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Classical Instruments: Historical or Modern?

MRC01

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I am listening to this recording of Haydn Divertimenti. It's very well recorded, natural & detailed.

The gimmick here is that they play a set of 6 pieces on period/historical instruments, then play them again on modern instruments.
Which do you prefer? I definitely prefer the period instruments. For context, I'm an amateur flute player and play with strings in a small group.
 
Big question and sometimes controversial :). I am advocate of playing music on instruments for which it was conceived but I am strongly agains putting artists in authenticity shackles. There is still (after ca. 80 years of early music movement) a lot to research and do. I would like to see more bold projects like:

 
I read this article a few weeks ago and thought it was interesting:
Screen Shot 2022-08-24 at 9.00.58 AM.png
 
I read this article a few weeks ago and thought it was interesting:
View attachment 226377
This is another story... we are not talking about old instruments but period instruments. What a difference ?

Stradivarius violins were all changed in 19th century (if you are interested I can write a post what was changed) to accommodate new trends and taste in music and volume needed. In 20th century musician started to use metal strings and all modern accessories and Stardivarius violins got also all new additions. Moreover from 19th century all new violins are modeled after Stardivarius, Guranerii, Amati or other old Italian master and fitted with modern inventions and modern standard of sound. Overall there are very similar to Stradivarius in construction so no wonder they are hard to distinguish in a blind test or even be preferred.
 
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This is another story... we are not talking about old instruments but period instruments. What a difference ?

Stradivarius violins were all changed in 19th century (if you are interested I can write a post what was changed) to accommodate new trends and taste of music and volume needed. In 20th century musician started to use metal strings and all modern accessories and Stardivarius violins got also they new additions. Moreover from 19th century all new violins are modeled after Stardivarius, Guranerii, Amati or other old Italian master and fitted with modern inventions and modern standard of sound. Overall there are very similar to Stradivarius in construction so no wonder they are hard to distinguish in a blind test or even be preferred.
Hi PatF, Is that trumpet in your avatar natural without vent holes?
 
Nice. I have a Norwich natural trumpet without holes. I can't really play any longer due to hearing damage, but it's a nice horn.
My was made by Graham Nicholson. I am also "retired" but because playing was more my hobby than work and lack of time prevents me from being in proper level to play.
 
My was made by Graham Nicholson. I am also "retired" but because playing was more my hobby than work and lack of time prevents me from being in proper level to play
I recall (vaguely) that Nicholson was critical of vented trumpets. I also have a tromba di tirarsi by John Webb ca. 1990. That and the Norwich are my 'collection.'

I've spent some time tracking down CDs featuring true natural trumpet performances. Madeuf in particular is terrific. I've thought about putting together a turntable setup and finding some Don Smithers recordings, but I'm not sure I want more gear.
 
I recall (vaguely) that Nicholson was critical of vented trumpets. I also have a tromba di tirarsi by John Webb ca. 1990. That and the Norwich are my 'collection.'

I've spent some time tracking down CDs featuring true natural trumpet performances. Madeuf in particular is terrific. I've thought about putting together a turntable setup and finding some Don Smithers recordings, but I'm not sure I want more gear.
if you want i can post list of recordings that use natural trumpet. Regarding J-F Madeuf he is outstanding musician and also very kind person. I had few lessons with him in Basel.
 
if you want i can post list of recordings that use natural trumpet. Regarding J-F Madeuf he is outstanding musician and also very kind person. I had few lessons with him in Basel.
That would be great! Thanks. One of my favorite musicians.
 
I'm particularly interested in performances using 'historic' (usually replica) brass instruments, which can be vastly different in sound produced relative to their modern counterparts, particularly for Renaissance and Baroque music. A natural trumpet bears little similarity to a valved trumpet (e.g., the piccolo variety used to play Baroque music). They are indeed different instruments. The same with sackbut vs. trombone. One interesting (to me) case is Alison Balsom, who has produced some stunningly beautiful work on 'baroque' trumpet, a natural trumpet with vent holes - a mid-20th century invention. She reportedly uses mouthpieces with modern characteristics. They are truly wonderful performances, but are they authentic? Furthermore, does it really matter to modern listerners' ears? I don't know the answer. At any rate, I tend to stick with historically-informed performances (recordings and live) but I'm happy to listen to the modernized gem that comes along.
 
Regarding Balsom she is talented musicians but her playing on Baroque trumpet is terrible (in view on historical performance) and it only gives wrong impression how natural trumpet sounded in baroque period. She is using vented instrument and also modern mouthpiece and her playing technique is far from what we can read in sources. Of course her rendition of baroque pieces can be appreciated by people and she can play this way but do not mislead listeners with label authentic performance etc.

To be fair 80% of so called authentic performance recordings is made with compromised instruments especially brass wind.
 
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Furthermore, does it really matter to modern listerners' ears?
If modern listener can compare with proper playing on natural trumpet it matter and difference is huge but not necessary satisfying for some listeners.
 
I am listening to this recording of Haydn Divertimenti. It's very well recorded, natural & detailed.

The gimmick here is that they play a set of 6 pieces on period/historical instruments, then play them again on modern instruments.
Which do you prefer? I definitely prefer the period instruments. For context, I'm an amateur flute player and play with strings in a small group.
Can I post here list of recordings with natural trumpet (I think it is appropriate place but I do not want to make mess in your thread) ?
 
... I would like to see more bold projects like: ... [renaissance vocal music performed in a modern expresive style]
Thanks for the link - I am listening to this album on Qobuz and very much enjoying it. The rich timbres and styles (including some throat singing!!) bring a whole new perspective to this music.
Can I post here list of recordings with natural trumpet (I think it is appropriate place but I do not want to make mess in your thread) ?
Sure! I would especially enjoy links to the same pieces performed with different instruments & styles in order to hear to the differences. This is the kind of discussion & links that I had hoped to elicit from folks.
 
So First what I know for sure and have in my library from Bach music:

All Bach Cantatas recorded for Accent by Sigiswald Kuijken & La Petite Bande (few covers) - usually J-F Madeuf as 1st trumpet but also other player / always on natural not vented trumpet:

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next those (look at covers) recordings of Bach Cantatas performed by Bach Collegium Japan - also J-F Madeuf:

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Bach Mass in B minor performed by Sigiswald Kuijken & La Petite Bande - also Madeuf:

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and Branderburg Concertos by Sigiswald Kuijken & La Petite Bande - tour de force for Natural Trumpet

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