We were thrilled to learn that the BfB Baroque™ is being used this summer at the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra by two of NYC's finest, Neil Balm and Raymond Riccomini. (see video below)
Although the name suggests its use in playing the high trumpet repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, the BfB Baroque™ is really more of an invention trumpet*, with a design that allows it to be crooked to the keys commonly used by composers of the classical period. This is perhaps the most overlooked, and least understood use of the natural trumpet, yet it is the foundation for everything that follows in the world of orchestral trumpet playing. Playing repertoire by composers like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and even Brahms, on the natural trumpet is both challenging and rewarding. It sheds light on what composers had in mind in terms of sonority, and helps us understand the conventions of writing for the orchestral trumpet more broadly.
To help teachers and players take advantage of opportunities use the natural trumpet, we have created a database of classical period trumpet parts, listed "by composer" and "by key" in more or less chronological order. It's a fascinating way to view the repertoire, and illuminates how the writing for the trumpet evolved during this time period. Click here, or scroll down to the image to view.
*The invention trumpet is term that appears in the early 19th century and is used to describe a natural trumpet that is configured in a way to allow for the crooking of keys used in the classical period. These trumpets were configured so that that body was short enough — or even bent into a curve as in the case of the demi-lune (half moon) trumpet — to facilitate hand stopping. This technique, commonly used in playing the French horn, was used to temper the "out of tune" partials and to allow for chromatic alterations, filling in some of the gaps in the harmonic series.