Portrait de Pauline Viardot - Les Talens Lyriques - Paris

Over the years Will Russell (2nd trumpet) and I have been fortunate enough to come into the possession of several rare and unusual nineteenth-century brass instruments. We were delighted when Les Talens Lyriques invited us to join their recording project – Portrait de Pauline Viardot – as we do not often get the opportunity to play these instruments professionally. The programme featured music
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Bach - Christmas Oratorio - Newcastle Bach Choir

On 20th November 2021, I played first trumpet in Bach's Christmas Oratorio [BWV 248] at St. George's Church in Jesmond in Newcastle with the Newcastle Bach Choir. Their performance, conducted by Eric Cross, marked the choir's first concert since the beginning of the pandemic. It was only the second choral society concert I have done since March 2020, but it is good to see that these are gradually returning.
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Beethoven 7 - Aurora Orchestra - Printworks, London

‘Until about the first third of the nineteenth century, audiences considered themselves in charge of the event. They paid attention and listened as they pleased. […] Performers had to win their audience’s attention before they could win them over.’ – Burgess, Geoffrey – 'The Pathetick Musician' – Oxford University Press (2016) – § '9: To Kindle the Heart: Engagement in Performance'The
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Beethoven & Mendelssohn - Aurora Orchestra & Nicola Benedetti

The Aurora Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony was socially distanced and performed without an audience at the 2020 BBC Proms, so it was with great pleasure that we were able to revisit this symphony, to perform it (again from memory) to capacity audiences in Nottinghamshire, London, and Suffolk. The first three performances – at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham (Wednesday
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Inspiring Bach - Spiritato - St Giles Cripplegate

A small number of ensembles in the UK have begun to experiment with using natural trumpets [i.e. without finger holes], although it is still relatively uncommon. It was great to take part in a project that offered enough rehearsal time to develop and explore playing without holes in an ensemble setting; playing some of the repertoire that is thought to have inspired Johann Sebastian Bach. The project,
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Bach - B Minor Mass - St. James’s Piccadilly - Dulwich Chamber Choir

I performed Bach’s B Minor Mass [BWV 232] at St. James’s Piccadilly in London on Saturday 9th October 2021. The performance was directed by Richard Mayo and was led by Lesley Larkum (violin); singers stepped forward from the choir to sing the solo and duet arias. The brass section played, as did the rest of the orchestra (the English Heritage Chamber Orchestra), on modern instruments. I played
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Mozart & Haydn - Instruments of Time & Truth - Keble College Chapel, Oxford

Following an extraordinarily long run of consecutive work, in Croatia, London and Oxford, I returned to Oxford to record choral works by Mozart and Haydn under the baton of Paul Brough, with Instruments of Time & Truth and the excellent Choir of Keble College Oxford. Adrian Peacock was the producer. We recorded Mozart’s Missa in C major [K. 258] on Saturday 2nd October
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Mozart - Vespers - Instruments of Time & Truth - SJE Arts, Oxford

I performed Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore [K. 339] at SJE Arts (St. John the Evangelist Church) on Iffley Rd in Oxford on Friday 1st October 2021. I last performed at SJE Arts in 2015. On this occasion I played with the Oxford-based orchestra, ‘Instruments of Time & Truth’. We played in the 11am concert, which was part of the Divine Office Festival, promoted by Martin Randall
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Spiritato - Recording - Music from the Düben Collection

When I was researching music to include in the book I am writing and refining at the moment (about the natural trumpet), I kept finding myself on Uppsala University’s website browsing the the database of digitised manuscript images from the Düben collection. The Düben collection is an extensive collection of musical manuscripts from throughout Europe. It was compiled in Stockholm by members of
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Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 - Varaždin

I performed as one of the soloists in Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto [BWV 1047] with the Croatian Baroque Ensemble - Hrvatski barokni ansambl - for the second time this year. Last time, in May, I played in a programme entitled ‘Erschallet, Trompeten!’ in the Croatian Music Institute in Zagreb and I had to isolate for 10 days upon my return. This time I performed in Varaždin as part
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Il Gusto Barocco - Muzio Scevola - Mozartsaal, Liederhalle Stuttgart

Immediately after performing George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Göttingen Händel Festival, I segued into another Handel (pasticcio) opera project, Il Muzio Scevola, with Il Gusto Barocco in Stuttgart. This opera featured a Prologue which had been specially written for the occasion by Th. W. Leininger in 2021 to a text from 1723 (Hamburg). The first act was by Filippo Amadei, with a second
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Göttingen International Handel Festival - 2021 - Ariodante

It was brilliant to return to Göttingen for the International Handel Festival in September 2021. The festival usually takes place in May each year, but it has been displaced by the coronavirus pandemic. The last time the festival took place was in May 2019, when we performed Handel’s Saul [HWV 53] in Hannoversche Münden. Getting to the first rehearsal was challenging; the Lufthansa flight
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Beethoven - Symphonies 7 & 8 - Les Talens Lyriques - Lessay, Paris & Bonn

Now that I have had both vaccinations, and France has moved to the UK’s amber list (and vice versa), travel has become significantly more straightforward. Having had the vaccine I did not have to quarantine upon arrival in France, nor did I have to quarantine when I returned to the UK. There were still passenger locator forms, declarations from high incidence areas, an antigenic test to be undertaken,
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Handel - Eternal Source of Light Divine - Avington Park

On Saturday 31st July 2021 I performed for a wedding celebration at Avington Park near Winchester. A couple of classical music lovers from New York state celebrated a wedding ceremony at this fantastic venue in the Itchen valley, and hired the quartet Leos Strings for their special day. I played Purcell's Trumpet Tune for the entrance of the Groom and Groomsmen, with Leos Strings - led by Laura
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Purcell - King Arthur - Gabrieli Consort - Three Choirs Festival - Worcester Cathedral

I was called in as a last-minute replacement first trumpet player (during the so-called pingdemic) for the Gabrieli Consort’s performance of Purcell’s King Arthur at the Three Choirs Festival. The performance took place in Worcester Cathedral on Monday 26th May 2021. I had performed this version of King Arthur at short notice once before with the Gabrieli Consort in Groningen and in Hamburg in
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Natural Trumpet Course 2021 - Bedfordshire

During the first lockdown in 2020, I had the idea of organising a natural trumpet course to take place as soon as the restrictions would allow. By September 2020, the inaugural course had taken place. It had been a great success, and demand for a future course was evident - so I decided to organise another course in 2021 (as soon as restrictions were suitably relaxed) with a new programme of music.Again
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Bach - B Minor Mass - Gabrieli Consort - St Bartholomew's Hospital, London

I performed Bach's B Minor Mass [BWV 232] with the Gabrieli Consort in the Great Hall at the historic St Bartholomew's Hospital in London on Thursday 8th July 2021. The hospital was founded by Rahere, a courtier of Henry I, in 1123. An astonishing 900 years later, the hospital is still caring for patients on the same site. This YouTube video explains the fascinating history of the hospital: 
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Handel - Messiah - Les Talens Lyriques - La Grange au Lac, Évian-les-Bains

Having isolated in France before rehearsing and performing Mozart’s Idomeneo in Würzburg, I returned to Paris with Les Talens Lyriques, instead of going home as I usually would. These are still not usual times and it was not pragmatic for me to return to London (to quarantine in England and then to have to quarantine again upon return to France). So, as it happened, I had ten isolation-free
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Mozart - Idomeneo - Les Talens Lyriques - Mozartfest Würzburg

It all began with doubt as I boarded the train towards London St. Pancras. In light of the coronavirus situation French entry requirements had changed just 10 hours before I travelled, which left some doubt as to whether I would be permitted to get even as far as the Eurostar lounge. Luckily, entry was permitted. I travelled to Puteaux, to the west of Paris where I would be in quarantine. Other Parisians
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Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F Major - Zagreb, Croatia

While flying over the Alps somewhere in the vicinity of Venice, it occurred to me that it has been around eight months since I last left England. Even despite the extra epidemiological challenges at the moment it was a huge morale boost to travel to Zagreb in Croatia to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.2 with the Croatian Baroque Ensemble (Hrvatski Barokni Ansambl) for a performance, with a
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Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.