Abblasen

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Portrait, oil on canvas of Gottfried Reiche (1667–1734) by Elias Gottlob Haussmann (1695–1774)

Abblasen is a trumpet fanfare attributed to Gottfried Reiche. In Haussmann's famous portrait of Reiche, he is seen holding a scrap of paper with two lines of melody written on it. Abblassen is a reconstruction of what appears to be on the manuscript in Haussmann's painting. There is no way of knowing if Reiche actually wrote the melody that appears in the painting, or indeed, to fully confirm that the version of Abblassen that is played today is an accurate transcription of the manuscript.

The piece is usually performed in the key of D, and it spans two octaves of the trumpet's range. A vinyl recording of a version by Don Smithers, played on an eight-foot Baroque Trumpet, was used as the theme song to CBS News Sunday Morning for almost 20 years until CBS opted to switch out the vinyl recording with a clearer digital recording performed by Doc Severinsen on a piccolo trumpet. Severinsen's version, which was noticeably not in the Baroque style, was later replaced by a recording by Wynton Marsalis.[1] Reiche actually composed 122 pieces entitled Abblasen-Stücken, but only one survived to the modern day.[2]

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