hummel, haydn, etc on b flat vs e flat trumpet?

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by cmel, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. cmel

    cmel New Friend

    Nov 8, 2009
    carlsbad, ca
    i have heard different opinions about playing the hummel on the e flat trumpet versus the b flat. one school of opinions that i have heard say that one should stick with the larger horns (b flat, c) when possible and that an e flat trumpet is more of a crutch that should only be used if it is simply extremely difficult to play otherwise. the other school of thought is that for certain pieces it is preffered to play on the e flat trumpet because they produce a certain sound (or something like that i dont exactly remember...) anyway i was wondering if anyone could explain and elaborate on this. thanks
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The horn doesn't make any difference. They are equally playable on the Bb and Eb. A Bb probably even sounds closer to the original keyed trumpet.

    The Eb is no crutch as if the player even deserves to be on stage with this piece, the technical part is covered. Musicality is not limited to a pitch of horn. It is in the head of the musician.

    The crutch stuff only comes from the lazy that won't do the pieces justice on any horn!

    As far as an audience is concerned, they pay for music not excuses. That pretty much sums up what we need to do to prepare.

    For me, the reason that these pieces exist was to showcase a new lyrical, chromatic facet of this instrument versus the established military/fanfare side. If you study the score you will see big swings in "color". In my opinion, larger horns have more "colors" available.

    Here is an excellent example of what I mean using the Haydn with a copy of the original instrument:

    Listen to the difference between his chromatic and arpeggio approaches.
  3. loudog

    loudog Piano User

    Jan 4, 2004
    Grand Island, NE
    Robin's post is spot doesn't really matter. The eefer is not a crutch...most players (in the US anyway) play it on E-flat.

    One thing to consider is where you are. Convention DOES matter, in certain ways. It seems to me like most players in the US do it on E-flat, while in Germany, and other places in Europe (most places maybe?) it's more common to do it on B-flat.

    Hope this helps.

  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    Probably part of the reason for us, Europeans to commonly play it on B flat is that many orchestral auditions require to be played on a B flat. So if you got it once right on the B flat, why change? Some trills are easier on the eefers though. Another reason may be that many trumpet players especially in Eastern Europe may not own an eefer.
  5. HSOtrumpet1

    HSOtrumpet1 Pianissimo User

    Nov 28, 2008
    It's easier for me on an E flat. I would have said up until now to play it on an E flat just to make it more authentic, but apparently it wasn't even written for E flat, so whatever is easier for you, I guess.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  6. GuitarPlayer05

    GuitarPlayer05 New Friend

    Apr 17, 2008
    Lincoln, NE
    The keyed trumpet it was written for WAS in the key of Eb. At least that's what I found in my research.
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Yeah, I can see how these guys NEED a crutch...
    I always considered Eb a little harder to play, but easier to be accurate in the E-A areas, and of course a picc is even more difficult to play. A Bb may be capable of being played, but the tones of the Eb, picc etc make the horn more a soloist sound.

    YouTube - Hummel Trumpet Concero in E 3rd Mov.

    YouTube - J. N. Hummel - Trumpet Concerto in Eb, 3rd mvt.

    And the great M.Andre
    YouTube - Maurice André Trumpet Hummel 1, 05.02.2004 Strehler

    YouTube - Phil Smith Plays Haydn Concerto 2/NYPO/Mehta
  8. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I don't know any of the delicate proprieties on this issue, but my opinion as an amateur hack is that it's fun on Bb or Eb trumpet (Fun transposing and playing it on my C trumpet too). However, for me on Bb it's a bit like trying to wrestle a big Cadillac through twisty curves, while on the Eb is more like taking them in a sports car. I don't know that one sounds better than the other, but I like to be able to play it on either horn. Then again, after a couple of drinks I'll sometimes pull out my Olds Eb Alto and rip through it just for giggles, so don't go by me :lol:
  9. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    The thing that seems to be overlooked here is that the original poster may not realize that you need to learn to play and Eb. Few folks can just pick one up and play it like a Bb or a C. If you are striving for sound you can many times get very close to making the Eb sound like a C or Bb. However, one has to practice and know how to play the instrument as well as hear the pitches in Eb.
  10. mattc

    mattc Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2009
    Which "it"? Hayden or Hummel? I recall that the Hummel was originally written in E, not Eb. One local trumpet player I know went back to the original score--as in the original manuscript--to do some research on it.

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