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Trumpets have been around since as early as 3000 BC. But their usage in music starts in the 1400s and 1500s. Alison Balsom introduces the differences between the trumpets. We see the modern design of the trumpet appear in the 1800s, which added more chromatic capability compared to the earlier designs.
Highly Worthy Examples for Your Listening and Research Enjoyment
Georg Philipp Telemann - Trumpet Concerto in D-major (1714) - on the natural trumpet.
Georg Philipp Telemann: Concerto in D major for Violin, Cello, Trumpet and Strings, TWV 53:D5 - full baroque era ensemble with baroque trumpet.
Jeremiah Clarke: Prince of Denmark's March - on the baroque trumpet.
Giuseppe Torelli: Trumpet Concerto in D Major "Estienne Roger 188" - with period instruments.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 1 386b - Wolfy composed this for the horn player with taunts and insults written into the score!
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046 - played on period instruments, including natural horns.
Johannes Brahms: Trio for violin, horn and piano in E-flat major op. 40 - late 1800s, played on natural horn.
György Ligeti - Hamburg Concerto - composed in 1998 and revised in 2003 by Ligeti with natural horn.
Modern brass instruments start in the 19th century with valve trumpets and French horns and with an increase in the number of brass instruments. Wagner popularized the bass trumpet, initially used in marching bands. He also helped invent the Wagner tuba, which is an instrument similar to the French horn, but slightly lower and deeper in range. John Philip Sousa helped invent the sousaphone, a tuba that can be wrapped around a body, making it much easier for marching. There are also now a wide range of different tubas.
Highly Worthy Examples for Your Listening and Research Pleasure
Joseph Haydn: Trumpet Concert in Eb - performed by Wynton Marsalis with Joh Williams conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Joseph Edouard Barat: Andante et Allegro - for trombone and piano.
Eugene Bozza: Ballade - for trombone and piano.
Catherine Likhuta: Urban Secrets - for horn and piano, composed in 2018.
Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Tuba and Piano - composed in 1955.
Jean Baptiste Arban: The Carnival of Venice - arranged for military band with a trumpet solo.
Malcolm Arnold: Brass Quintet No. 1 Op. 73 - I. Allegro vivace - the first movement of Arnold's Brass Quintet No. 1.
Michael Kamen: Brass Quintet - played by the Canadian Brass Quintet.
tenThing Brassensemble - an ensemble of ten brass players.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - this is the brass chorale from the fifth movement of Mahler's Second Symphony, and shows the wide range of dynamics, harmony, and power of the brass family. We'll discuss more about Mahler's symphony as a whole when we get to the modern orchestra.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 Opening - Mahler starts his Fifth Symphony with a trumpet solo.
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade - Mussorgsky originally composed this for piano. The arrangement you hear is done by Maurice Ravel. It starts with a trumpet solo. The Promenade theme reappears several times in different iterations throughout the 30 minute piece, as it expresses the museum goer's walking from painting to painting.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 2nd movement - begins with a lovely theme on the French horn.
Richard Wagner: Siegfried - Main theme - this is Siegfried's theme, played in the opera for the full three minutes or so just by the French horn.
Richard Wagner: Gotterdammerung Act III: Siegfried's Funeral March - when it comes to brass music in orchestral pieces, Wagner is one of the most prolific. He commissioned construction of a bass trumpet and the Wagner tuba. Here during the Siegfried funeral march, he explodes with the brass.
Richard Wagner: Gotterdammerung Prelude: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey - this is a concert excerpt from the opera, conducted here by Fritz Reiner and played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Siegfried's main theme, played on the lower brass (bass trumpet and trombones) comes out in full blast around 4 minutes in.
Richard Wagner: Tannhauser Overture - this is the moment the brass come in with the main melody.
Richard Wagner: Die Walkure Act III - this is the famous Ride of the Valkyries from Act III of Die Walkure. This recording is from the Metropolitan Opera.
Leoš Janáček - Sinfonietta - this is the whole Sinfonietta, but for the sake of this discussion, it is just the Fanfare at the beginning of interest to note for now.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 - I set this to the end of the fourth movement for the grand finale, though the whole symphony is instructive in composing for brass.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 excerpt low brass - the low brass ensemble: tuba, bass trombone, tenor trombones.
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 - the whole symphony, which is full of fantastic composing for brass.
Giuseppe Verdi: Aida: Triumphal March - the grand entrance of the pharaoh.
John Williams: Superman Theme - fantastic use of brass!