|Blaauw CD cover
The Dutch trumpet virtuoso and Stockhausen collaborator Marco Blaauw has launched a new CD, "Blaauw".
Here, in an extract from the CD's booklet notes, he explains some of the background to this recording.
"My experience with the trumpet has always been a challenging one – I've had to work at it every step of the way. While at the conservatory I often asked myself why I was even studying the instrument, as there was hardly any repertoire that I liked to play!
"Very few of the major composers had taken an interest in the trumpet. Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy – no luck. Of course, there are a few beautiful pieces from the baroque period, and Haydn even wrote a nice concerto, but in order to play these pieces you needed an orchestra. What there were a lot of, were the so-called Morceaux de Concours from the Paris Conservatoire school – all of them third rate, boring exam pieces for students. One sounded just like the other:
signal call, melody, followed by fast variations. I was ready to give up the trumpet; it just didn’t seem worth the effort ... until I attended a lecture about Stockhausen. So there actually was a first class composer who wrote for the trumpet ... and how! The main character in Stockhausen's immense cyclic opera Licht was the trumpeter, played by his son Markus. That inspired me. I wanted from that point on to tell my own stories with the trumpet.
"And now it’s time to show results!
"I’m often inspired by Middle-Eastern singers, such as the qawwali singer Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan or the muqam specialist Alim Qasimov. The special way these artists handle melody, the intensity and expressiveness of their presentation and the ornamentation and escalation of their improvisation to ecstatic heights is absolutely fantastic! They make me feel a bit jealous that I’m not a singer living in a culture where it's completely normal to spend all day sitting on a carpet singing endless improvisations. The selection of works for this CD has most assuredly been influenced by my enthusiasm for their music!
"The CD's program delves into the lyric qualities of the trumpet. The pieces are melodic, thus rather unusual for the instrument. Gerald Barry reminds us in his text about trumpeter of the instrument's history. The musical substance of his piece, though, is actually a singing, forlorn melody, which says something completely different than the text: he is highlighting much more the introspective quality of the trumpet. Introspection is one theme of the CD. The other is "blue". In addition to being the English translation of "blaauw", it is also the other aspect that connects all the compositions: despite all of their differences, the predominant mood is "blue"!
"Except for the repertoire pieces, the compositions on this CD were written for me. I am very grateful for these new works and for the collaboration with the composers. And as two of them specifically used the color blue in their titles, I thought it a good occasion to name the entire CD after them. The Old Dutch spelling for the color blue is “blaauw.” So therefore, the CD is also named in honor of my forefathers!"
- Gerald Barry trumpeter
- Richard Ayres No.29 blue
- Rebecca Saunders blaauw for double bell trumpet
- Giacinto Scelsi Quattro Pezzi
- Egmont Swaan de zucht van Marib... for piccolo trumpet
- Isabel Mundry Solo auf Schwellen for double bell trumpet
- Toru Takemitsu Paths
- Gerald Barry trumpeter
- György Kurtag Tavasz
- Karlheinz Stockhausen Pieta for
soprano and quarter tone flugelhorn;
Barbara Hannigan, soprano
Buy the CD "Blaauw" online