Music Reviews

Brass for Beginners - Website/Curriculum Review

brassforbeginnersBrass For Beginners: A Comprehensive Brass Education for the Primary School Classroom or Private Instruction.

HBS members have learned of Chris Hasselbring and Kristy Montgomery’s innovative educational program through a number of presentations they have given at HBS events and through a number of news reports. Their program, Brass for Beginners, has had numerous recent developments.

Two Fanfare Sets for Natural Trumpet Ensemble ed. Anna Freeman

Pieces from Mr. Handel’s Water Music for 4 trumpets and timpani. Compiled and arranged by Anna Freeman. Musikverlag Spaeth/Schmid Nr. 50129, 2011.

Salzburger Aufüge 14 Processional fanfares for 4 trumpets and timpani. Reconstructed by Anna Freeman. Musikverlag Spaeth/Schmid Nr. 50128, 2011

Publisher's Website:

Anna Freeman has edited two fine performance editions, with score and individual parts, for the natural trumpet ensemble. One is an arrangement of 9 pieces selected from Handel’s Water Music and the Suite in D for Trumpet. The second is a reconstruction of early 19th century repertoire offering us a glimpse of the tail end of this long and wonderful musical tradition.

In addition to giving the trumpet ensemble an opportunity to perform the glorious Handel tunes, Freeman has presented optional timpani solos as well as an ornamented and virtuoso third trumpet line replete with florid 32nd notes ascending up to high c’’’. The individual third trumpet part has the ornamented line in a smaller font so the player can easily distinguish the basic part from the ornamented line. Generally speaking, however, the range of these tunes is modest. The first trumpet part only ascends to g’’ with an occasional a’’.

Freeman dates the Salzburg Fanfares to about 1830 and has presented them in this edition in what she believes was the original form of the pieces, that is scored for 4 natural trumpets and timpani. The creation of this edition comes with an interesting story kindly related to me by the editor herself. About 35 years ago, Freeman visiting an old barn in Upper Austria bought a box of old wet band music from a farmer for about 5 dollars. The box was put away in the attic and traveled around the globe on various home moves. A few years ago the box was first examined and the editor noticed that the top 2 trumpet parts of this music were almost completely on natural tones. After consulting with Albert Hiller and Marc Meissner, Meissner recognized that the first fanfare in an 1803 collection, Sechs kurze und leichte Aufzüge by Martin Mösl (1787-1843) was almost identical to the 5th fanfare in the Salzburg collection. The present reconstruction by Freeman is based on Salzbürger Fanfaren Nr. 535 compiled and arranged by Otto Eberhard, Salzburg, and listed by the publisher, Musikverlag Siegfried Stamberg Vienna, in 1940. That collection is scored for 2 trumpets and 2 trombones. According to Freeman’s edition notes, Eberhard arranged and composed works for brass and had embraced the idea of taking music from many different sources and popularizing them and making the music more assessable. Based on the Mösl fanfare and the fact that the two trombone parts could very easily be reworked to fit the limitations of natural trumpets, it is Freeman’s contention that the present edition scored for 4 natural trumpets and timpani was indeed the original instrumentation from which Eberhard wrote his arrangement.

This is a fascinating tale which ends with a “new” collection of 14 pieces for the natural trumpet ensemble. The music itself is very much in the tradition and is modest in range and difficulty. Two of the last fanfares have been named and Freeman has retained those names in this edition. Fanfare #12 Jagdfanfare [Hunting Fanfare] has a clear hunting horn style and fanfare #14 Huldigungsmarch [March of Homage] is the longest piece in the collection, a regal 32 measures.

The notes in both editions are in English and German. The individual parts and score are in large readable font size and on sturdy stock. These are two most welcome additions to the natural trumpet repertoire.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum

Dauvern and Ganne Editions by Couturier


F.G.A. Dauverné, 20 Etudes variées pour trompette chromatique, Ed. Jean-Louis Couturier (Noisy-le-Sec France: Sempre più Editions SP0014, 2012).

Louis Ganne (1862-1923), Vieille chanson Fantaisie-Gavotte pour cornet et piano, Ed. Jean-Louis Couturier (Noisy-le-Sec France: Sempre più Editions SP0022, 2012).

Today Louis Ganne is regarded as a minor 19th century composer, but in his day Ganne was highly regarded and composed over 200 works (including songs, comic operas, operettas, ballet scores, and many dance pieces). Ganne entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied organ under César Franck and began his career as a composer and conductor. Jean-Louis Couturier has brought out this lovely cornet solo piece to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. [Editor's note: the publisher has put a short audio excerpt of the work on their website BP]

The source of this edition is in the Bibliothéque nationale and was first published in 1888. This short piece (91 measures) is a lively and spirited work of modest difficulty and a modest two octave range, A - a''. The piece is filled with 16th note and some 32nd note passages reminiscent of pieces in the Dauverné method of some three decades earlier. This edition includes a piano part as well as C and Bb cornet parts. It is a welcome addition to the cornet repertoire.

Couturier’s edition of Dauverné’s 20 Etudes variées pour trompette chromatique is actually several selections from the famous method of 1857. This modern edition numbers the etudes 1 – 20 but in fact they are from different sections of the method and have a different original numbering. Etudes 1-12 in this edition are from “12 Etudes Melodiques” (page 248 in my facsimile edition published by International Music Diffusion). Etudes 13- 17 correspond to numbers 1 – 5 in the original edition in the “20 Etudes Caractéristiques et Mélodiques” section (page 266 in the IMD edition) and Etude 18 in the Courturier edition corresponds to Etude 20 in the original edition. The last etude in the modern edition, no. 19, corresponds to Etude 11 in the original edition (page 230) from the section titled “12 Etuders Mélodiques”. Courturier did mention those different sections in his fine notes (in French and English translation by Elizabeth Guill) but it would have been helpful if this edition had indicated the original numbers. Courturier presents parts that are transposed from the original notation with parts for Bb trumpet. My edition had an extra Erratum page correcting an unfortunate measure rest which is not in the actual part. Courturier’s edition in a great improvement over the facsimile edition in that it is less cramped and much easier to read than the original. The music is printed on large size sturdy stock. We owe Jean-Louis Couturier much thanks for his research in 19th century French brass music and look forward to future editions.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum

Tarr, ed.,Bach for Brass 7

tarr bachEdward H. Tarr, ed. Bach for Brass, vol. 7. Cantatas and Mass Movements with Cornetts and Trombones. Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany: Carus Verlag 2017.

Bach for Brass 7: Cantatas and Mass Movements with Cornetts and Trombones is the final volume in a series of the complete brass parts to Bach’s orchestral music.This seventh volume, edited by Edward Tarr and Uwe Wolf, includes the cornett and trombone parts to the cantatas and mass movements. The short forward and remarks, written in German with English and French translations, makes the initial point that the twenty first century has seen the complete Bach oeuvre published in new editions (the Neue Bach-Ausgabe or NBA) which replaces the beloved but now dated Bach-Gesamtausgabe. Aesthetically the volume is very pleasing. Handsomely bound and engraved, these short scores offer a practical guide to practice and performance. The handful of facsimile pages from original performance parts that are included add to the aesthetic pleasure of the volume.

Dauverné's Duo Concertant ed. Couturier

DauverneFrançois Georges Auguste Dauverné, Duo Concertant pour 2 Trompettes Militaires in C, ed. Jean-Louis Couturier (Vienna: Doblinger, 2017)

In addition to the fine and easy to read large notation on sturdy stock, Jean-Louis Couturier has presented us with an informative introductory essay on Dauverné (1799–1874) and this lovely duo for two natural trumpets. Couturier presents a brief biographical sketch. He began his musical trumpet studies under the direction of his uncle Joseph-David Buhl (1781–1860)

Keyed Trumpet Editions by Jaroslav Roucek, et al

immerhummelThe four trumpet scores reviewed here are all part of the “Edition Immer” series and are published by Musikverlag Martin Schmid.

  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Quartet in E Major (for trumpet, violin, violoncello, and pianoforte). Edited by Jaroslav Rouček and Jan Valta. Edition Immer, Musikverlag Spaeth/Schmid, SM 50565. 2012. Also published in a separate version transposed to E-flat major as SM 50566.
  • Johann Leopold Kunerth. Offertorium, Op. 10 (for soprano, keyed trumpet, pianoforte accompaniment and optional choir). Edited by Friedemann Immer and Jaroslav Rouček. Edition Immer, Musikverlag Martin Schmid, SM 50585. 2015.
  • Johann Leopold Kunerth. Quintet (for flute, clarinet, keyed trumpet in D, viola, and guitar). Edited by Friedemann Immer and Jaroslav Rouček. Edition Immer, Musikverlag Martin Schmid, SM 50589. 2016.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s “Quartet in E Major” is a reconstruction of a work performed by keyed trumpet player Anton Weidinger during his 1802–1803 concert tour. In his introductory notes, Jaroslav Rouček argues that the three compositions by Hummel that appeared as part of this tour’s repertoire all probably contained the same musical material—that of Hummel’s trumpet concerto—arranged for different performing ensembles to fit different needs. The original score of this quartet is lost. Therefore, this reconstruction may best be viewed as a reduction of the orchestral score for the smaller ensemble of trumpet, violin, cello, and piano. In this capacity, this edition will serve quite well; most of the details of the orchestral version are preserved in this arrangement. Where exclusions must be made, the editors have made intelligent choices about what to retain and what to leave out of their reduction.

Three Trumpet Solos by Paul Rougnon (1846-1934)

Paul Rougnon (1846-1934). Three Solos for Trumpet. Edited by Jean-Louis Couturier. Martin Schmid Blechblasernoten (SM50953–50955), 2017. Paul Rougnon.

  • 1er Solo for Trompette chromatique and piano in F. ed. Millereau. Paris, 1895. Dedicated to Meri Franquin. Source Bibliothéque Nationale de France Vm14.89 Paul Rougnon.
  • 2e Solo for Trompette chromatique and piano in F. ed. Millereau. Paris, 1896. Source Bibliothéque Nationale de France Vm 14.86 Paul Rougnon.
  • 4éme Solo De Concert for Trompette Chromatique in C with Piano. ed. E. Gallet, 1913. Dedicated to Merri Franquin. Source Bibliothéque Nationale de France K 28631

Once again, Jean-Louis Couturier has delved into the massive shelves of the Bibliothéque Nationale de France and brought forth three new editions of French trumpet music from the Belle Époque. This time it is music by pianist, composer and teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, Paul Rougnon. Rougnon taught piano and music theory and composed hundreds of works including a few trumpet solo works in addition to the three reviewed here. Two of the pieces are dedicated to his colleague at the Conservatoire, trumpet professor Merri Franquin. Franquin and Rougnon were almost exact contemporaries, Rougnon being born only two years before Franquin and both died in 1934. They both spent their entire professional lives at the Conservatoire and no doubt Franquin influenced the writing style of Rougnon. Franquin was a force to modernize trumpet music, advocating for the use of trumpet in C moving away from the traditional low F trumpet. That the three “contest” pieces (used for the annual concours for trumpet students) reviewed here are written for the chromatic trumpet indicates an allegiance with the modern trends. The three pieces are between three and a half and four and a half minutes long each consisting of four or five short movements. The writing is highly chromatic and lyrical with a number of very florid thirty-second note passages as well as being harmonically interesting. Most of the writing is in the staff but the range does expand from a to Bb’’. The edition of the fourth Solo concert piece in C comes with a C part as well as a transposed Bb part. The two other works in F come with parts for Bb trumpet parts. As is usual for Couturier’s editions published by Schmid, the music is on sturdy stock with large and well-spaced notation. These three new editions offer trumpeters interesting and challenging solo pieces that would enhance any concert program. -- Jeffrey Nussbaum

Arban, Morceau de Concours, ed. Couturier

Jean-Baptiste Arban. Morceau de Concours for solo cornet/trumpet, ed. Jean-Louis Couturier (London: Resonata Music, 2016). Published 2016.

This is the second edition of solo cornet music by Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825-1889) that Jean-Luis Couturier has recently edited for Resonata. This work originally published in 1888 by the Parisian publisher Chaimbaud is now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Score K. 13784). It is a three movement solo cornet piece of a virtuosic nature. There is a melodically interesting and spirited Allegro of 52 measures and a 26-measure Andantino with flurries of 32nd notes and brilliant glissandi. The third movement is in triple time, labeled Polacca, and is a triple and double tonguing showcase culminating in a tour de force coda. The range is not extreme, similar to much of Arban’s writing, extending to  Bb below the staff ascending to A’ above the staff. There are but a few quarter note rests in the entire work, making endurance a greater challenge than range.

In an email communication Couturier explained that the original score is notated untransposed in C, implying perhaps the use of the C "Arban" cornet. It is unclear if that instrument was a 3 or 4 valve instrument. Couturier argued that because the cornet part calls for low F naturals in the Polacca and Coda sections, the Paris Conservatoire students ca. 1888 were must have been using the C "Arban" Cornet. It would seem to be equally plausible that the transposed part for Bb cornet (where the low F would become a notated low G) is simply lost.

The edition is published on sturdy stock on large size paper and is easily readable. The edition has both a Bb and C cornet part. While there is certainly a life-time worth of music to explore in Arban’s famous method, it is always a treat to explore “new” repertoire by the famous cornetist. We are once again in debt to Jean-Louis Couturier for his diligent work in unearthing these wonderful gems.

-- Jeff Nussbaum