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"Concerto for 7 Trumpets and Timpani" - Composed by Johann Ernst Altenburg
"Concerto à VII Clarini con Tympani du XVIII siécle" (1795) Extrait de l'ouvrag de J. E. Altenburg
Notated in C
Edition by Russell Gilmour
This work for seven trumpets and timpani is by Johann Ernst Altenburg - the famed writer of the great tome on playing the natural trumpet, entitled [the] "Trumpeter's and Kettledrummer's Art" (1795).
This work was described by the first professor of the trumpet at the Paris Conservatoire - François Georges Auguste Dauverné - as a 'very curious piece'. It is clear to understand why Dauverné thought this. The piece is classical in style but uses the trumpets in the highest register, the 'clarino' register. Altenburg, who was a trumpet player himself (and also the son of a trumpet player) lived through a period in history where the trumpet was being forced to recede to a shadow of its former self. It had been such a symbol of power during the baroque period and it was now returning into its primary role - as a signalling instrument and instrument of the battlefield. Economic conditions meant that the rich nobility could no longer afford the extravagance of employing trumpet players in great numbers. However, Altenburg wrote this piece in a classical style but treated the trumpets as they had been in the baroque period - writing in the chirruping 'clarino' register