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Trumpets in Bach’s Vocal Works
Discussions - Part 8

Continue from Part 7

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 9, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The public criticism of the rather apparent ineptitude of the tromba players in the recordings that Neil mentioned is absolutely necessary, otherwise this poor performance style will continue to proliferate as more and more tromba players find these recordings and such ill-conceived theories such as that propounded by Brischle as a convenient excuse not to attempt to attain the same level of excellence as Bach’s trumpeters must have had. Bach did not write parts with passages where the notes could only be played weakly and out-of-tune.
(...) The fact is that anyone with a truly musical ear and without a political agenda to allow substandard performances to be declared as excellent will hear what is wrong with such a performance. If I understand Neil correctly and try to speak for him (it is always dangerous to speak for another and I hope that Neil will correct me if he differs with what is presented here) and myself in this matter, then there is agreement that, of the available recordings of this mvt., the results produced on a natural tromba appear to be much less than satisfactory compared to what is more easily achieved on a modern trumpet. >
I believe that an appropriate response here, then (since you're the one advocating for public criticism of wrong-headed ideas, and "ineptitude"!), is: BULLSHIT.

- You've arrogated to yourself the posture of "anyone with a truly musical ear", while dumping professional musicians and our work into the toilet, as if we don't have truly musical ears.

- Your pussyfooting around "trying to speak for" Neil, who's right here in this forum, rings hollow: because you exhibit no compunctions against MISREPRESENTING the published work of Rifkin, Brischle, me, and other scholars whose work you don't even bother to read first -- before you make up your crap against it. Take your own *&(#@& words to heart ("it is always dangerous to speak for another..."), and stop presuming to speak for experts whose work you DISAGREE with, but can't even be troubled to study before flushing.

- What you're castigating here as "poor performance style" means, no more and no less, that you don't fancy/understand it. You apparently can't stand that some musicians and some other listeners do fancy and understand it better than you: by reading books and scores, by taking music lessons, by listening, by performing, by teaching. Some of us have even produced recordings of trumpet performances, and we (speaking for myself and my trumpet-playing partner) choose do to and publish whatever seems musically and intellectually satisfactory to us, within our abilities and tastes at the time when the work was done.

- If you don't fancy the trumpet playing in the cantata recordings that you and Neil were talking about -- namely, Suzuki's and Leusink's in BWV 126 -- fine. But, how is it "absolutely necessary" for you to be a public prick about it, in some misguided personal crusade to correct everything that seems TO YOU to be wrong with modern expert musicianship? If you want to teach, fine; go take lessons, become proficient on these instruments and source material in an intellectually respectable way, and spend years in the field DOING the work...and then teach it.

- "Bach did not write parts with passages where the notes could only be played weakly and out-of-tune." No...Bach wrote passages where you don't care to hear them played in a way you dislike. And, you make it into the fault of professional musicians, instead of yours or Bach's, for having done something that disturbs you.

You want "public criticism" where it's due? Well, there's some for you.

And now I have some musical things to go do, and some other things to go do, both of which earn money and support my family in ways that use my abilities. The pointing-out of problems and abrasive nonsense in your
postings doesn't require my abilities.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (March 9, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< We have the same problem with horns. In many Bach works, (e.g. "Sie Werden Aus Saba", Missa Mrevis in F), Bach wrote the horn parts "in alt", their highest register. However, most of us have never heard the sound Bach intended because modern horns play the music an octave lower. I don't know how many times I;ve read cover notes about the "warm", "mellow" sound of the horns in a cantata, when in fact wanted a intense, brassy, regal sound. >
Ton Koopman's recording of "Sie Werden Aus Saba" I believe is hand downs the best for the horn playing-- really a beautiful recording, with the horns very much present;and I'm pretty sure the music is played the way it's annotated in the scores/parts.

Horn parts in baroque music typically tend to go through the roof in terms of high notes, I've seen a Telemann cantata that has series of notes that are three octaves above midddle C.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (March 8, 2007):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] Excuse me but as a composer I wish that horns (I mean French Horns which Bach only calls for rarely in his scores)did sound as high as you say unless you are speaking of Horns in C. They never have sounded that high. The modern Horn in F sounds a perfect 5th below it. It's highest note---high c actually sounds F below this C.

william rowland, composer, member ascap.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 9, 2007):
I had previously stated:
"Bach did not write parts with passages where the notes could only be played weakly and out-of-tune."
Bradley Lehman replied:
>>No...Bach wrote passages where you don't care to hear them played in a way you dislike. And, you make it into the fault of professional musicians, instead of yours or Bach's, for having done something that disturbs you.<<
Well, then Bach appears also to have disliked bad (weak and out-of-tune) playing by tromba players, for in his cantata BWV 43/7 mm. 23 to the beginning of 24, Bach has the Tromba 1 play a long held note on Bb while the bass is singing the words "Qual und Pein" ("torture/agony and pain/torment/suffering"). This would be the type of example the Brischle would use in support of his theory of having the tromba players only very occasionally play out-of-tune notes which are normally difficult for novices to play so that a bit of word-painting might be introduced.

BWV 43 was originally composed in 1726 while Gottfried Reiche was still performing all 1st trumpet parts for Bach. What happened, however, when Bach attempted to perform this mvt. from the same cantata years later after his best trumpeter had died? Bach dropped and replaced the original Tromba 1 part with the 1st & 2nd violins playing the former trumpet part, modifying some passages (not m 23) as he added this mvt. personally to both the 1st & 2nd Violin parts. He included no indication to either violin to play the same Bb out-of-tune to underline the text (he most likely never wanted Gottfried Reiche to indulge in such instrumental 'trickery' in the first place.)

As Alfred Dürr points out on p. 235 of NBA KB I/12: A possible explanation for this switch could be that there were no suitably skilled trumpeters available to Bach at that later date. [This seems to offer proof that Bach composed his 1st or solo tromba parts for Gottfried Reiche and that Ulrich Heinrich Christoph Ruhe, who took Reiche's position the latter's death, could not play this aria well enough to hit all the notes cleanly and in tune as Bach would want to have it. Bach did have a very keen ear and would not have allowed unevenness or playing too flat or too sharp, for whatever reason, as part of sacred music performed in a church setting.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 9, 2007):
WAS no longer "Bach trumpet parts (and into BWV 126)"

BraLehman wrote:
< And now I have some musical things to go do, and some other things to go do, both of which earn money and support my family in ways that use my abilities. The pointing-out of problems and abrasive nonsense in your
>postings doesn't require my abilities. >
In view of five or how ever many years of such employment of your abilities one can only wonder whether the present doesn't implies "shall not henceforth". One must doubt that your abilities will cease to be preoccupied with the personal Braatz-Lehman war that is the predominant portion of this list and so has been for a long time. Every single response of yours to your adversary says the selfsame thing. You might as well simply refer to one prior message and not employ your abilities in retyping forever.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 9, 2007):
Ludwig wrote:
< Excuse me but as a composer I wish that horns (I mean French Horns which Bach only calls for rarely in his scores)did sound as high as you say unless you are speaking of Horns in C. They never have sounded that high. The modern Horn in F sounds a perfect 5th below it. It's highest note---high c actually sounds F below this C. >
Paul McCreesh discusses the problem rather candidly in his notes to his Epiphany Mass CD. Interestingly, he mention that he spoke with Harnoncourt who said that he wanted to record with the horns in the upper octave but didn't have players capable..

It's interesting that Handel often marks trumpets and horns on the same staff although to my knowldege no one has recorded "Messiah" with horns doubling. I'd be fascinated to know what Handel intended with the first
trumpet part in the "Hallelujah Chorus".

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 10, 2007):
< Well, then Bach appears also to have disliked bad (weak and out-of-tune) playing by tromba players, for in his cantata BWV 43/7 mm. 23 to the beginning of 24, Bach has the Tromba 1 play a long held note on Bb while the bass is singing the words "Qual und Pein" ("torture/agony and pain/torment/suffering"). This would be the type of example the Brischle would use in support of his theory of having the tromba players only very occasionally play out-of-tune notes which are normally difficult for novices to play so that a bit of word-painting might be introduced. >
What is this "Brischle would use" speculation? Brischle did use that piece in his fine article, on p309. He said it better than this, of course, where the odd notes are a positive feature of the music rather than something to be scoffed at.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>What is this "Brischle would use" speculation? Brischle did use that piece in his fine article, on p309. He said it better than this, of course, where the odd notes are a positive feature of the music rather than something to be scoffed at.<<
When will you understand that pointing out reasonable objections which Brischle, and you as his proxy, appear to overlook deliberately or even refuse to consider or discuss is not 'scoffing at' the Brischle thesis that is being presented here? Retreating to an ivory tower, playing the wounded infant or the child who does not want to play anymore when things become more difficult, or indulging in foul language directed at me as a defense against serious, reasonable objections does nothing to further an intelligent discussion that might lead to a proper assessment of Brischle's theory. Isn't it better to look at both sides of an issue, to obtain as much information about it as possible, before reaching a tentative conclusion rather than simply 'pushing' a theory like Brischle's 'down the throats' of unwary, unsuspecting, not-as-fully-informed listeners, making them believe that Bach's music has to sound the way that Brischle and you have so insistently suggested? Why is it that the debate always has to stop with a return to Brischle's tiny article from 20 years ago, an article, regarding the content of which serious objections have already been raised by experts in the field? Any key examples or well-reasoned explanations by Brischle should by now already have been extracted from this article and placed before all of us on this list for further consideration. It is not as though you would be stealing Brischle's thunder on an article written 20 years ago. If my objections to specific items in Brischle's article are cast aside here without even an attempt to discuss their merits, it does appear that you have adopted a rigid, dogmatic approach that does not tolerate other reasonable, alternative explanations.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 10, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< When will you understand that pointing out reasonable objections which Brischle, and you as his proxy, appear to overlook deliberately or even refuse to consider or discuss is not 'scoffing at' the Brischle thesis that is being presented here? Retreating to an ivory tower, playing the wounded infant or the child who does not want to play anymore when things become more difficult, or indulging in foul language directed at me as a defense against serious, reasonable objections does nothing to further an intelligent discussion that might lead to a proper assessment of Brischle's theory. Isn't it better to look at both sides of an issue, to obtain as much information about it as possible, before reaching a tentative conclusion >
It is just one of those things. I have a severe sensitivity to oxymorons, like 'tentative conclusion'. I previously mentioned this subtly, hoping that we could find an acceptable alternative word or phrase. Now I am mentioning it not so subtly. I would suggest hypothesis as a substitute for 'tentative conclusion', but if that is too technical, I am easy to negotiate with. But conclusions are conclusions, and are best not scrambled with modifiers.

I take offense at misuse of the word.

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 10, 2007):
<< (...) at me as a defense against serious, reasonable objections does nothing to further an intelligent discussion that might lead to a proper assessment of Brischle's theory. >>
"Serious, reasonable objections" can only arise from reading the thing first. Kid 101: food can't be declared yucky unless it's tasted first.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 10, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>It is just one of those things. I have a severe sensitivity to oxymorons, like 'tentative conclusion'. I previously mentioned this subtly, hoping that we could find an acceptable alternative word or phrase. Now I am mentioning it not so subtly. I would suggest hypothesis as a substitute for 'tentative conclusion', but if that is too technical, I am easy to negotiate with. But conclusions are conclusions, and are best not scrambled with modifiers.
I take offense at misuse of the word.<<

From a respected scientific journal:

OED: quoted from the "Lancet" 27 January 209/1 (1962)

"We thus came to the tentative conclusion that in the marrow of our standard guinea pig.the small lymphocyte functioned as a stem cell for both the red cell and the granulocytic series."

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>"Serious, reasonable objections" can only arise from reading the thing first. Kid 101: food can't be declared yucky unless it's tasted first.<<
It has been tasted here in this discussion and it is 'yucky'. Whatever is still left in the kitchen will, without a doubt, be 'yucky' too, since the cook has run out of surprises to bring to the table.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 10, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< OED: quoted from the "Lancet" 27 January 209/1 (1962)
"We thus came to the tentative conclusion that in the marrow of our standard guinea pig.the small lymphocyte functioned as a stem cell for both the red cell and the granulocytic series." >
OK, I guess I am forced to accept it as current usage, howver much I dislike it. So we have four (at least) degrees of certainty:

(1) speculation: a totally unfounded idea
(2) conjecture: speculation with some support, however sketchy
(3) tentative conclusion: firm conjecture
(4) conclusion: the best interpretation of the data.

The extremes are clear, the middle ground is muddy. Same as itever was.

BTW, scientists, like musicoligists (even actual musicians), have been known to torque the data to advance their personal interests. Personal interests have been known to include pleasing the boss. Shocking, no?

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>"Serious, reasonable objections" can only arise from reading the thing first. Kid 101: food can't be declared yucky unless it's tasted first.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< It has been tasted here in this discussion and it is 'yucky'. >
Isn't the point whether the original publications have been 'tasted'? Not at all clear to the observer.

< Whatever is still left in the kitchen will, without a doubt, be 'yucky' too, since the cook has run out of surprises to bring to the table. >
Prelude to a surprise?

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>>"Serious, reasonable objections" can only arise from reading the thing first. Kid 101: food can't be declared yucky unless it's tasted first.<<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
<< It has been tasted here in this discussion and it is 'yucky'. >>
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Isn't the point whether the original publications have been 'tasted'? Not at all clear to the observer. >

If you want to see where all this comes from, have a look:

The person who mentioned Andreas Brischle's article in the first place, on the BCML, was Thomas Braatz himself: on January 8th, saying that he saw it referenced in a different book. This posting: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/21434

I asked for several clarifications about Brischle's article, that week, and Thomas posted three more times about it...in which it became increasingly clear that he hadn't ever bothered to read the thing, but was going only on hearsay (plus his own self-serving amplifications of it!) from the other book he had read. These three:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/21437
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/21443
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/21446

In that last one of those January postings, he issued the following retort:

"Any BCML member has the right to check out my references to see if they are correct and if I have represented their contents reasonably. I would welcome anyone to pay to view Brischle's article and share any new discoveries/overlooked examples that this article may reveal upon closer examination. For the purpose of this forum this is a much better procedure than simply saying "go read the book or article yourself because I am unable to give you an abstract of the main ideas or examples." But until such new evidence is shared with the BCML, this article will remain with the assessment given by Prinz and my own interpretation of the key thought/argument behind Brischle's theory."

That posting by him also blames Brischle and this article for misleading a bunch of people. Thomas Braatz said this:

"Thus Brischle had opened the dam allowing some not sufficiently trained Bach trumpeters, who saw an advantage in not having to play all difficult notes cleanly, to engage in sloppy playing with poor intonation. The unsuspecting audiences or those listening to recordings of such performances are thus prepared believe this nonsense with the help of additional support in the form of program notes based on this theory. Thus Brischle, either unwittingly or wittingly, must be held reponsible for either opening the floodgates or adding more steam to this fallacious notion, a notion that cannot be brought into harmony with everything else that we know about Bach and how he would have treated his best musicians."

Blah de blah de blah de blah. According to Mr Thomas Braatz, this stuff he dislikes in some people's trumpet performances is allegedly Brischle's fault (as a dam-opener); but he himself, Thomas Braatz, can't be troubled to go read the daggone original article -- to see if he's even dealing it a fair shot.

All righty then, we're supposed to go make an investment ourselves to check up on all this, to see if the hearsay and calumny he's offering makes any sense, according to the piece he's deriding. Thomas Braatz said go check up on him. Directly. All righty, following Mr Thomas Braatz's instructions and direct challenge there in January, I went and got the Brischle article. I exercised my right to go check out that reference Thomas brought up. I have it right here, and I have found it quite enjoyable and well-argued, with good insights into Bach's music and compositional resourcefulness.

Now, in March, Thomas Braatz has brought it up again, still on his high and flatulent horse about the way he thinks Brischle was all wrong...and still making excuses for himself for not bothering to go read it himself. (One excuse is that the thing is 20 years old and therefore probably stale and wrong; another is that it's only six pages -- really seven, if Thomas would bother to read it and count them -- and therefore it couldn't have anything of substance....and yadda yadda yadda. Excuses. Pathetic ones. Pathetic and inexcusable ones; the article is easy to find, either at a well-stocked library or through interlibrary loan.)

So...in March, since Wednesday the 7th, he has posted at least seven or eight more times, further railing against this article that he still hasn't read. He instead has wheedled short summaries of some of its interesting musical points, out of me, and has been arguing against them. He still can't spend the single daggone hour it takes to read the thing, but he's spent many hours making up all kinds of arguments against what he guesses it might say. And, he's still blasting anyone and everyone (trumpeters, other musicians, listeners) who would happen to fancy the way natural trumpeters of the past 25 years play their instruments...as if (once again) it's all Andreas Brischle's fault.

Gee. All Brischle has done, with this article, is to point out that Bach used clever and brilliant musical effects, taking expressive advantage of the properties of natural trumpets! Brischle's article points out an overlooked aspect of Bach's genius, as a great composer in resourceful command of his materials. And what does Brischle's work get for that trouble? Thomas Braatz railing at it and trying somehow to disprove it, more than ten times, yet without bothering to read it. He's trying to prove, somehow, that Bach could not possibly have been doing the things Brischle suggested he did, compositionally; that Bach's taste was absolutely foreign to such things, and wouldn't stoop to such effects.

Not that Thomas Braatz understands any of those effects, as Brischle has explained them, because he hasn't read it. Nor, as was also discussed in January, does Thomas Braatz bring any trumpet experience to the table, himself, in any attempt to understand the technical/musical points that Brischle wrote about. Paul McCain and Ed Myskowski each had to ask Thomas about this several times, starting from January 9th, before finally getting Thomas's self-excuse in that regard.

Incidentally, I noticed yesterday that Thomas was still going on about the possibility of playing the 126/1 on a C trumpet instead of a D (just because his Csibas book says so!)...but obviously Thomas hasn't sat down and figured out all the way through the 126/1 trumpet part which notes would work in the overtone series, if the whole part were transposed for C trumpet. If he had done so, before speaking/writing, he wouldn't have offered that fallacious argument against Brischle either, because it doesn't solve any of the musical or technical problems in that piece by Bach. It's all just a bunch of twaddle, whatever he can think up or cobble together, to make Brischle look somehow wrong: yet without engaging Brischle's work itself, directly. Red herrings and straw-men, all the way, until Tmight someday actually read the thing he's arguing against, to see what his personal rebuttal against it would actually need to include.

I'm just the messenger, pointing out that something is seriously wrong with the strategy of blasting a piece of published scholarship UNREAD, and then compounding it with rounds and rounds of self-excuses and further belligerence.

Plus, I believe (having read it) that the Brischle article is a strong and worthwhile piece, deserving of better treatment than Thomas Braatz has ever dealt it.

Alain Bruguieres wrote (March 10, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< OK, I guess I am forced to accept it as current usage, howver much I dislike it. So we have four (at least) degrees of certainty:
(1) speculation: a totally unfounded idea
(2) conjecture: speculation with some support, however sketchy
(3) tentative conclusion: firm conjecture
(4) conclusion: the best interpretation of the data.
The extremes are clear, the middle ground is muddy. Same as it ever was.
BTW, scientists, like musicoligists (even actual musicians), have been known to torque the data to advance their personal interests. Personal interests have been known to include pleasing the boss. Shocking, no? >
As an advocate of the term 'tentative conclusion', I must disagree with your summary.

A 'tentative conclusion' is not a firm conjecture. It is rather the best conclusion one can achieve in view of the data and one's current understanding of them. It is a provisional conclusion which one draws at one stage of one's research, being well awarethat other stages will follow, with other tentative conclusions.

As for your point (4): I am always suspicious of phases beginning with 'the best...". With your definition, only a few BCML members,(not including me), and possibly God, can arrive at conclusions.

I have no difficulty with oxymorons. Bullymorons are more of a problem! :;

Neil Halliday wrote (March 10, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
<"We have the same problem with horns. In many Bach works, (e.g. "Sie Werden Aus Saba", Missa Mrevis in F), Bach wrote the horn parts "in alt", their highest register. However, most of us have never heard the sound Bach intended because modern horns play the music an octave lower">
I think this is a different problem to the one being discussed re trumpets, where the concern is the standard of execution (of pitch and dynamics) attainable on the period instrument.

No doubt period horns present the same difficulties in comparison with their modern counterparts, but your statement that "most of us have never heard the sound Bach intended because modern horns play the music an octave lower" seems to be another topic, especially in light of my findings from the recordings of BWV 65/1: of the available BCW samples of modern instrument ensembles - Ramin, Werner, Richter (no samples but I have these two on CD), Karlhofer, Rilling, and Funfgeld, the last two play the music at the correct pitch (as shown in the score); while of the period instrument recordings, only one of them - McCreesh - has the horns playing in the correct octave, the rest are all an octave lower (even Suzuki, who otherwise has one of the best performances), so the use of modern horns in itself appears not to be the reason why most performances (whether modern or period ensembles) present the horn part an octave lower than it is written.

BTW, I definitely prefer the sound of the horns in the higher octave (as notated) in this piece. And it's nice to hear a relaxed, graceful tempo in a chorus from McCreesh.

Chris Rowson wrote (March 10, 2007):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< Plus, I believe (having read it) that the Brischle article is a strong and worthwhile piece, deserving of better treatment than Thomas Braatz has ever dealt it. >
Yes, I also find the Brischle article very credible, and very interesting.

After all, if I am not mistaken, the use of the seventh harmonic on natural trumpets is relatively rare in Baroque music, simply because it does not really fit with the notes used on other instruments. So Bach´s decision to feature it at the points mentioned ("Mord" and "Qual und Pein" etc.) seems to be a particularly striking piece of word-painting, very worthy of consideration.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 10, 2007):
Chris Rowson wrote:
>>After all, if I am not mistaken, the use of the seventh harmonic on natural trumpets is relatively rare in Baroque music, simply because it does not really fit with the notes used on other instruments. So Bach´s decision to feature it at the points mentioned ("Mord" and "Qual und Pein" etc.) seems to be a particularly striking piece of word-painting very worthy of consideration.<<
Not at all a 'particularly striking piece of word-painting' if you consider that Bach, in addition to its occurrence in BWV 43/7 also uses the 7th harmonic in BWV 43/1 (Tromba II m 98) where the choir is singing "lobsinget" ('to sing praises to God'). Suddenly now, a 2nd trumpet player is supposed to play this note correctly (in tune) to represent the word-painting behind "lobsinget", while in BWV 43/7, the 1st trumpet player (most likely Gottfried Reiche) is supposed to flub deliberately this same note because the same note just happens to be played on the words "Qual und Pein", not to mention the use of the 7th harmonic in the 1st tromba parts in BWV 51/1, BWV 70/1, BWV 77/5, BWV 127/4, BWV 171/1, BWV 232 (II))/2, BWV 1047/1,3 as well as in the 3rd tromba parts of BWV 129/1 and BWV 130/3?!! No wonder that Bach experts with greater knowledge of Bach's tromba repertoire do not agree with Brischle who, 20 years ago, apparently had not done all the necessary homework involved (or deliberately did not account for all the instances when the 7th harmonic is used in Bach's works, or conveniently allowed the reader to forget about all the other instances where no meaningful word-painting can be determined, whichever case may apply here)!

CR: >>...Bach´s decision to feature it at the points mentioned....<<
Please explain to me (and others on this list) just how Bach can 'feature' the 7th harmonic in BWV 43/7 (on "Qual und Pein" where Bach, who inspected the wordless part after it had been copied but did not include any indication to the player that these words, which the player did not know would suddenly appear in the middle of the part, were to be treated differently than expected), if it becomes barely audible and slightly out of tune in recordings where a natural trumpet is used and played by those who still have great difficulty mastering this instrument.

Or are we supposed to assume here, along with some frustrated natural trumpet players who have not yet mastered the playing of this instrument, that Gottfried Reiche simply could not play cleanly and in tune any of the above-mentioned parts with the 7th harmonic, and that Bach, recognizing this deficiency, simply allowed these notes to be played weakly and out of tune most of the time without any meaningful word-painting, but that in this single instance he hopped about for joy because he was able to 'feature' Reiche's imperfection during a church service in such a clever way (only to discard this possibility later for a repeat performance where two violins played the same note without any 'out-of-tuneness'). What am I missing here? Is there a profound, still-to-be-unveiled secret in Brischle's article that will finesse all the potential difficulties that have been discussed thus far and will reveal the hidden truth that all believers like Brad Lehman and Chris Rowson have automatically accepted as credible?

Chris Rowson wrote (March 10, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Not at all a 'particularly striking piece of word-painting' >
CR: OK, guess TB has a different opinion

TB: <Please explain to me (and others on this list) just how Bach can 'feature' the 7th harmonic in BWV 43/7 (on "Qual und Pein" where Bach, who inspected the wordless part after it had been copied but did not include any indication to the player that these words, which the player did not know would suddenly appear in the middle of the part, were to be treated differently than expected). >
CR: I think this is a good illustration of the necessity of rehearsal.

TB: < What am I missing here? Is there a profound, still-to-be-unveiled secret in Brischle's article that will finesse all the potential difficulties that have been discussed thus far and will reveal the hidden truth that all believers like Brad Lehman and Chris Rowson have automatically accepted as credible? >
CR: I didn´t accept anything automatically, I read the article and considered what it had to say. Why don´t you try the same?

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 10, 2007):
TB: < Please explain to me (and others on this list) just how Bach can > 'feature' the 7th harmonic in BWV 43/7 (on "Qual und Pein" where Bach, > who inspected the wordless part after it had been copied but did not > include any indication to the player that these words, which the player > did not know would suddenly appear in the middle of the part, were to be > treated differently than expected) … >
What's this "feature" it? That's the way to play the note. Pick the place that it is in the harmonic series, with the lips, and it comes out of the natural trumpet. There's no "differently than expected" here; it's just a straightforward performance of that note in the place that it is on the instrument.

By the way, in English usage: "Differently FROM..."

Alain Bruguieres wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< By the way, in English usage: "Differently FROM..." >
I'm afraid not.

google finds 1 180 000 'differently than', and 1 160 000 'differently from'.

I'd tentatively conclude that usage has no preference.

But of course if Thomas says 'differently than', then 'differently from' definitely is the right thing to say, isn't it?

Chris Rowson wrote (March 10, 2007):
"Featured" was actually my choice of word. Very possibly a bad choice, but we can´t all manage to write as perfectly as - well, those who write perfectly.

I was thinking of the way jazz musicians milk (to risk another expressive turn of phrase) the "blue note". Which, by the way, is actually what the seventh harmonic tends to be when used in G minor like this.

Of course one of the questions is just how to play this note in 126/1 - that is, this is a question for a past master of the natural trumpet who can actually make it do whatever he wants, as we assume Bach´s trumpeter Reiche to have been. Do you play it at the equal temperament B flat, B flat in some other temperament, play it at its natural seventh harmonic pitch, or maybe let it move a little, as a jazz musician does? Probably not a tremolo?

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 10, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< By the way, in English usage: "Differently FROM..." >
Yes, Prof. Lehman, you are wrong. In prescriptive English it is "Different(ly) from". Prescriptive English does not = usage as any linguist will tell you.

There are many rules of prescriptive English which we naturally break because they prescribe unnatural English.

Of course it is egregiously rude to correct onlist any lapsus in either your perceived rules of English or of someone's typos.

It is such nastiness which makes this list unwelcoming for many persons who might fear to participate here.

A list should be a place where lovers of the subject matter participate to enhance their enjoyment and knowledge of the subject matter rather than being in the midst of constant animosity.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 10, 2007):
Alain Bruguières wrote:
< As an advocate of the term 'tentative conclusion', I must disagree with your summary. A 'tentative conclusion' is not a firm conjecture. It is rather the best conclusion one can achieve in view of the data and one's current understanding of them. It is a provisional conclusion which one draws at one stage of one's research, being well aware that other stages will follow, with other tentative conclusions.
As for your point (4): I am always suspicious of phases beginning with 'the best...". With your definition, only a few BCML members, (not including me), and possibly God, can arrive at conclusions.
I have no difficulty with oxymorons. Bullymorons are more of a problem! :; >

I agree with almost everything you say. All conclusions are tentative, to some degree. So the boundary between a 'conclusion' and a 'tentative conclusion' is muddy. One who uses the term 'tentative conclusion' would seem to imply that 'non-tentative' conclusions are more firm than you imply, that was my implied point.

In fact, it is not the conclusion, but the supporting data, which is more or less limited. Now that we are exploring the point, I think that 'tentative conclusion' actually means 'conclusion from limited data'. I am standing behind 'firm conjecture' as a reasonable alternative phrase.

My underlying point was that both speculation (now conjecture, for BCML) and conclusions, based on very limited data, can be misleading, and deserve to be defined carefully. Which we are doing.

My suggestion, certainly not the only one possible, is that speculation and conclusion represent the extremes, and everything in between is some degree of conjecture, more or less firm depending on the degree of support.

I do also maintain that the phrase 'tentative conclusion' is in fact redundant, if not an oxymoron, and gives a positive torque to the limited data of 'firm conjecture'. I cannot disagree with the OED definition in general usage (or perhaps usage in scientific publications, I did not check it out for myself). I do find the exercise analogous to the one we went through over 'speculation', which ended with a useful fine-tuning of our vocabulary.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 10, 2007):
Alain Bruguières wrote:
< I'm afraid not.
google finds 1 180 000 'differently than', and 1 160 000 'differently from'.
I'd tentatively conclude that usage has no preference.
But of course if Thomas says 'differently than', then 'differently from' definitely is the right thing to say, isn't it? >
Different from versus Different than
by David Felts
Understanding the difference between different from and different than is important in writing in a clear and professional manner. This grammar tip explains the difference, the correctness, and the use of these words.

What is the Difference?
In the 18th century, different than began to be seen as unacceptable in certain situations. This view has survived for the most part. Many grammar books, such as Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, argue against using different than. Different from is preferred and considered correct, but different than is considered acceptable on some occasions. <end quote>

This difference of opinion could not happen in a more appropriate spot.
The analogy is sweet:

(1) It does not matter how musicians play Bach, there is a correct way.
(2) It does not matter how people use the language, there is a correct way.
(1) is not much different from (2), is it?

 

List of Bach Compositions for trumpets (or horns) and timpani

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 29, 2008):
Recently on the BCML there was mention of a final chorale of BWV 29/8 that appears to be Bach's last composition of a final chorale with trumpets and timpani.
Thomas Braatz contributed an important, complete listing of all compositions having such a festive trumpet choir.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Trumpet-List.htm

 

Bach's trumpet parts [was on BCML]

Continue of discussion from: Sinfonia in D, Major, BWV 1045 - Discussions

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 18, 2009):
There is a relatively brief, but very clever WHRB Orgy(r) this afternoon: Notoriously Difficult Music!, inBachs Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, notorious for the trumpet parts, I presume.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 18, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] Here's a wonderful video clip of said concerto being performed on period instruments by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra at Schloss Köthen. The trumpet part is rightfully described as 'notoriously' difficult. The player in the video clip certainly makes it look like a cake-walk.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1E4_imS0A

Robert Sherman wrote (January 19, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] Brandenburg 2 is normally considered the highest, and in that respect the most difficult, piece in the literature. Most Bach trumpet parts are in D, and have a lot of high Ds with an occasional E. The Brandenburg is in F and has many high Fs, with two or three Gs. The Gs aren’t prominently placed, but every trumpeter in the audience will be listening for them because he knows they’re coming.

Less known is the Michael Haydn trumpet concerto, a very nice little piece that includes a high A, very prominently placed. Maurice Andre actually has a lot of difficulty with it in one of his recordings – he gets the note but sounds ready to pass out from the effort. Marsalis does quite well with it though.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 19, 2009):
Robert Sherman wrote:
> Less known is the Michael Haydn trumpet concerto, a very nice little piece that includes a high A, very prominently placed. Maurice Andre actually has a lot of difficulty with it in one of his recordings - he gets the note but sounds ready to pass out from the effort. Marsalis does quite well with it though. <
That Michael Haydn concerto shoots a big hole in the common theory that clarino players were not available during the classical period; never mind Altenburg's book and work as well during that period.

But it's odd that Mozart when arranging Handel's oratorios, had to often rewrite the high trumpet parts. In Vienna, you would imagine there would have still been clarino players.

David Hitchin wrote (January 19, 2009):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Here's a wonderful video clip of said concerto being performed on period instruments by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra at Schloss Köthen. >
The valve trumpet played there may be a period instrument, but it's not from J S Bach's period.

Baroque instruments had no valves. When valve trumpets were introduced the old skills died out and were forgotten, so that in 1890 the "Bach trumpet" was invented, a smaller version of the orchestral trumpet in use at the time and some ochestras transferred the part to a clarinet.

The attempt to reintroduce baroque trumpets was a failure at first. They were made by modern methods which produced geometrically "perfect" bores which locked onto the harmonics so tightly that it was almost impossible for the player to lip the "out of tune" notes, and modern mouthpieces were used rather than the old cup-shaped ones.

Eventually instruments were made again by hand, hammering flat sheets of metal into shape. These were NOT geometrically perfect, and this made them much easier to lip into tune.

The baroque trumpet is much quieter than modern ones, and therefore balances more easily with the quieter baroque orchestras.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 19, 2009):
David Hitchin wrote:
< The valve trumpet played there may be a period instrument, but it's not from J S Bach's period. >
I thought that those were tuning holes and not valves.

David Hitchin wrote (January 19, 2009):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I thought that those were tuning holes and not valves. >
I didn't see this clearly on the part of the performance that I watched - but looking again, I think that you are right. All the same, neither tuning holes nor the modern "folded" shape of the instrument were used in Bach's time.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 19, 2009):
David Hitchin wrote:
< All the same, neither tuning holes nor the modern "folded" shape of the instrument were used in Bach's time. >
Here is a copy of woodcut showing mounted kettledrum and trumpet players in a carousel, the engraving by G.C. Eimmart after David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl, 1672. The trumpet player on the left is using an instrument that is identical in shape to the one in the video.
http://www.christophgraupner.info/bach/BWV1045/1672-carousel.jpg

Here is a photo of the Charamela Real trumpets that survive in Lisbon, the trumpets were made around 1770 and are after Bach, but they don't look any different in their general shape than the trumpet in the carosuel woodcut or in the video.

The tuning holes were added to the baroque reproduction we see in the video clip for the reasons you cited in your first post, because the metal was bored so perfectly, the impure tones couldn't be played without the addition of those tuning fingering holes.

 

OT: Recitatives that use trumpets, and timpani?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 21, 2010):
This is a bit off topicv, but considering the love affair several of us have for the use of trumpets and timpani in baroque music, I am currently working on a performing edition of Stölzel's cantata "Und der Herr sprach auf und salbe ihn" written in October 1745, to celebrate the coronation of Francis as Holy Roman Emperor the previous September in Frankfurt. The music was for the Gotha court, not the celebrations in Frankfurt. The music is opulently scored-- 3 trumpets, timpani, traverso, strings, four part chorus/singers/soloists. What's unusual is an extended recitative that starts out in a pretty typical manner: single voice with secco recitative, then builds up to include the other singers, then the strings and horns (who add beautifully long held chords above the voices), and at the end, some zesty punctuation by the trumpets and timpani. I don't recall any such use of an entire orchestra in baroque music, but that doesn't mean anything. Are there other examples from the baroque that I am missing?

Thanks very much

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 21, 2010):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I don't recall any such use of an entire orchestra in baroque music, but that doesn't mean anything. Are there other examples from the baroque that I am missing? >
The recitative (Mvt. 4) of "Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn" (BWV 119) is scored for 4 trumpets, timpani, 2 flutes and 2 oboes da caccia, continuo (no strings). It's a Big Bach Band moment. I think there is another Bach recitative with brass with big Wagnerian punctuations, but the name escapes me at the moment.

The Stölzel sounds delicious. Can you swat it up in FINALE or SIBELIUS and post it?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 21, 2010):
[To Douglas Cowling] I uploaded a Youtube clip from my Sibelius file. It's only a recitative, and it's not going to light the world on fire musically, but I think it's pretty innovative stuff. Honestly, I have no idea why this survived in Gotha's castle (only a total of 12 manuscripts out of 1000 made it to the present), especially considering the rather unique purpose of the cantata (pretty much occasional music).

I apologize in advance for the quality of the midi and the nature of the mixing-- but you'll get the idea of the music (I hope ;)

Thanks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWW64dq89Yk

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 21, 2010):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I uploaded a Youtube clip from my Sibelius file. It's only a recitative, and it's not going to light the world on fire musically, but I think it's pretty innovative stuff.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWW64dq89Yk >
Fascinamusic. The length is prodigious: I can't think of anything in Bach and Handel which is comparable. And the gradual addition of horns and trumpets is tremendously theatrical (even as Sibelius kazoos)

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 21, 2010):
[To Douglas Cowling] Thanks for that encouragement, I need it Doug. I can tell you the source autograph score is a nightmare! My editor and publisher has encouraged me (and helped in a big way) by repeating many times the quality of the music in this cantata.

Cute comment about Sibelius kazoos too :-)

William Hoffman wrote (August 22, 2010):
Impressive. Bach's first effort in a similar vein is the alto aria, "Durch mächtige Kraft" in Council Cantata BWV 71 of 1708, with three trumpets and timpani in "old style." Another possibility is:

Telemann's oratorical <Deutschland grünt und blüht im Friede> for the birthday of the Habsburg Kaiser Prince in Frankfurt in 1716. Telemann's "Germany Greening and Blooming in Peace," runs the length of an oratorio with 41 numbers interspersing arias (with choruses), recitatives, choruses, and ensembles. The soloists represent allegorical figures Germany, Irene, Mars, the City of Frankfurt, Mercury and Fate. The orchestra included oboes, bassoons; three each of trumpets and horns with timpani, a separate brass contingent of three "clarini piccolo" and three hunting horns, as well as the customary strings and continuo. The librettist was Georg Christian Lehms and the performance took place in the Drill-Hall.

I'll check the Telemann Ausgabe edition next week at the University of New Mexico Fine Arts Library.

One other note: Frankfurter Telemann Gesellschaft to present three related sacred cantatas, September 26:

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760):

"Opfre Gott Dank" GWV 1731/21 (1731, 14. Sonntag nach Trinitatis)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):

"Opfre Gott Dank" TVWV 1:1210 (1737, 23. Sonntag nach Trinitatis)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):

"Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich" BWV 17 (1726, 14. Sonntag nach Trinitatis)

http://www.frankfurtertelemanngesellschaft.de/Veranstaltungen.html

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 22, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< The orchestra included oboes, bassoons; three each of trumpets and horns with timpani, a separate brass contingent of three „clarini piccolo‰ and three hunting horns, as well as the customary strings and continuo. >
Move over, Berlioz!

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 22, 2010):
[To Douglas Cowling] I included some clips from that Telemann oratorio when I did my cantata introductory remarks (e.g. the use of horns etc). That famous 3 trumpet concerto by Telemann serves as the opening 'sinfonia' to the serenata Will mentioned. I know Stoelzel wrote a treatise on recitative [it was not published until the early 1960s], and was responsible for several other innovations regarding recitatives, but I can't recall them now unfortunately.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 22, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< One other note: Frankfurter Telemann Gesellschaft to present three related sacred cantatas, September 26:
Christoph Graupner (1683-1760):
Opfre Gott Dank“ GWV 1731/21 (1731, 14. Sonntag nach Trinitatis)
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767):
Opfre Gott Dank“ TVWV 1:1210 (1737, 23. Sonntag nach Trinitatis)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750):
Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich
BWV 17 (1726, 14. Sonntag nach Trinitatis) >
Thanks for that Will, very interesting. I wasn't aware of any of that!
Thanks very much!

 

Very off topic: Baroque trumpet fanfare collections and their music

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (October 3, 2010):
I know there are several list participants who absolutely love baroque trumpet music. There is an extensive collection of baroque trumpets that survive in Lisbon Portugal along with the timpani and original banners for the royal court. The entire fanfare collection survives intact, making this collection the largest known to have survive from what must have been many through out Europe. The music is entitled "Charamela Real" ("Royal Chapel) and its unknown who wrote the music. All of the music can be played for 4 part choirs (5 trumpets and a timpani in each choir), but only one expansive sonata is written for 24 separate parts. The music is untypical for the baroque period because over half the sonatas require trumpets in two pitches, allowing for more exotic chords. Edward Tarr edited a selection of these and they were published via Nelson Verlag in the 1980s, but I hope to publish a complete edition shortly. If you are interested in what the music sounds like, here's a sample with the Wallace Collection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SEkXCaf5-c

Evan Cortens wrote (October 3, 2010):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] This sounds great! Looking forward to the edition...

 

Orchestral Posture

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2012):
A spirited performance of the Lully "Te Deum" by Les Arts Florissants. Note that the orchestra has adopted 18th century convention and is standing -- except for the cellos!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxdJDUdXL1o

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 13, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< A spirited performance of the Lully "Te Deum" by Les Arts Florissants. Note that the orchestra has adopted 18th century convention and is standing -- except for the cellos! >
That poor baroque trumpet player is holding his instrument with one hand, and is barely able to reach the center of it. Since people in the 18th century were shorter and (smaller), you do wonder how they managed something like that trumpet.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2012):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< That poor baroque trumpet player is holding his instrument with one hand, and is barely able to reach the center of it. >
I love the hand on the pelvis -- putting the the hips back in HIP!

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 13, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I love the hand on the pelvis -- putting the the hips back in HIP! >
I'm guessing that it keeps him balanced and from falling over.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 13, 2012):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I'm guessing that it keeps him balanced and from falling over. >
Yeah, sure! You both can count on me to find an opprtune moment to remind you this exchange.

Charles Francis wrote (May 13, 2012):
Douglas Cowling, in response to his 1st message above] My impression is that upright baroque music performances are becoming more or less normative in my part of the world (central Europe); it is also common now to eliminate the conductor role. This is also true for choral works: for example La Petite Bande perform a minimalist Matthew Passion without conductor, while various Swiss groups perform cantatas in that manner.

Here is a vertical performance of the Brandenburg 4 fugue under a young Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Austria) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOnffCOHL8o

while this example with Roy Goodman (England) is a presumed early example without conductor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9rKpAS6-aQ

likewsie this performance with James Gallway and Andrea Griminelli: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eiiyN9dgAI&feature=player_detailpage#t=239s

A more recent examplefrom Southern Germany: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Rpry9EkZ8

In what is now the Köthen) spiegelsaal, Bach would have presumably faced the assembled aristocratic guests, as they watched, ate, drank, smoked and conversed. He might have stood and played viola as indicated by CPE or sat at the harpsichord for Brandenburg 5.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 13, 2012):
Charles Francis wrote:
< My impression is that upright baroque music performances are becoming more or less normative in my part of the world (central > Europe); it is also common now to eliminate the conductor role. This is also true for choral works: for example La Petite Bande perform a minimalist Matthew Passion without conductor, while various Swiss groups perform cantatas in that manner. >
That's very true: I saw a video of Claudio Abaddo conducting the Brandenburgs (it's dated 2010) and it just looked really silly seeing someone waving a stick for what is essentially a small ensemble, although they did beef up the strings for that performance. Or another video of Gustavo Dudamel "conducting" a few brass players at a concert who were playing Gabrieli canzonas. The fact this looks odd now is because we're so used to seeing conductor-less ensembles.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2012):
Charles Francis wrote:
< It is also common now to eliminate the conductor role. >
It's fascinating to observe conducting style in period orchestras. At least one prominent HIP conductor uses an elongated baton and thrashes around like a madman. Another has been watching too many videos of Lenny Bernstein and indulges in gymnastics that would make Martha Graham blush.

I was interested to see that Fabio Luisi, the all-but-anointed director of the Metropolitan Opera, conducted "Don Giovanni" from the harpsichord with an economy of gesture that was breathtaking.

The notion that all Baroque music should be conductorless is not a historically-defensible position. Remember Lully used to lead with a long staff which he accidentally drove through his foot and consequently died of gangrene (Is this a Baroque Urban Legend?)

Julian Mincham wrote (May 13, 2012):
[To Douglas Cowling] All of which reminds me of the late great Hans Keller (his critical work on string chamber music is still worth reading). Some years ago I attended one of his lectures in which he brought together a bunch of professions which, he claimed had much in common with the medieval Witch Prickers. These were men who claimed they could prick the skin of a woman and deduce, by the way she reacted, whether she was a witch or not.

These people were highly paid and highly esteemed members of society. They did a job which did not need doing and made matters worse than they would have been had they not been involved!

Needless to say, conductors were at the top of Keller's list of professions that shared these qualities!

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 13, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Remember Lully used to lead with a long staff which he accidentally drove through his foot and consequently died of gangrene (Is this a Baroque Urban Legend?) >
It's true. He refused to have the infected toe amputated, and subsequently went into septic shock. But his isn't the most bizzare and senseless composer's death. Two others come to mind:

Anton Fils (September 22, 1733 - March 14, 1760 ) was a cellist and composer in Mannheim had the bizarre habit of eating live spiders (he said he enjoyed them because they tasted like fresh strawberries). His last choice was a bad one, and he died from the spider bite. I'm not sure if Fils was bitten on the hand while picking it up, or on the lips, but either way, spider bite deaths are horrible (cf. Brown recluse spiders). Fils was 26.

The other bizzare death was the composer Johann Schobert (1720 - 28 August 1767) a German transplant composer who worked in Paris. A lot of his symphonies were pawned off as music by Haydn. Schobert enjoyed hiking outside Paris and collecting wild mushrooms, and eating them later. After one such mushroom gathering jaunt, he made a pot of soup with them for a gathering of friends and family, insisting they were safe. Well, he was wrong and killed himself, his wife, one of his children, a servant, and four guests. Austrian Emperor Charles VI died in 1740 from mushroom poisoning too, and his death was the start of a long war over the succession of his daughter Maria Theresa.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 13, 2012):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Anton Fils (September 22, 1733 - March 14, 1760 ) was a cellist and said he enjoyed them because they tasted like fresh strawberries). His last choice was a bad one, and he died from the spider bite. >
This is way too Baron Munchhausen-esque for me!

I think it's a Baroque Urban Legend -- like the violist in the microwave.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 13, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I think it's a Baroque Urban Legend -- like the violist in the microwave. >
Doesn't Hertz me ;)

Claudio Di Veroli wrote (May 14, 2012):
Orchestral Posture-trumpet

<< A spirited performance of the Lully "Te Deum" by Les Arts Florissants. Note that the orchestra has adopted 18th century convention and is standing -- except for the cellos! >>
< That poor baroque trumpet player is holding his instrument with one hand, and is barely able to reach the center of it. Since people in the 18th century were shorter and (smaller), you do wonder how they managed something like that trumpet. >
A few comments:

(1) I believe that the trumpeter is Madeuf, the first one in modern times to be able to play professionaly even the most involved of Bach's parts, playing the natural trumpet as played in Bach's time, with one hand and no holes, yet reaching a very satisfactory intonation. This has granted Madeuf a place in the modern history of the early brass revival.

(2) AFAIK Madeuf is not a very tall (large) man, thus similar in size to a 18C player.

(3) All natural trumpets (except for the very rare colied ones) were built in the elongated shape made popular by Nüremberg makers. We also know about playing posture from treatises and paintings. However, there may have been slight variations. Note also that the trumpet is held in place not only by the hand, but also by the friction caused by the external part of the player's lips.

Richard Raymond wrote (May 14, 2012):
http://youtu.be/DL9DuEsVH4k

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 15, 2012):
Claudio Di Veroli wrote:
< (1) I believe that the trumpeter is Madeuf, the first one in modern times to be able to play professionaly even the most involved of Bach's parts, playing the natural trumpet as played in Bach's time, with one hand and no holes, yet reaching a very satisfactory intonation. This has granted Madeuf a place in the modern history of the early brass revival. >
Thanks for the informative detail.

This emphasizes the ongoing (perhaps since the 18th C.? perhaps longer?) question, as to what is authentic performance practice for *old* music.

A pal of mine likes to play jazz on modern (valved) trumpet, frequently one-handed. I never thought about the question of equalizing lip-pressure for intonation. I will seek out an opinion. I have never noticed him to play hand-on-hip, so I doubt if physical balance is an issue with modern (coiled, compact) instruments, but perhaps that was part of the incentive for coiling, to begin with?

He also sings a bit, including a cover of the *old* Chet Baker hit, *I Fall in Love Too Easily*. How HIP is that?

Stephen Benson wrote (May 15, 2012):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I never thought about the question of equalizing lip-pressure for intonation. I will seek out an opinion. I have never noticed him to play hand-on-hip, so I doubt if physical balance is an issue with modern (coiled, compact) instruments, but perhaps that was part of the incentive for coiling, to begin with? >
Speaking from my experience as a trumpet player, I can't imagine "physical balance" would really be an issue. Sometimes playing in a higher register means one to "push" a little harder, but it really is the lip, not the body, that makes the difference. Of course, some trumpet players extend their range a lot more easily than others.

On the other hand, I can't remember ever trying to play one-handed..

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 15, 2012):
Stephen Benson wrote:
< Sometimes playing in a higher register means one has to "push" a little harder, but it really is >the lip, not the body, that makes the difference. Of course, some trumpet players extend their >range a lot more easily than others.
On the other hand, I can't remember ever trying to play one-handed... >
I thought it a bit unusual the first time I saw it, but I was a bit too timid to ask, especially since the results were especially good. Thinking back, I believe it was the same performance where I first heard the cover of the Chet Baker tune, with vocal.

By now, we are all friends, so I will just ask at the next opportunity. An interesting detail, thanks for contributing.

Claudio Di Veroli wrote (May 15, 2012):
[Ti Richard Raymond] Thanks Richard!


To those of us that have played baroque brass (I played for some years the natural horn) what Madeuf does, though not always 100% impeccable (which would be impossible) is nothing short of miraculous.

Most importantly, Bach trumpeters did not have node holes, thus Bach (and his audiences) expected exactly the mistuning and the risks a "holeless" natural trumpet produces.

Lately the Baroque trumpet players are commenting that Madeuf's playing is, by far, the nearest thing we have to how Reiche must have played: not surprisingly, it blends very well with the other players and singers.

George Bromley wrote (May 15, 2012):
[To Claudio Di Veroli] which notes would require the use of "a hole".

Claudio Di Veroli wrote (May 15, 2012):
[To Geirge Bromley] A full analysis is found in the literature (e.g. http://temper.braybaroque.ie/ , Ch.18 on intonation for the natural brass)

In a nutshell, trumpets with holes normally are fitted with three holes:

- two of them are node holes: essentially they block some partials, thus making it safer to play (more difficult to get wrong notes) especially at speed. They can also be used to facilitate trills, though most Baroque trumpeters avoid this as it produces a different effect from the true lip trill.

- the main hole (sometimes a double hole played by two fingers simultaneously) has a different function: when opened, it transposes up a fourth. Its main function is to fix the main intonation issues: written F, F# and A. Let me explain.

WITHOUT holes, the 11th partial (h11) is the best approximation for BOTH F and F#: thus the instrument is built to favour a middle-of-the-way tuning. The player uses throat and lips to "lip down" for F and "lip up" for F#: these notes become difficult to play and especially to produce them in anything like an acceptable tuning. G# is almost never scored for, but A is, and frequently, and is best played by h13, which produces inevitably too low a note: difficult to lip up as it is quite high in the range. Having to lip up or down significantly (approx. 30 Cents) for those notes, the playing is inevitably imperfect, but is what Bach and his audiences expected.

WITH holes, the 11th partial (h11) is used only for F#, and the instrument is built to approximate a good tuning for this note, which therefore becomes safer and easier to play in tune. In order to play F instead, the player opens the main hole and produces the 8th partial (h8) which normally would yield C, but with open hole jumps up a fourth to a perfectly-tuned F. As for A, instead of using mistuned h13, the trumpeter opens the hole and plays h10 which normally yields E, but with open hole jumps up to a perfectly tuned A. The lip up/down effort required is less than 10 Cents, thus a good trumpeter can produce a virtually faultless (but anachronistic) intonation.

Douglas Cowling wrote (May 16, 2012):
Claudio Di Veroli wrote:
< Bach trumpeters did not have node holes >
That must sound very rude in German.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 16, 2012):
Claudio Di Veroli wrote:
< Having to lip up or down significantly (approx. 30 Cents) for those notes, the playing is inevitably imperfect, but is what Bach and his audiences expected. >
A key(!) point. Expectation is critical for both composers and audiences. Did Bach or his audiences expect equal temperament (or any other) precision?

For that matter, do 21st C. audiences expect, or perceive, equal temperament precision?

There is a wonderful recorded interview with jazz great Milt Jackson, which I heard many years ago. The interviewer asks if *perfect pitch* enhances his enjoyment of music.

Response: <Not really. Sometnmes I will be listening with friends, and everyone else is enjoying the music. All I can notice is that the turntable is a bit off.> (end quote)

 

Trumpets without holes

Charles Francis wrote (September 25, 2012):
The "baroque" trumpets used by period musicians typically have anachronistic venting holes to temper the instrument towards modern practice and taste.

Here's a solo demo of a hole-free trumpet: YouTube: Händel - Water Music practice on nat

And in various performances: YouTube: Weihnachtsoratorium - Christmas Oratorio

Playing quickly seems to require a lot of skill.

Charles Francis wrote (September 25, 2012):
It seems Yahoo has problems with longer URL's, so here's a shorter link: http://tinyurl.com/d73436y

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (September 25, 2012):
Charles Francis wrote:
< The "baroque" trumpets used by period musicians typically have anachronistic venting holes to temper the instrument towards modern practice and taste. >
I have heard it explained because the tubing walls is so precise in the modern replicas, the makers had to use these venting holes. I know the gentleman in the video is not a professional, but that's really awful.

 

Natural Trumpets

Continue of discussion from: Joshua Rifkin - General Discussions [Performers of Vocal Works]

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 20, 2013):
Claudio Di Veroli wrote:
< Only ONE natural trumpeter today, Madeuf, is playing with no holes, and the results are quite shocking, much different from which we are used to hear]. >
Here's a breath-taking performance of Campra's "Exaudiat Te Dominus":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o74fxgfA1Lc

I love the 17th century French pronunciation of the Latin: "Domi-NYOOSE"

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 20, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] I wished the baroque timpani players would be more jazzy in their drumming, we know from descriptions of the period, they were quite show-offish rolling the sticks in their hands in the air (like modern rock band drummers) and sometimes even had short ribbons on the ends. Spectacle was EVERYTHING to the performance.

Claudio Di Veroli wrote (April 20, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] Thanks Douglas,

Impeccable "holeless" trumpeting!

Paul Beckman wrote (April 20, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that Suzuki's dudes played natural horns sans holes. I saw them do the Mass in Bmin, and that's what it looked like to me. Also, see this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a29MWUfkT8c

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your meaning. At any rate, I was amazed at both the exertion and execution of the performers.

Claudio Di Veroli wrote (April 21, 2013):
[To Paul Beckman] Indeed there are a FEW players with holeless horns, but in Gardiner's Christmas Oratorio DVD (German tour 2005): Amazon.co.uk
there is no doubt whatsoever: there are takes showing the horns VERY close, their fingers and down, even the holes can be seen!

Sometimes, when there are no holes, things can be actually worse: until 10-20 years ago all nat horn players employed the hand-in-bell technique, which was not in use during JSB life, produces the wrong sound and requires using the wrong instrument, Classical model with the modern-like large bell.

PS: I played the natural horn c.1985-2000.

 

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Last update: ýOctober 12, 2013 ý13:58:05