Performing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto

When Bob Lancette put together the "Virtuosi of the Band" concert in spring, 1983, Sam Marks and Glen Newton were featured soloists, Sam playing the Mozart horn concerto #1 (two movements) and Glen playing the Haydn trumpet concerto.

The concert also featured ensembles from the band, including a clarinet and cello ensemble performing "Pachelbel Canon", with Kay Pearson on cello, and Kay's 14-saxophone arrangement of "American Patrol", on which Glen played 1st soprano sax.    

The first selection on the program was the Mozart Marriage of Figaro, on which Glen played 1st bassoon, which involved a number of tricky passages, given his relative lack of experience on the instrument.

Sam's solo was next, accompanied by a small group, in which Glen played E-flat contrabass clarinet.

After a few more selections, Glen played the Haydn concerto --- all three movements --- on his E-flat trumpet. As always when preparing for a taxing performance, Glen went into training several weeks before, stepping up his practice schedule to try to build up the necessary endurance. Preparation included working out a virtuosic cadenza (based in part on recordings by Maurice Andre and others) to play in the first movement:

Lots of notes, spanning a written range from low F# to high C.

(Note that the musical examples here are written for trumpet in E-flat. They sound a perfect fourth higher on that instrument than they do if you play them on a standard B-flat trumpet.)

If he hadn't played bassoon on earlier songs on the concert, Glen might have made it through the piece without running into problems, but in the third movement, he could feel that he was too tired to play the octave leaps, C4-C5-D4-D5-E4-E5-F4-F5 in eighth notes. etc., so he used the backup plan he'd worked out during his practices, playing thirds rather than octaves:

C-E-D-F-E-G-F-A, etc. etc.

Those who weren't intimately familiar with the music never knew the difference.

This page was last updated
Friday, February 07, 2020.

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