Will piccolo trumpets keep its place in Baroque literature?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by _TrumpeT_, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. Bikephan

    Bikephan New Friend

    Sep 22, 2005
    Central Missouri
    I cannot claim to be a natural trumpet expert, but wouldn't the issue of playing with even tempered modern instruments be a real problem if we only used natural trumpets?
  2. mattdalton

    mattdalton Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2005
    Newcastle, WA USA
    I think you are right, that it is a problem, and that it is one of the top reasons why most baroque trumpet playing involves vent holes. (And that's with period instrument groups using something close to even temperment!) There is a limited amount of bending that is practical, and true natural trumpet playing will be limited in practicality unless other temperments are used.

    Mike's point about timbre is important too. The few times I've played baroque trumpet with modern instrument orchestras it has felt like an uphill battle to create a sound that blends acceptably. I know there are groups where a good blend is achieved (e.g. Orchestra of the 18th Century) but this is not commonplace yet.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If we used the vented (3 or 4 hole) horns, a well tempered scale is not hard. In many cases making the trumpets use valveless instruments keeps them humble AND drops the absolute volume as well as blending better than a modern picc.
    The picc is here to stay. It is just easier and safer for most to play!
  4. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    One thing I found is with the SPCO's experiment of using natural trumpets for Beethoven and Schubert (with Roberto Abbado) really didnt work, the horns and woodwinds were using modern instruments and the strings were still using modern bows and steal strings, so there were considerable balance problems.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The Radio Symphony Orchestra in Frankfurt has done performances and recordings of the Beethoven Symphonies and the trumpets have to work pretty hard to keep up. The recordings are very spicy though!

    In concert, we are used to the clear, bright modern trumpet sound. The nats blend into the orchestral fabric more, so they assume a different function of augnmenting the sound with a more complex overtone structure than with modern instruments. Accents and dynamics can really be played as written however, instead of turning everything into a "cloud" as is often necessary with modern instruments. The live performance with Frankfurt was quite enjoyable although the masses of strings does not have the transparency of a smaller ensemble.
  6. Dr. Zink

    Dr. Zink Pianissimo User

    Feb 8, 2007
    North Coast US
    Basically, that's it in a nutshell. The picc will never entirely supplant the natural/baroque trumpet. Audiences and players (especially students) love it too much. It carries a certain star attraction as the ultimate specialist trumpet toy.

  7. BrassOnLine

    BrassOnLine Piano User

    Nov 22, 2007
    Piccolos are wonderful instruments wich can play much more than a Natural trumpet.
    Also, modern versions (modern instruments) of baroque music are always interesting.

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