Trumpet Inspiration 3

Our trumpet inspiration for this week features Alison Balsom, a world-class trumpet soloist. This video shows her performing the 3rd movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, written around 1711.

Balsom is performing this violin concerto on a rotary piccolo trumpet. The rotary valves are similar to valves on a French horn, which is why they look different than the piston valves we typically see on trumpets. She is accompanied by a full string ensemble and harpsichord (the instrument that looks like a small piano).

Here’s a link to a recording of the same piece performed on violin (the 3rd movement starts at 6:00). Vivaldi also wrote music for trumpet, including his Concerto for Two Trumpets in C.

This performance not only displays incredible technical mastery, but Balsom also brigs a great deal of excitement and musical energy to a piece written over 300 years ago!

Listening guide questions:

  1. How does the rotary piccolo trumpet look and sound different than the trumpet you normally play?
  2. This piece was written in a different historical time period (1711). What images does it bring to mind?

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