Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guest Post: The Art Of The Trumpet

I always planned to make playlists for every major instruments in the orchestra, problem is, I'm not a musician or musicologist, so I think it's better to share such playlists made by the professionals. Luckily, last week I stumbled upon this nice article: Spotify: What It Means For Classical Music Fans during my daily monitoring of everything Spotify and Classical, and found out the author Sam Callahan is a trumpet player and student at Indiana University's renowned Jacobs School of Music (Xenakis taught there and established a studio). I asked Sam if he would like to share a playlist of his favorite recordings of the trumpet repertoire, and he made two! Here's Sam:


The Trumpet Solo Shortlist (18 tracks, 1 hour) is an introduction to music for trumpet soloist and accompaniment drawn from the more complete playlist below. It features a movement or two from the repertoire's seminal multi-movement works, a few shorter one-movement pieces, and a small sampling of modern trumpet music. The playlist is in approximate chronological order, beginning in the Baroque era and ending with arrangements of music originally written for other instruments. I chose my personal favorite recording of each piece, usually leaning towards period instrument performances (done on a valveless trumpet by Niklas Eklund) when it came to the older works.

This longer playlist Trumpet Solo Works (221 tracks, 14 hours) is still only a portion of Spotify's amazing collection of trumpet solo music. Most pieces are for trumpet and orchestra or piano accompaniment, but some pieces, like Henze's thrilling Sonatina, are for trumpet alone. The playlist includes the full album for each Shortlist track and much more, including many lesser-known gems (check out Handel's gorgeous "Eternal Source of Light Divine, performed by Niklas Eklund.) There are also a few arrangements of pieces not originally for trumpet on albums by Alison Balsom and Maurice Andre. These are magnificent demonstrations of the instrument's full range of capabilities.

Guest post by Sam Callahan

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