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Benjamin Britten - "Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury"



 
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tpt590
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Joined: 27 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: Benjamin Britten - "Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury" Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new here. I'm looking for more information on performing the Britten "Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury" on natural trumpets. Has anyone on here tried it, or could point me towards more background info on the piece? There is a recording available on natural trumpets made by the Seattle Trumpet Consort. I know it's technically possible, but does anyone have thoughts on this concept (or performing modern repertoire on baroque trumpets in general)? Thanks!
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benlewis
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have played this piece using natural horn on part 1, and baroque trumpets in C and D for the 2 & 3 parts. Not a very fun tune to make your baroque trumpet debut on!!!!

HTH

Ben
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Jay Lichtmann
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love the piece. It can be incredibly effective and spectacular. The last part with that "wash" of sound interspersed with all three guys are banging it out in unison rhythm is a marvelous effect. In the right space there is nothing like it.

I realize it was written with three natural (valveless) instruments in mind, but I guess my question is: what is the advantage to doing it that way? It certainly isn't easier to play, I know it won't be better in tune and for my money a modern instrument has a more centered, fuller and brilliant (not strident) sound and cleaner articulations.

Besides the novelty of playing it on natural trumpets what is your reasoning? Is it really any better that way?
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Last edited by Jay Lichtmann on Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mattdalton
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a member of the Seattle Trumpet Consort and played the F trumpet part on the recording. There were multiple reasons we put the Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury on our disc.

First, it was a good fit for the programming of our recording - music after the Baroque. We were trying to choose the best from available post-Baroque literature, and transcriptions were not in scope.

Second, we thought we could offer a new perspective to the piece by presenting it on instruments that capture Britten's compositional intent. Not that many people who know the piece would have heard it performed with valveless trumpets.

Third, it challenged us personally to find a new musical perspective on a familiar work - part of a musician's pursuit of art.

We certainly didn't do it as a novelty. With that said, I think Jay has a point, and that it could be a novelty if not approached with care. We worked for quite some time before finding our collective voice with the piece. We had all performed the piece on modern trumpets many times, but it just doesn't work to use a modern trumpet approach when one is playing a baroque trumpet. I would far prefer to hear the piece performed well on modern trumpets than an average or mediocre performance on baroque trumpets.

I typically do not favor trying to adapt music not written for the natural trumpet to the baroque trumpet. With vent holes you can often get close enough that it is tempting to do so, but for me transcriptions just don't work with baroque trumpet. (Note: I am not opposed to transcriptions, and love playing them in quintets, dectets, etc. when playing modern trumpets.)

While the above applies to public performances, I wouldn't want to discourage you from fooling around with using baroque trumpet (on pieces not written for it) as an educational device. You might learn valuable things about what works and doesn't work on baroque trumpet. Just don't try to make the baroque trumpet sound exactly like a modern trumpet. Rather, let it have its own voice and appreciate the differences.

Hope this helps,
- Matt
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Michael1638
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Location: Cincinnati OH

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury - Benjaim Britten Reply with quote

Hello - It's been a long time since I posted anything here.

The comments from the Seattle Trumpet Consort were excellent.

I would only add that in 1980 I found in a small record shop in Nuremberg, Germany, an LP by the Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble which included this music played on baroque trumpets. Most of that recording was of course period music. The record label was RCA/Erato. Unfortunately as far as I know this (as most landmark recordings by Edward Tarr) is not available in any format at this time.

If I had the option to attach an image I could show you what the cover of that LP looks like. I was very happy I saved all those old LP's and transcribed most for myself in digital format. I'm saddened to know so many wonderful recordings by Edward Tarr are not available on CD. The series of recordings released in the U.S. on the Nonesuch label were wonderful.
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Bach large bore Strad C-trumpet
Meinl und Lauber Ehe C/D with crook to for baroque pitch.
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Kanne
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury - Benjamin Britten Reply with quote

Find here link to details and covers of the recording
The Edward Tarr Brass Ensemble Music For Baroque Trumpets
with works from Bendinelli, Biber, Starzer, Dauverne, Britten, Riedl:

http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/tarr/db/show.php?&id=12

Great recording!
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Michael1638
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Location: Cincinnati OH

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kanne - Thanks very much for the link to info about that Tarr LP. I have the audio digitized and I have the front cover good and clean but I didn't have the track listings. Your link is very helpful for me!

If I could attach an image I could show you how clean my copy of the front cover is. It's exactly like the one on the left in your link except the background is white.[/img]
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Michael
OSU, 1978
Bach large bore Strad C-trumpet
Meinl und Lauber Ehe C/D with crook to for baroque pitch.
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