Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mixed Trumpet, Berlioz, and I admit that I am impossible to please - Temple University Trumpet Ensemble - Roman Carnival - Berlioz (No arranger listed)

Way back in my first post I talked about how much I love ensembles with mixed trumpets. I've posted a couple, but I found this one and it seems a little more "traditional" in the sense that the trumpet mixture is not part of a gimmick but rather is a means to augment an arrangement with a variety of colors. The arrangement is very cool featuring two flugelhorns, one and a half piccs, and the rest of the septet filled out with trumpets.

First impressions: the high range of the trumpets blend excellently with the piccolo player. I thought that was an impressive achievement. My big problem with the arrangement is the same problem I have with (oddly enough) woodwind ensembles. The conical instrument (flugelhorn) is eating the sound of the other instruments in its register resulting in this piece sounding more like a duet for rhythmic flugel horn and piccolo trumpet. For as much as I complain about sameyness in trumpet ensembles I really started to miss the trumpet's timbre half way through this piece. I doubt the ensemble is to blame, and the arrangement is good otherwise it's just really heavy on flugelhorn. Maybe the hall they're playing in is very grateful to warmer tone colors but balance-wise if I didn't know better I wouldn't guess that there were five trumpets in addition to the flugels and piccolo.

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