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(BE) 19th-Century Brass Instrument Laboratory (April 16-18, 2010)

Contributed by Musica on Jan 11, 2010

Because of its technological developments, the 19th century can be called revolutionary for brass players, with innovations in instrument building taking on never-before-seen proportions.

During this new laboratory, the instructors will acquaint (pre) professional musicians with particular playing techniques, instruments and the 19th-century repertoire including some lesser-known works. You’ll play the instruments coached by the following members of the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées: Alain De Rudder, Luc Bergé, Wim Becu and Marc Girardot. A19th-century instrument can be borrowed for the duration of the lab.

Works by Jean François Victor Bellon, Antoine Simon, Félicien-César David, … will be performed.

The 19th century was an age of new developments. In the musical arena, there was a shift from the traditional protective environment of secular and religious leaders to a democratic system.

Between 1795 and 1845, most major European cities founded conservatories modelled on the Conservatoire de Paris to train new generations of professional musicians. In Paris, the very first pedagogic method specifically for brass instruments was born!
From that day on, musicians would be trained as orchestral musicians and as virtuosi,…
Examples from the conservatory’s stated objectives:
“…the student must attain the highest possible level by means of correct and systematic study,…”
“…the student must improve the musical standard of yesterday through physical coordination and efficiency,…”
“…the student must develop the correct functions of ‘playing’ and to coordinate them such that they are automatic and so while playing, all attention can be on the music…”


Because of its technological developments, the 19th century can be called revolutionary for brass players, with innovations in instrument building taking on never-before-seen proportions. The invention of the valve and the innovative work of, among others, the Belgian Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), working in Paris, marked a new age.

Composers combined the ‘old instruments’ with the ‘new creations’, or resolutely opted for the latter’s new timbres. One of these ‘early adopters’ was Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), a fierce advocate of innovation in both his theoretical works (Grand Traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, 1844) and his compositions (Symphonie Fantastique, 1830).

In short, it was a fascinating musical age, but it was also a quest for new playing techniques, new timbres and a new repertoire.

During this course, the instructors will acquaint you with particular playing techniques, instruments and the 19th-century repertoire including some lesser-known works. You’ll play the instruments using appropriate mouthpieces, coached by members of the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.
The works to be studied will include:

• Jean François Victor Bellon (1795-1869): Quintettes de cuivres, 1850
• Antoine Simon (1850-1916): 22 petits morceaux d’ensemble Op. 26 from 1886
(quatuor, quintette, sextuor)
• Félicien-César David (1810-1876): Nonetto en Ut mineur, 1839
• Banda repertoire by Berlioz, Meyerbeer, Verdi, Havély and others.

Instructors
Alain De Rudder, Luc Bergé, Wim Becu and Marc Girardot (members of l’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées)

Level
Music students at high level (“hogeschool”/conservatory); professional musicians interested in the 19th-century instruments described and their repertoire.

Forces
Trumpet, cornet à piston, cor à piston, trombone, ophicleide

Extra
A 19th-century instrument can be borrowed for the duration of the lab, but supplies are limited

The following 19th-century instruments can be borrowed for the duration of the lab:

• Trompette à piston ("Raoux" 1800) (2 instruments)

• Cornet à piston
    - cornet 'system Stölzel' Anonymous 1835
    - cornet Anonymous 1870
    - cornet Bonnel ; Rennes 1876
    - cornet Besson ; Paris 1880

• Cor à piston of Cauwelaerts (8 instruments)

• Trombone model Antoine Courtois in 1900 (4 instruments)

• Ophicléide (no instruments)
 

Number of participants

Max. 25

Dates
Friday 16 April (10:00 a.m.) through Sunday 18 April 2010 (6 p.m.)

Final concert
Sunday 18 April at 4:00 p.m.

Fee
195 euro, including meals.
There is free accommodation in the Zwartzusterklooster in Lier (near Antwerp), although it is very simple (shared bathrooms). Please indicate on the registration form if you would like to make use of this opportunity.

Location
Stedelijke Academie voor Muziek, Woord en Dans, Gasthuisvest 50, 3200 Lier (Belgium)

Please note participants will be selected on the basis of a curriculum vitae. Please e-mail your cv to bart.devos@musica.be.

Visit Musica, Impulse Centre for Music website for more information.