared to the modern trumpet (even if the sound and splendor of the instrument has its brilliance).That is why it was not uncommon for 3 trumpeters to accompany one single soprano voice, or have one trumpeter playing in balance with a recorder, as in J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto nr. 2. Another thing was the aesthetic sense of the period which shows in the playing method. The trumpeters copied the phrasing method used by singers and string players: to bind two notes together, with an accent on one. To bind two notes together – to play two notes in one bow – is of course a kind of ”natural” bowing technique for string players. But when doing so on a trumpet, giving more accent on the ”secure” natural tones and less accent on ”difficult” tones in between, the performance became less problematic.
From JOHANN ERNST ALTENBURG (1734-1801): VERSUCH EINER ANLEITUNG ZUR HEROISCH-MUSIKALISCHEN TROMPETER- UND PAUKERKUNST, HALLE, 1795.
(An Essay on the Introduction to Heroic and Musical Trumpeter’s and Kettledrummers’ Art)
All manuals on trumpet playing emphasize the necessity of practise and hard work! Witnesses from that time testify though that it was an illusion to be able to play all trumpet tones in tune. But the influence of the real virtuosi who could play in tune, was tremendous.
So, even if it sounds incredible, almost all trumpet parts in the Baroque are played on a single natural trumpet. And with success, because the composers kept on writing even more and complicated parts for the instrument.
THE BAROQUE TRUMPET REPERTOIRE and THE TRUMPETERS
CONCERT AT THE COURT IN SWERIN, GERMANY.
Painting from 1770 by G.D. Matthieu. Leader of the orchestra is the composer Johann Wilhelm Hertel (1727-1789) who wrote 3 concertos for trumpet and a double concerto for trumpet and oboe. The trumpet player to the left is supossed to be Hertel’s 1.trumpet player Johann Georg Hoese (1727-1801).
JOHANN GEORG HOESE
– is more clearly seen in this close up with his trumpet and trumpet-part.
ANOTHER PAINTING SHOWING THE SWERIN COURT ORCEHSTRA
A great deal of trumpet music came from Italy: i.e. by Torelli (1658 – 1709) and Vivaldi (1678 – 1741). There is music by Pavel Josef Vejanovsky (1639 – 1693) from Bohemia. In France the trumpet was the symbol of the unlimited power of the King, and it shows in the proud trumpet music of Lully (1632 – 1687), Rameau (1683 – 1764) and Charpentier (1645 – 1704).
The King on his way to the church. Detail from Antoine Danchet: The Crowning of the French King Louis XV, 1732.
Joseph Fux (1660 – 1741) and Johann Georg Reutter (1708 – 1772) in Vienna wrote music for the ”maestro in trumpet playing”: Johann Heinisch (1725-1751) (Fux called him a “ein ganz besonderen Virtuos“, an extraordinary virtuoso). Henry Purcell in Britain got his trumpet music performed by a whole ”family” of trumpeters, the brothers Matthias and William Shore, together with William’s son John, the latter undoubtedly being the most famous of them all (it was he who invented the tuning-fork). The so-called Trumpet Voluntaries were trumpet-like pieces for organ but the best known piece – Jeremiah Clarke’s: The Prince of Denmark’s March – can well be played on a natural trumpet. Georg Philip Telemann (1681 – 1767) in Hamburg also composed for trumpet: Among his pieces is a wonderful Concerto for trumpet and strings in D. Finally we ought to mention the two giants J.S. Bach (1685 – 1767) and G.F. Handel (1685 – 1759), who not particularly wrote Trumpet Concerto’s as such, but used the trumpet in a great part of their music, for example as an obbligato instrument in vocal arias. Bach wrote a complete cantata for soprano and (slide) trumpet: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, (Exult in God in all lands, BWV51) but best known is the aria for bass in the Christmas Oratorio: “Grosser Herr und starker König” (Great Lord, O mighty king, BWV248). Handel also wrote an aria for bass and trumpet in Messiah (1741) : ”The trumpet shall sound” especially for the trumpeter Valentine Snow.
THE ENGLISH TRUMPETER VALENTINE SNOW (1700-1770),
“THE FINEST TRUMPETER IN ENGLAND AND AMONG THE BEST IN EUROPE”,
– painted around 1753. Notice the special “trumpeter posture”. Valentine Snow (c. 1700-1770) was the Sergeant-Trumpeter to King George II and King George III from 1753 until his death in 1770. Prior to holding that office, he was one of 16 State trumpeters under the leadership of Sergeant-Trumpeter John Shore. His talent on the natural trumpet was legendary. By this time of his appointment to Sergeant-Trumpeter to the King, his reputation as a musician and executant stood very high, and it was for him that Handel composed the various obbligati we find in his oratorios and operas. The Sergeant-Trumpeter received an annual salary of ₤100.
Upon Valentine Snow’s death around 1770, this epitaph was inscribed upon his gravestone:
“Thaw every breast, melt every eye with woe,
Here ‘s dissolution by the hand of death;
To dirt, to water’s turn’d the fairest Snow,
O! the King’s trumpeter has lost his breath.”