During the Baroque era, Giuseppe Torelli alone featured the trumpet as soloist in over twenty works (including sonatas, symphonies, and concerti). In the Classical period, however, it was only Joseph Haydn and Johann Nepomuk Hummel who took pity on this heroic instrument: their respective concerti in E-flat Major and E Major are considered two pillars of the entire repertoire, but at the same time the only meaningful solo works written during this epoch.

Such a paucity of literature meant that the composer and organist Rudolf Lutz – an extremely knowledgeable and talented historical improvisator – did not take long to be persuaded to pick up the torch from his esteemed forebears and write a third concerto to join this elite series. The premiere took place on November 26, 2017 in Richenthal (Switzerland), with the composer at the organ and Immanuel Richter on trumpet.

While the Trumpet Concerto in C Major was almost certainly conceived with the orchestration of an accompanying classical orchestra in mind, at present it is ‘only’ available in this version for trumpet and organ. The organist should therefore use imaginative registrations, whereby the demanding accompaniment can be transformed into a transparent, yet orchestral-sounding work.

When studying this concerto it proved useful to play the two outer movements, which are characterised by a virtuoso coloratura, on the somewhat more agile (4-valve) E-flat trumpet, in order to match the music’s inherent lightness and elegance. For the sombre, foreboding funeral march, however, the darker and heavier sound of a German C trumpet seemed more appropriate, evoking the sound-world of Beethoven and Bruckner.

Immanuel Richter

Parts included:

  • Trumpet in E-flat/C
  • Organ

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