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