Trumpet Concerto (Haydn)

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Joseph Haydn's Concerto per il Clarino, (Hob.: VIIe/1) (Trumpet Concerto in E flat major) was written in 1796 for his long-time friend Anton Weidinger. Joseph Haydn was 64 years of age.

Original instrument[edit]

Anton Weidinger developed a keyed trumpet which could play chromatically throughout its entire range. Before this, the trumpet was valveless and could only play a limited range of harmonic notes by altering the vibration of the lips; also called by the name of natural trumpet. Most of these harmonic notes were clustered in the higher registers, so previous trumpet concertos could only play melodically with the high register (e.g., Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2). Haydn's concerto includes melodies in the middle and lower register, exploiting the capabilities of the new instrument.

There were attempts all over Europe around the mid-classical era to expand the range of the trumpet using valves, but Weidinger's idea of drilling holes and covering them with flute-like keys was not a success as it had very poor sound quality. Thus the natural trumpet still had continual use in the classical orchestra while the keyed trumpet had barely any repertoire. The valved trumpets used today were first constructed and used in the 1830s.

Form[edit]

The work is composed in three movements (typical of a Classical period concerto), they are marked as followed:

  • I. Allegro (sonata)
  • II. Andante (sonata)
  • III. Allegro (rondo)

In addition to the solo trumpet, the concerto is scored for an orchestra consisting of strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 (presumably natural) trumpets (which generally play in support of the horns or timpani rather than the solo trumpet), and timpani.

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External links[edit]