Bach - O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe [BWV34] and Vivaldi Gloria - St Edmundsbury Cathedral

I performed music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 21st May 2022. I played first trumpet, with William Russell and Gareth Hoddinott in the trumpet section.The performance, which featured the Bury Bach Choir—in their 90th year—and the Suffolk Baroque Players, began with Bach’s O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht [BWV 118] and
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Bach - Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten [BWV 207] – New College, Oxford

I played first trumpet with Oxford Bach Soloists for their performance of Bach’s cantata Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten [BWV 207] at New College, Oxford, on Sunday 23rd January 2022. BWV 207 was the final piece in the concert, which also included Bach’s first Brandenburg Concerto [BWV 1046] and the cantata Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht! [BWV 52]. Each cantata featured recognisable
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Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer - Suites d'orchestre - Les Talens Lyriques - Versailles & Paris

I arrived at the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (CMBV) around three hours early for the afternoon rehearsal on Sunday 12th December 2021. I had intended to leave my trumpet in the rehearsal room and have a walk around the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. However, when I arrived at the CMBV, I cupped my hands to look through the tinted window in the door and I was spotted by the musical
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Bach - B Minor Mass - York

I will always remember the performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt in York Minster on the 11th March 2020, with the Yorkshire Bach Choir. That performance would be my last for 172 days. So, it was with great delight to be back in York and – thankfully – in front of a live audience in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at York University. (I had visited York with Spiritato for a recorded
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - Recording - Bachwoche Ansbach 2019

As I played the final phrase of my tenth performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major [BWV 1047] (which took place last Saturday at Castle Ashby) I felt as I often do after playing that piece - that it would be great to play it again very soon. Playing Brandenburg 2 is a definite adrenaline rush and there’s something in the thrill of its survival that makes you
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Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - Castle Ashby

July 2019 saw a personal milestone with a 10th performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major [BWV 1047] on the natural trumpet. I first performed this notorious work on the 24th June 2011 while studying historical performance at the Royal College of Music and I have subsequently performed it at Bedford School, at St. Anne’s in Kew Green in Richmond, at the Valletta Baroque Festival
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Aldeburgh Festival 2019 - Vox Luminis - Snape Maltings

‘Snape Maltings, Snape Maltings, Thank Benjamin Britten for Snape Maltings’ was the specially-written encore of Vox Luminis’ King Arthur performance at Snape Maltings in 2017. That memorable performance, exactly two years ago, was my first appearance with the group and there have been many exceptional projects in the interim, including performances at Versailles, the Utrecht Early Music Festival,
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Bach - B Minor Mass - Greenwich Old Royal Naval College Chapel

I performed Bach’s B Minor Mass [BWV 232] with the Brandenburg Baroque Soloists and the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir on Wednesday 17th April 2019. The performance was directed by Ralph Allwood MBE (who I had remembered from a previous Brandenburg Baroque Soloists performance at Wellington College in August 2017).The Old Royal Naval College Chapel is a magnificent building -
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Handel - Messiah - Oxford Baroque - Southampton

I performed first trumpet in Handel’s Messiah with Oxford Baroque on Saturday 6th April 2019. The performance took place in the Dobson Art Centre in King Edward VI School in Southampton. Oxford Baroque provided a period instrument orchestra to accompany the Southampton Choral Society. The performance was directed by their conductor Benjamin Costello. During the rehearsal, Benjamin kindly remarked
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Handel - Coronation Anthems - Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings was the venue for Aldeburgh Music Club’s performance of a programme entitled ‘The Amazing Mr. Handel’ on Saturday 16th March 2019. The performance featured the Coronation Anthems [HWV 258], Water Music Suite in G [HWV 350], Concerto Grosso Op.6 No.9 [HWV 327], Chandos Anthem No.7 'My song shall be alway' [HWV 252] and the Chandos Anthem No.4 'O worship the Lord in the beauty of
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Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.