Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Natural Trumpets

Natural Trumpets by susanvg
Natural Trumpets, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: June 22, 2012
It is impossible to describe all the concerts in the Montreal Baroque Festival. Thursday's opening gala was really four concerts in one with music by SMAM, Les Boréades, Ensemble Masques and Ensemble Proemio. The latter, I had never heard before. They performed pieces from a codex from Peru which dates from the mid 1700s. Beautiful music! You can learn a bit about the man who collected the music here.

On Friday we heard Les Voix Humaines with natural trumpet players Jean-François Madeuf and Graham Nicholson with music from Kremsier in what is now the Czech Republic. Natural trumpets are trumpets that would have been played in baroque times. They have no keys. Playing different notes depends on breath pressure. The stance you see these players taking can also be seen in paintings, and here on the cover of a method book for learning to play the instrument. Baroque trumpets have a warmer, mellower sound than their modern counterparts. Another splendid concert!

If you want to hear a natural trumpet - here is a sample from YouTube  featuring Jean-François Madeuf.


  1. I like the sound of wind instruments including a trumpet. Natural trumpet is first to me. On YouTube video, I heard the tone of natural trumpet playing Baroque music and I thought modern trumpets wouldn’t do it so nice as the natural trumpets. Now that I recognized the sound, I feel as if hearing the sound from the photo.

  2. Susan - your musical summer has begun! Are you going to "camp" this year?

  3. Hi,Susan.
    The mellow sound and the beautiful harmonies of Baroque trumpets is special.
    I enjoyed the You Tube.