What in your opinion pushed the envelope for the trumpet.

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by DLoeffler, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. DLoeffler

    DLoeffler Pianissimo User

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    I hope this is where I should be posting this topic. And, thanks everyone regarding opinions on the "characteristic sound" question.

    Well, I have another one and here it is:

    What pieces do you believe pushed the envelope for trumpet in the areas of brass quintet, solo literature and orchestral literature?

    Let me expand a bit on this. I questioned the professor on what he meant by "pushing the envelope" in orchestral literature. My opinion, however right or wrong it is, would be Mahler - long extended loud passages, Stravinsky - technical proficiency is definately needed, Mussorgsky - Pictures due to endurance and Goldenburg, Berlioz and Symphony Fanstastic with the use of trumpets and cornets which then caused other composers to start writing more and melodic lines.

    This professor's statement was Beethoven's Lenore and the off-stage trumpet call because it was hidden from the audience. What? Gabrielli had been hiding trumpets all over churches for years before that and opera had been doing the same thing with instruments and people. (This could be another monkey wrench being thrown at me for comps/orals for all I know.)

    SOOOOO, I would be curious to see what other people believe "pushed the envelope" means with regards to Brass Quintet, Solo and Orchestral Literature.

    Thanks in advance,
    Drew Loeffler
     
  2. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

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    I say the Haydn, it's the first solo piece created for the modern trumpet, first time it's ever shown element of true lyricism, while showing bold statements and refering back to some of the past trumpet lit as seen in the Voluntary quote in the first movement. Besides this piece, which was written in the late classical era, I don't think anything had been written for solo trumpet since the Baroque era, almost 100 years earlier, I could be wrong though.
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Beethoven symphonies had to be a great challenge to the trumpeters of those days. The 5th, the 7th.... Tchaikovsky Symphonies were some of the first romantic corner burners.

    Mahler and Strauss required great accuracy from the players in those days, a bit more than Wagner operas which preceded those works.

    Ravel's music is as hard as most of Stravinsky's. Which would you rather play on D trumpet: Bolero or the Rite of Spring? Give me the Rite any day.

    Copland's 3rd is outrageous for endurance. Some people die at the end of Billy the Kid.

    Shostakovitch (5th, 7th) is another that pushed the envelope for endurance the same as Prokofiev pushed technical mastery.

    ML
     
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

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    The Haydn is definitely an influential piece in terms of seeing the trumpet as a solo instrument (although it wasn't written for the modern trumpet - the keyed trumpet is a bizarre instrument that bares very little relationship to the instruments we now play).

    The composers mentioned are certainly very influential - they started using the trumpet more within an orchestral context.
    How about Berlioz? One of the first to explore the lyricism of the (then) new chromatic upper brass.

    As for the brass quintet literature - Philip Jones can certainly claim the blame for much of the modern (past 40 years) brass quintet (and larger ensemble) repertoire. The PJBE commissioned a vast number of works for brass ensembles and put that style of ensemble firmly on the map. He is possibly also partially to blame for the insane nature of ensemble piccolo trumpet parts - when Mike Laird was playing those parts, the boundaries were truly expanded in terms of what a piccolo trumpet could do.
     
  5. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

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    baroque trumpeters & composers (who needs valves)

    haydn (me write for that thing? ok, if you'll play it, i'll write it!)

    berlioz (a few valves, please)

    & those show-off cornet wizards! (i'm definitely better than you)

    jazzers (it's the thought that counts)

    just having fun :lol:

    dj
     
  6. DLoeffler

    DLoeffler Pianissimo User

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    Thanks everyone for your responses on this subject. They have been a big help and also assisted in pointing me in some different directions.

    If anyone is interested in the following additions to this post:
    I am fortunate to have Bob Nagel living in my town right now and he added some items regarding this subject.

    In his words, at the time way back when, anything Russian was hard due to range and/or endurance. Stravinsky was also great at pushing the envelope for orchestral and chamber writing.

    Brass Quintet wise, there really wasn't anything new until after WWII. The big pieces, at the time, were the quintets by Schuller and Etler. They were hard due to the new sounds that had not been heard before and they were rhythmically difficult to put together. Nagel said that they really had to do a lot of rehearsing in order to get these pieces worked up properly.

    Solo wise, Nagel said that there is a piece by Oscar Boehme and, to best of his knowledge, is written in the style of a Mehdolssohn violin concerto with cornet style melodic lines. That was the only thing he was award of since the Baroque era other than the Haydn and Hummel.

    Mahlerbrass, the more I am looking into the solo lit, the more I will have to agree you are correct in your assessment regarding solo lit from the Baroque to the classical era. Nothing much happened after the Baroque era from a solo standpoint until Haydn.

    Manny, thanks for the reminder on Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch, Mahler and Strauss. And, thanks for mentioning Copeland and Ravel. I had completely forgotten about those works.

    Trumpetmike, thanks for the insight on PJBE. I have several recordings that I will have to review.

    And, Davidjohnson. Short, sweet, and to the point. It looks as if you win the Cliff Note's History of the Trumpet in 5 Lines or Less Award. Greatly appreciated.

    Oh, well. 4 more days of study and then it is time for orals.

    Thanks again for everyone's insight,
    Drew Loeffler
     
  7. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

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    What about Viktor Ewald, didn't he write 4 quintets?
     
  8. DLoeffler

    DLoeffler Pianissimo User

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    Yes. I mentioned that and Bob agreed that they were available. However, he stressed that there really wasn't anything new that he was aware of until after WWII for brass quintet. So, maybe he did not understand the question and maybe I did not understand his answer. Maybe he was inferring that the Ewald stuff was around and wasn't that hard at the point in history when he was playing them. Also, the fourth quintet was not discovered until recently. Since Bob has retired, I may have to ask him if he is aware of this fourth one. However, I would guess that in 1911, the first Ewald was pretty hard at the time.

    Granted, everyone would agree that they contain fabulous writing for brass instruments. However, did the Ewald quintets push the trumpet or brass envelope? I would say that they did. Granted, this is my opinion. However, this is why I would argue that it did push the envelope. The rotary valve was invented 1830 something, somewhere in there. So, I would guess, based upon Berlioz Symphony Fantastic, that for a composer to write all of these melodic lines for a brass ensemble with cornets, not trumpets, that it was rather bold at the time.

    I have played/performed the first three over my playing career. I would have to say that the fourth one is HARD even by today's standards. Not just because the first trumpet is for Eb and is high, but because endurance, range, wide intervals... In the fourth movement the tuba has lines where he is jumping an octave and a half down, there are double flats in the key signature for the C instruments... It is a hard piece.

    Just opinions and thoughts on the matter. Not trying to insult anyone and I hope my writings/statements are taken in the light manner they are intended.

    Drew Loeffler
     
  9. DLoeffler

    DLoeffler Pianissimo User

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    Correction - third movement of the 4th Ewald has double flats for the C instruments.
     

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