A Trumpeter’s Lullaby – by LeRoy Anderson – soloist Peter J Blume
This is the 2ND of 2 Classical pieces that Peter performed at the 3rd Annual Christmas Concert, held at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne on Sunday 12/18/11. The Pianist is once again Nadezhda (Nadia) Papayani.
The piece here is entitled “A Trumpeter’s Lullaby”, written by LeRoy Anderson in 1949—1 year after he had composed one of the most famous Holiday pieces of all time: “Sleigh Ride”. In fact, many of his light Classical works were specifically tailored in mind for the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, this one included.
“This is a very popular & frequently recorded piece—especially for Trumpet with Orchestra. After browsing through dozens of versions, I selected 4 from which to study & reference (Leonard Slatkin’s, Goeffrey Payne’s & David Kuehn’s audio files, & Jeanne Pocius’ YouTube video)—before allowing myself to feel & come up with my own way of possibly interpreting this piece. I got the idea for a cadenza from the Leonard Slatkin version, which I then morphed into a brief but relevant Sleigh Ride quote (since hey, I was playing it for a Christmas Concert anyway!). Of course I still managed to make a few minor ‘flubs’ here & there, but isn’t that’s the beauty & challenge of ‘LIVE’ music?? I think you will still find that it’s well worth a watch.
As for the 1st of the 2 pieces that I had performed (the 1st movement of an Albinoni Concerto for Oboe, reworked for Trumpet), I hope you will respect my honesty in revealing that it didn’t fair as well & that it is thus unfortunately not worth posting. Although I was well prepared for it, I struggled with intonation issues right from the start. When I got to the gig, I did not get the chance to warm up with Nadia & thus was unaware that the piano had been re-tuned to match the hand bells; so although I tried to make adjustments to my horn throughout the course of the piece, it was never satisfactorily rectified, & I even made several simple errors because I was focusing too much on just trying to get myself in tune with the piano.
The mere (haunting) thought of that performance makes me cringe to this day (again the whole beauty, challenge…& yes, even frustration of LIVE music!), but I have vowed to redeem myself on it for next year—this will need to be my 1st time repeat performance of a piece at this annual concert, & I hope to have a video of it for you next year.
In the meantime though, I hope you enjoy my interpretation of Leroy Anderson’s “A Trumpeter’s Lullaby”
Vivace – from G.P. Telemann’s Duet Sonata#4 – for 2 like instruments
Georg Philip Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in music history. He worked at an unrelenting pace over his 87 year lifespan–being credited with having created more than 3000 body of works.
This piece is a Vivace (which is an Italian musical term indicating a movement that is in a lively mood & usually in a fast tempo) taken from 1 of 6 full Sonatas in this suite, first published 1727. It features the dialogue of 2 players who imitate each other, exchange musical ideas, & take turns in taking the lead.
The performer is Peter J Blume, trumpet:
“There is also much room for ad lib—which I readily took advantage of, & the tempo in which I chose to perform it is more of a fast ‘Allegro’ rather than a full blown ‘Vivace’; I did this (intentionally played it slightly slower) for several reasons: it allowed time to add the ornamentations, & it also gives time for the listener to be able to better appreciate what is all going on—polyphony! Trust me, I know that my recording here is far from perfect; but I did play each part (one right after the other) straight through in 1 take each & without any overdubs or punch in corrections. I also did not use a metronome as I wished to capture a more ‘human feel’—something that is often lacking in much of today’s ‘music’. I also slightly panned (separated) the parts—so that the listener will be able to hear each part individually & yet still appreciate their interplay as one complete single musical idea. For best results, try using headphones.”
**FOR MORE DISCUSSION ON THIS SLIDE-VIDEO, SEE MY BLOG ENTITLED “Telemann, the Artisan”**
***In continuation with my series here on Classical Composer Awareness, please be advised that as of 2012 I have added 2 more similar slide-videos & corresponding blogs–one on Handel& one on Tartini…!!
For more info, please visit the NEWS section of my website***
Glen Eden Concert Polka – 2 more pieces for solo Trumpet & Piano
Peter performed two more Classical pieces at the 2nd Annual Christmas Concert, held at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne on Sunday 12/5/10. The Pianist is once again Nadezhda (Nadia) Papayani.
The 1st piece here is called ‘The Glen Eden Polka’-which is another concert polka by Chas. W. Storm. “I think it went well, although I’m not really sure what happened at the ending—I missed the 1st or 2nd note coming out of the cadenza & there was just no recovering at that tempo. But that’s all part of the beauty & challenge of LIVE music, & I think it’s still worth a watch.”
The 2nd piece here is called ‘Square Dance’ (by Robert L. Sanders). Peter rearranged the piece & rewrote much of the Piano part. “I had practiced this piece by myself for many years without ever knowing what the actual accompaniment part sounded like; I liked the trumpet melody very much & over the years must have started hearing my own way that I thought the accompaniment part should go. When I actually heard the composer’s written accompaniment part, it was so different from what I was hearing (at least in certain sections) that I decided to write my own version down as well. I did incorporate much of what he wrote into my arrangement, however I think my changes make the piece sound a little more ‘Copland-esque’(‘Elmer Bernstein-esque’, or ‘Dave Grusin-esque’, etc) which is kinda where my head is at with this one. Maybe I’ll call mine ‘Appalachian Square Dance’ just for the distinction! I do like Sanders’ own accompaniment part though—even those sections that I didn’t use, & in many spots his ideas were more complex than mine.”
*For a comparison between the 2 arrangements, please check out the Music Minus One recording of this piece (‘Square Dance’)—performed by Raymond & Margaret Crisara (Father / Daughter). It is quite dated, but the playing is exceptional & it is also currently the only other known recording of this piece.
Overall though, not bad for another 1st time performance for both of these relatively obscure pieces. Hope you enjoy!
Morceau Vivant – 2 pieces for Solo Trumpet & Piano – Peter J Blume
Peter performed these two early-1900?s Classical pieces during a Christmas Concert that was held on Sunday 12/13/09 at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne NY. The Pianist is Nadezhda (Nadia) Papayani, who is also the Organist & Music Director for the Church.
The 1st piece is ‘Morceau Vivant’ (by Marcel Marteau); the 2nd piece is called ‘New Friendship’-a concert polka (by Chas. W. Storm). Both are somewhat in the style of say Jean-Baptiste Arban or Herbert L Clarke; the more notable turn-of-the-(PREVIOUS)-century Classical Music composers.
There is much ad-lib interpretation here, but also a few thrown notes, under less-than-ideal performance conditions–but that’s all part of the beauty & challenge of LIVE music! And the 2nd piece had to be abbreviated due to time constraints with the Church’s schedule. Overall though, not a bad 1st time performance for both of these relatively obscure pieces. Hope you enjoy!
Heroes Night at the Renegades: Our National Anthem & God Bless America
Heroes Night at the Hudson Valley Renegades – Minor League Baseball……held on 7/25/12 at the Dutchess County Stadium, to honor men & women serving in our armed forces & local emergency 1st response.
The trumpeter is Police Officer Peter J Blume
God Bless America;
Regardless of your stance on the war, please remember OUR troops (& emergency 1st responders) that are serving to protect the freedoms that we as Americans are all privileged to enjoy.