In Memoriam: Edward H. Tarr (1936 - 2020)

Prof. Dr. Edward Hankins Tarr (b.15/06/1936 Norwich, Connecticut, USA - d.24/03/2020 Rheinfelden, Germany) was a pioneering performer and one of the most esteemed modern scholars of the natural trumpet. His research, editions, articles, dictionary entries, and books are indispensable to any student of the trumpet or natural trumpet. His translations of Bendinelli, Fantini and Altenburg’s treatises,
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Handel - La Resurrezione - The English Concert

I played first trumpet with The English Concert for a video recording of Handel’s oratorio La resurrezione [HWV 47]. The recording took place at St. John’s Smith Square in London on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of March 2021.Harry Bicket directed this very fine ensemble of instrumentalists and an esteemed cast of singers: Danielle De Niese (Soprano), Lucy Crowe (Soprano), Lawrence Zazzo (Countertenor),
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Bach - Christ lag in Todes Banden - New College, Oxford

After yesterday’s recording of Bach’s Easter Oratorio [BWV 249] and Der Himmel Lacht! Die Erde jubilieret [BWV 31], and last week’s recording of the B Minor Mass [BWV 232], I was invited back to Oxford to perform Christ lag in Todes Banden [BWV 4]. I play the Cornetto for a video recording at the chapel of New College, Oxford as part of Oxford Bach Soloists’ Easter festival. I played the Cornetto
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Bach - Easter Oratorio & Der Himmel Lacht! Die Erde jubilieret - Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Following last week’s B Minor Mass [BWV 232] video recording, I returned to Oxford to play first trumpet for another video recording with the Oxford Bach Soloists; this time we recorded Bach’s Easter Oratorio [BWV 249] and Der Himmel Lacht! Die Erde jubilieret [BWV 31], two of Bach’s exemplary works with trumpets. The recording took place on Friday 12th March 2021 at Christ Church Cathedral -
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Bach - B Minor Mass - ‘Breaking the Silence’

It has been three months since my last performance, which took place in York in December 2020. I am fortunate enough to have performed even this 'recently'; despite all adversity, just enough performing work has come my way to keep me physically and mentally agile as a trumpet player. I am also fortunate to be healthy, and physically unscathed by the coronavirus. Recent months seem to have passed by
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Bach & Fasch - The Leipzig Legacy - Spiritato - National Centre for Early Music, York

On the 11th March 2020 I performed Israel in Egypt, in York Minster. I remember winding down in the nearby Guy Fawkes Inn with the trumpet, trombone and timpani players, and somebody commented that ‘it might be our last gig for a while’. I had not realised the implications and the severity of the unfolding pandemic. Even though handshakes and hugs had been off the agenda for a week or two, by that
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Handel & Telemann - Cleofida - Il Gusto Barocco - Trossingen & Stuttgart

Last year I had the honour of playing the Last Post at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. One year on, I spent the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month listening to the silence on the radio on route to Birmingham Airport. The airport maintained a similar silence on account of travel restrictions; just a few passengers presented for the Frankfurt flight. As I waited to board I thought about
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Bach - Christmas Oratorio - Live from London - Gabrieli Consort & Players

I played in the trumpet section for the Gabrieli Consort & Players’ video recording of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio [BWV 248] at St. John’s Smith Square on 8th and 9th of November 2020. The subsequent videos will be released on the liturgically correct occasions between Christmas and Epiphany as part of a series of six ultra high definition video releases to a ticketed online audience, part
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Purcell Pageant - Solomon’s Knot - Laeiszhalle, Hamburg

I especially missed Germany during lockdown, not just because of the cancelled festivals I had been looking forward to in Göttingen (Handel), Halle (Handel) and Bonn (Beethoven), but because I just love spending time in Germany. It was with great pleasure that Solomon's Knot could visit Hamburg for a concert at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg on Monday 26th October 2020, returning to a programme established
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Thoughts on Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No.2

2021 will mark the tricentenary of J. S. Bach's iconic Brandenburg Concertos. Ahead of Berlin Classics' release of my debut recording as one of the four soloists in the second concerto (recorded in 2019 with Il Gusto Barocco at Ansbach Bachwoche) I was asked for my thoughts about this fantastic concerto. These thoughts may feature in or influence the liner notes for the upcoming CD. I have now performed
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Natural Trumpet Course 2020 - Bedfordshire

During lockdown I had the idea of organising a natural trumpet course, when restrictions would allow, to ‘blow out the cobwebs’ after these many months of isolation. Finally, in September, I was able to invite a hand-picked selection of amateur, semi-professional and professional natural trumpet players to two venues in Bedfordshire where we would play natural trumpets (without finger holes) as
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Beethoven - Symphony No.7 - Aurora Orchestra - Coal Drops Yard, Saffron Hall & BBC Proms

It is difficult to put into words how it feels to once again, after this long interval, perform live music with an orchestra. I’ve missed the explorative sounds, the thrill of a challenge, the deeply immersive concentration in performance, the organic progression of a project, the collective pursuit of excellence, the feeling of belonging, the extraordinary characters, the excitement, the unexpected
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Three Manx trumpet players at the BBC Proms 2020 Live series

Three Manx trumpet players performed in two consecutive BBC Proms concerts (in socially-distanced orchestras with no audience present) at the Royal Albert Hall in September 2020. Despite the shortening of this year’s Proms season, Manx trumpeters were key players at the world’s biggest classical music festival. Jason Evans took centre stage to perform the strongly-featured trumpet part in
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Last Night of the Proms - Brandenburg Sinfonia - Hever Castle, Kent

After an 'interval' of 172 days since my last concert (at York Minster in March), it was a great pleasure and huge relief to play live music with the Brandenburg Sinfonia for their Last Night of the Proms-inspired outdoor performance in the grounds of Hever Castle in Kent on Sunday 30th August 2020. View this post on Instagram First actual gig in 172 days! A post shared by Russell
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'Perfecting' the Natural Trumpet - England c.1784 - c.1830

I published a video about the history of the English slide trumpet as a YouTube Premiere on Sunday 31st May 2020 at 14:00 BST. 32 people watched the premiere live, and 160 video views came in the following 12 hours. Nine people participated in an interesting Zoom discussion immediately after the premiere.So I decided to write a blog - in lieu of any live performances this month - about the video.
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Clement Thime - Sonata ab. 8 - Optimism amid adversity

'Zen in the Art of Archery': ‘Occasionally several […] right shots came off in close succession and hit the target, besides of course the many more that failed. But if ever the least flicker of satisfaction showed in my face the Master turned on me with unwonted fierceness. "What are you thinking of?" he would cry. "You know already that you should not grieve over bad shots; learn now not to
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Easter Sunday Service - St. Martin-in-the-Fields - BBC Radio 4

While my B-flat trumpet lay dormant in the trumpet cupboard at home, its sound could be heard on BBC Radio 4's Easter Sunday service which aired on Sunday 12th April 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has prevented any equivalent services from taking place this year. Andrew Earis (Director of Music at St. Martin-in-the-Fields) produced a BBC radio programme which featured some of the music from the 2013 service
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Handel - Israel In Egypt - Yorkshire Baroque Soloists

I’ve been to York many times and I have a definite affinity with the city. Although I’ve been to concerts in the Chapter House and in the Minster itself, this was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of performing in York Minster. I played in a performance of Handel’s Israel In Egypt, on Wednesday 11th March 2020, with the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists and the University of York Choir which was
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Bach - Magnificat - Sevenoaks

I performed Bach's Magnificat in D Major [BWV 243] on Saturday 7th March 2020 with the St Cecilia Baroque Players at the Pamoja Hall at Sevenoaks School in Kent, a wonderful venue.The orchestra and Temenos Chamber Choir were conducted by Patrick Craig and the performance featured the soloists Susan Gilmour-Bailey (soprano), Rebecca Outram (soprano), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Nick Pritchard (tenor)
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Rossini & Beethoven - St. John’s Waterloo

I performed at an experiential concert at St John’s Waterloo on Saturday 29th February 2020 - the bonus day of the leap year. The conductor, David Pearl, had dreamt up this event which would combine his birthday celebration with a fundraiser for the non-profit organisation Street Wisdom. It would also feature his friend and colleague Miha Pogačnik. The performance began with a rendition of the Overture
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Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.