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Classical Instruments: Historical or Modern?

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.

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.
I am glad you like it. Regarding throat singing Bjorn wouldn’t go so far it is rather this kind of very low bass singing like in Orthodox Church. He is modeling performance a bit like Byzantine liturgy performed still in some monasteries.
 
Now something very unique - Birckholtz Trumpet from 1650 - Recording of copy of Birckholtz trumpet from 1650 made by Michael Münkwitz

a bit of story:
"
The first story centers on an old trumpet found hanging on a nail in the wall of the village church of Belitz in northern Germany. Belitz is a short distance south of Rostock, where master historical trumpet-maker Michael Münkwitz has his studio. Briefly (the entire story can be read on Münkwitz’s web site), an old trumpet had been hanging on a nail in the village church for a mere 350 years. It turned out that it was not “just” an old trumpet, but was identified by Münkwitz as having been made by Wolfgang Birckholtz (?-1701). Further research revealed that Birckholtz had trained in Nuremburg under renowned master Hanns Hainlein and had set up his own shop in 1650. Not only was the maker known, but more research led Münkwitz to its early provenance: Jacob Hintze (1624-1676). Hintze was a Staff Trumpeter in the Thirty Years War and was given title to a tavern in nearby Neu-Heinde for his services. Some years later he met a violent death and a votive painting was commissioned by his widow to hang in the village church. Next to the painting was his trumpet.
The trumpet hung there for 350 years until it was shown to Münkwitz by the pastor. This is where the second remarkable story begins. Münkwitz, along with Prof. Richard Seraphinoff (Indiana University) studied and took measurements of the instrument. Münkwitz then began making replicas of it. All of the trumpets used on this recording are the result. They are pitched in D flat (A=440hz) with bits for C and C flat, are crafted using only historic methods and have no vent holes." - from booklet

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On this recording of Handel's Messiah famous Air "The trumpet shall sound" is played on natural trumpet by J-F Madeuf

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and here we have Handel's Water Music played on natural trumpets and horns - quite a ride ;) - very unusual recording.

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Handel again Coronation Anthem "The King Shall Rejoice"

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Some solo music:

Molter Concertos for Trumpet and Horns

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Teleman Trumpet and Horn Concertos:
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Charpentier "Te Deum"

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Purcell Funeral Music - but here we have flatt trumpet very unique type of natural trumpet with slide

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On this record with Purcell music we have natural trumpets and again J-F Madeuf

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On this recording there are two tracks with J-F Madeuf, one on trumpet second on horn:

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bonus

 
On far left my dear friend Mike Diprose
 
Always historical. The composer has a sound in mind when he writes a notes for an instrument. Music is made by sounds, not by notes on a staff. Besides, no instrument is neutral, so it drags the performer into certain style/technique, the piano vs the harpsichord being one of the most clear examples of that. It should be the other way around: performances with modern instruments should be advertised as such.
 
Too many groups that used historical instruments felt like that was all they needed, and put our recordings when they got things together, not when they were really ready for performance. I feel that way about a lot of the Academy of Ancient Music stuff with Hogwood at the helm, though I have a bit of it. I enjoy groups that seek to do more than merely overcome the challenges of the period instruments, and actually push into new realms of musicality. As Norrington put it, we play original instruments using the original markings to make old music sound new again.

But I like listening to them MUCH better than attempting to play them. Fortunately, my instrument, the tuba, was invented late in the game--in the 1830's--following the invention of workable valves. (Prior to valves, the tuba role was filled by "serpents" and "English bass horns"--both of which tuned notes using tone holes. Good intonation required chops of steel, an iron will, and perfect pitch. Good tone was a whole other thing.) For some years I played in a group that re-enacted civil war and other historical musical events. We resisted using period instruments, because our audiences were listening with modern ears and modern standards of performance. I have played an over-the-shoulder bass saxhorn from the 1860's, and simply could not make music on it. The competing instrument of that era was the ophicleide, like a bass saxophone but with a cup-shaped mouthpiece instead of a reed. Berlioz famously wrote Symphonie Fantastique for two ophicleides, one pitched in C and one in Bb, so that their intonation anomalies would offset each other. Norrington's group played that work on original instruments including a pair of ophicleides. No, thanks. Berlioz himself had rescored the work for valved tubas after he was exposed to them in the 1840's.

I heard David Bragunier (RIP, who was recently retired from the National Symphony at the time) play a Strauss horn concerto on a Kruspe Eb tuba that had been made in the 1890's. He played beautifully but one could tell it was a battle. Things really improved about that time to a standard not far from the best modern instruments, so nothing in the last 120 years or so could really be called a "period" tuba.

But I love listening to good musicians play Baroque and Renaissance music on period instruments, particularly if they can include a period organ. Nothing makes a picardy third sound like it should like a natural horn, for example.

Rick "rambling" Denney
 
I am glad you like it. Regarding throat singing Bjorn wouldn’t go so far it is rather this kind of very low bass singing like in Orthodox Church. He is modeling performance a bit like Byzantine liturgy performed still in some monasteries.
Oh, and BTW, that is also a fantastically well engineered recording. Incredibly lifelike, natural and detailed sound, many-layered with nothing veiled or masked, and consistent placement of the vocalists.
 
... (Prior to valves, the tuba role was filled by "serpents" and "English bass horns" ...
Rabih Abou-Khalil includes a serpent player named Michel Godard on some of his albums including "Em Portugues" and "Hungry People".
Here's a serpent - frame drum - vocalist trio that I like:
 
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Too many groups that used historical instruments felt like that was all they needed, and put our recordings when they got things together, not when they were really ready for performance. I feel that way about a lot of the Academy of Ancient Music stuff with Hogwood at the helm, though I have a bit of it. I enjoy groups that seek to do more than merely overcome the challenges of the period instruments, and actually push into new realms of musicality. As Norrington put it, we play original instruments using the original markings to make old music sound new again.

But I like listening to them MUCH better than attempting to play them. Fortunately, my instrument, the tuba, was invented late in the game--in the 1830's--following the invention of workable valves. (Prior to valves, the tuba role was filled by "serpents" and "English bass horns"--both of which tuned notes using tone holes. Good intonation required chops of steel, an iron will, and perfect pitch. Good tone was a whole other thing.) For some years I played in a group that re-enacted civil war and other historical musical events. We resisted using period instruments, because our audiences were listening with modern ears and modern standards of performance. I have played an over-the-shoulder bass saxhorn from the 1860's, and simply could not make music on it. The competing instrument of that era was the ophicleide, like a bass saxophone but with a cup-shaped mouthpiece instead of a reed. Berlioz famously wrote Symphonie Fantastique for two ophicleides, one pitched in C and one in Bb, so that their intonation anomalies would offset each other. Norrington's group played that work on original instruments including a pair of ophicleides. No, thanks. Berlioz himself had rescored the work for valved tubas after he was exposed to them in the 1840's.

I heard David Bragunier (RIP, who was recently retired from the National Symphony at the time) play a Strauss horn concerto on a Kruspe Eb tuba that had been made in the 1890's. He played beautifully but one could tell it was a battle. Things really improved about that time to a standard not far from the best modern instruments, so nothing in the last 120 years or so could really be called a "period" tuba.

But I love listening to good musicians play Baroque and Renaissance music on period instruments, particularly if they can include a period organ. Nothing makes a picardy third sound like it should like a natural horn, for example.

Rick "rambling" Denney
Very wise post. Thank you for this, I have very similar observations about early music movement.
 
Too many groups that used historical instruments felt like that was all they needed, and put our recordings when they got things together, not when they were really ready for performance. I feel that way about a lot of the Academy of Ancient Music stuff with Hogwood at the helm, though I have a bit of it. I enjoy groups that seek to do more than merely overcome the challenges of the period instruments, and actually push into new realms of musicality. As Norrington put it, we play original instruments using the original markings to make old music sound new again.
This is especially very true. Taking and playing good and correct copy of historic instrument is only half way. Musician have to understand a way in which such instrument is operating, many times it is far from what he or she learned in music school. Same thing is with understanding harmony, rhythmic structure and many other things. Even if we know all of this and execute it is still modern ears who are listening :). One can ask if all this hassle is needed ? I think it is always good to have broader perspective, another interesting view, variety. Early music movement gave us big amount of new sounds, new joy and thrill.
 
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