Music review: J.F. Madeuf, Musica Fiorita playing Molter

Karlsruhe Palace, where Molter worked at the end of his life

Yesterday, I wrote about the power of music review. Today, I am writing a review about some powerful music: Jean François Madeuf’s new album featuring music by Johann Melchior Molter. James Miller has already written an excellent review for the Historic Brass Society Journal.

This new recording is a wonderful addition to the growing audio library we have of natural baroque trumpet playing. Jean François is joined on trumpet by Henry Moderlak and Tomohiro Sugimara on Molter’s Concerto No. 3 in D Major for three trumpets (MWV 4:11).

But the best part of this concerto is the third movement with its sweeping lines so wonderfully done by natural trumpets:

Jean François shows his artistic and trumpetistic abilities in the very demanding Concerto No. 1 for Trumpet in D Major (MWV 4:12):

But I really loved the whole album. Jean François and Olivier Picon play horn on the Divertimento in F Major (with tasty bassoon and  chalumeau also playing):

And I’ll leave you with this trumpet-less beauty:




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An Interview You Will Want to Hear

Former Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, Philip Smith, chatting with Barbara Haws, Archivist of the NYP.

Every now and then I come across things I just have to share, such as an interview between Barbara Haws, the New York Philharmonic’s Archivist, and Philip Smith, former Principal Trumpeter there. This interview is one of four in a series called “Listening Through Time.” The listener is transported through the decades of recorded performances of the NYP to compare and contrast each generation of musicians over the standard repertoire. In this case, trumpeters are featured, from Harry Glantz and Bill Vacchiano and going through John Ware all the way to Philip Smith himself. And Mr. Smith chats about his impressions of each performance. Legends and lore are thrown about in an interview you simply must listen to! 


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Saturday Smorgasbord: Blog Review and a Poem

Today’s post is a mix of a blog review and I thought I would add on a poem (by me!). 

Because he gave my blog a shout-out, I though I would return the favor and point you in the direction of Ross Wixon’s website, Wixon Music Works. Ross is a trumpeter, but he really is a great composer. Not only that, but he coached me through a lot of thorny spots in my own compositions, so I do owe him a debt of gratitude. 

Composer, blogger and trumpeter Ross Wixon

He has written about Video Game composing, Music Entrepreneurship, Marketing and the masculinity music themes in the movie “The Incredibles.” Ross is a really good writer, in addition to his composing. He even adds an academic flare by citing sources in his endnotes. 


I’ll leave you with a nice quote from Ross:

…Arts marketing is not really about commercializing art. The work you make retains all its value, and you should strive to push yourself to advance your craft and evolve in new, exciting directions, even as you tell people about the great work that you’re doing.

As promised, I will reveal my poetic side now with a little poem:



The shed I inherited

has been dying

for as long as I recall—

slowly crumbling, relenting,

a craze of ambition

and forgotten plans.

More hope than it can hold,

more winters than it can stand,

forgotten poisons ready to spill.


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What Books are in your Gig Bag?

It’s a long rehearsal of Bach’s B-minor Mass, or some bel-canto opera, and you have about a thousand minutes of rest (so it seems). The smart trumpeter will have reading material at hand to pass the time, and perhaps increase his or her professional knowledge by reading about the trumpet or about the life of a trumpeter. In order to help out in this area, I have come up with a list of about a hundred books that just might be interesting to you. But this list is  too interesting to lump into just one post–I am going to serialize it. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.37.52 AMFor our first book, I have a work of fiction. Eric Kelly, The Trumpet of Krakow. Youth literature, but interesting to all ages. This is the fictionalized story connected to “the Heynal” call of St. Mary’s Church in Krakow, Poland. This is a trumpet call that has been played four times in succession, on each hour, from the top of the tower of St. Mary’s ever since the Tartar invasion of Krakow in 1241 killed the original trumpeter by an arrow shot to his throat. 

Here is a small video of the ceremony as it is performed today. 

Kelly’s book, however, tells a fictional story centered on the historic fire that burned Krakow in 1462. In the book, Andrew Charnetski’s family flee their burned house to give a mysterious, cursed crystal to the king of Poland, who turns out to have been murdered. Although now the family is destitute, Andrew’s son, Joseph, saves an alchemist who, out of gratitude, shelters the family. The bad guy, Peter of the Button Face, is after the crystal and is on to the Charnetski family’s whereabouts, but the scholar Jan Kanty shields them and offers Andrew the job of playing the trumpet call during the night. Alchemy, hypnosis, fires and treachery all about in this Newberry Award winner from 1929. 


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