1989, behind the Berlin Wall in East Berlin, in the Funkhaus Berlin
Studios, composer/conductor Richard Hill sat on the conductor's rostrum
in front of the Grosserundfunkorchester Berlin. This studio session
was scheduled for the recording of Hill's new 'Concerto for Trumpet'.
Just before proceedings could begin however, news came through that
the trumpet soloist from London had been unable to reach East Berlin,
due to problems with airline schedules.
decision was made to go ahead with the recording of the concerto without
the trumpet soloist, in the hope that the solo part could be dubbed
on at a later date. However, these were turbulent and heady times in
East Berlin. The Berlin Wall was at long last being demolished and the
physical reunification of Germany was in full flow. But these both profound
and welcome events also had a sad consequence, both for the orchestra
and for Hill's recording. The Grosserundfunkorchester Berlin was disbanded,
the music and the orchestral recording, a 'concerto grosso' orchestration
for strings and string quartet, were lost in the chaotic events following
the fall of East Germany, and it seemed that was the end of the project.
Hill went on to other commissions and to new projects in theatre and
in 2014, after a house move, Hill discovered an old cassette whilst
going through unwanted and flood damaged possessions. The cassette turned
out to be a recording of the East Berlin orchestral 'backing track'
to 'Concerto for Trumpet'. Hill immediately converted the recording
in his digital studio. He rewrote the score and conceived a new trumpet
solo part, which he then recorded on trumpet synthesizer over the original
track to create the work as it is today, and to produce a 'demo' CD
of the concerto. The accompaniment to 'Concerto for Trumpet' is scored
in 'concerto grosso' form, for orchestral strings and string quartet.
The atmosphere created by this orchestration choice reminds us of the
baroque heritage of the trumpet, whilst the subtle jazz and rock influences
throughout show the stylistic versatility of the instrument and give
the reason for the subtitle 'Trumpet Schizophrenia'. Richard Hill was
a founder member of the London Gabrieli
Brass Ensemble whilst at the Royal College of Music in 1961, and
he has a lifetime of experience, and obviously a special love, of writing
such a long and chequered history, it is hoped that 'Concerto for Trumpet',
trapped for decades behind the Berlin Wall, will now finally achieve
its own freedom, that of performances.
may like to check out these sound clips of 'Concerto for Trumpet':
Moderato Clip1: 49
secs MP3 sample [771k]
60 secs MP3 sample [946k]
Clip1: 66 secs MP3 sample
62 secs MP3 sample
3: Allegro Clip1:
62 secs MP3 sample [852k]
2: 42 secs MP3 sample
score and parts for 'Concerto for Trumpet' can be hired from email@example.com
and perusal scores are available.
AND PARTS FOR HIRE
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