Chelmsford - Zelenka Mass & Fanfares

I performed a programme of music by Zelenka in Chelmsford on Saturday 14th March 2015. The trumpet section consisted of David Staff, Richard Thomas, Katie Hodges and Russell Gilmour.

As there had been engineering work scheduled on the main line between London and Chelmsford, I had asked David Staff whether I could start my journey from his his home near Coddenham in Suffolk by departing a few days earlier and staying there. From there we could travel together by car. While I was at his house 'the Lodge', I spent some time learning from him in the workshop about making natural trumpets. I was learning about various aspects of making natural trumpets including making ferrules and making mouthpieces. It was most enjoyable. After a few days there, we travelled together by car to the King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford for the Zelenka concert.

Rather unusually, I performed the concert on a trumpet that had just come out of David Staff’s workshop. The bell was absolutely outstanding and after playing it I couldn’t resist the opportunity to use it in this concert. I played 4th trumpet (without holes) on this natural trumpet - fresh out of the workshop. It had a fantastic response and it worked well in all registers. This bell had been made using a different technique to usual and it was fantastic.

We performed with the Meridian Sinfonia with the choir: 'Great Waltham Singers’, conducted by Andrew Fardell. The repertoire consisted of Biber’s 'Requiem in F minor’, Zelenka’s 'Missa Purificationis Beatae Virginis Mariae’ and 'Domine Ad Adjucandum Me Festina’ by Vivaldi. The trumpet section punctuated the start of the concert with a fanfare by Zelenka and there was another set of fanfares by Zelenka at a suitable pause in the mass.

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.