Seattle Trumpet Consort

After Baroque: Music for the Natural Trumpet

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AllMusic Review by

The program presented on this disc goes beyond unusual into the territory of the arcane. The natural, or valveless trumpet, was the normal instrument until it was supplanted by the keyed trumpet (in the late eighteenth century) and then the valve trumpet (in the early nineteenth) as it is known today. But the natural trumpet hung on in certain pedagogical quarters, and no less a figure than Brahms wrote the orchestral parts of his symphonies for them. That said, music for an all-trumpet consort is restricted mostly to fanfare-like works. A collection of post-Baroque pieces for a consort of natural trumpets is something that digs pretty far down in the bucket. The music on the disc is a mixed bag, but most of it consists of short fanfares and marches, presumably written for occasional use and reflecting little of the personalities of their individual composers. The Mozart Divertimento for two flutes, two trumpets, and timpani, K. 188, is inauthentic despite its having convinced Köchel; its likely composer was Joseph Starzer, whose Divertimento for the still-stranger combination of two flutes, five trumpets, and timpani is one of the disc's high points. The Wagner and Dvorák pieces included are pretty commonplace, but the latter-day works by Paris Conservatorty professor François Dauvernè and contemporary composer Marti Epstein (a series of short canons for trumpets in different keys) are intriguingly offbeat. The natural trumpet is a difficult instrument, and the players show impressive stamina in producing a consistent sound. The engineering values, however, are subpar, and the booklet, with the name of composer Sigismund Neukomm misspelled in the track list, is a step below that. As a whole the disc is likely to be of interest primarily to trumpeters.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Work(s)
1
0:56
2
2:44
Divertimento No. 6 for mixed ensemble in C major, K. 188 (K. 240b)
3
1:51
4
1:52
5
1:06
6
1:32
7
0:49
8
0:49
Fanfares (3) for two brass choirs & timpani
9
0:50
10
1:57
11
1:22
Premier Suite of Fanfares
12
0:51 Amazon
13
2:16 Amazon
14
0:39 Amazon
15
0:49 Amazon
16
1:00 Amazon
Heroic Music for six trumpets & timpani
17
1:25 Amazon
18
1:21 Amazon
19
3:00 Amazon
Divertimento, for 2 flutes, 5 trumpets & timpani
20
1:46
21
0:42
22
1:39
23
0:57
24
1:14
25
2:19
26
0:28
27
1:22
28
0:54
Fanfares (3), for brass ensemble
29
0:55
30
1:16
31
0:33
32
0:33
33
3:44 Amazon
34
2:03
35
0:53
Canons (2), for Seven Trumpets
36
1:16
37
1:53
38
3:11
blue highlight denotes track pick