Haydn – Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in Eb Hob. 7e/1

Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in Eb Hob. 7e/1  (1796)

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante
  3. Finale: Allegro

Joseph Haydn was the most celebrated composer in Europe for much of his career as well as one of Beethoven’s teachers. The son of a wheelwright and folk musician, after various minor musical positions he was appointed to the Esterházy court in 1761. As Kapellmeister Haydn had responsibility for all the enormously wealthy Court’s musical activities. Despite the intense workload and his isolation from other musical life, during the 29 years he served the Esterházys Haydn took full advantage of his access to excellent musicians to produce an impressive number of compositions in his own unique style.

Until the late 18th century the “natural” trumpet could only play notes in the harmonic series of a particular key. To play in a different key required a different “crook” to change the length of the instrument. To overcome this, a keyed trumpet was developed in the 1790s by the Viennese virtuoso Anton Weidinger who commissioned concertos by Haydn and Hummel. Due to its inferior tone, the keyed trumpet was superseded by the modern valve trumpet 20 years later.

Haydn’s famous concerto exploits the full technical possibilities of the new instrument. Listen for the previously impossible sudden changes of key and the chromatic passages and trills we now take for granted.

Performed: 24 March 2019

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