Concert for Organ and Trumpets

A Concert for Organ and Trumpets

Pairing the Baroque Organ with Brass

Saturday | April 29 | 5PM 

Brink Bush | organ
Eric Berlin | trumpet

Richard Watson | trumpet

A rousing selection of pieces by Bach, Charpentier, Clarke, Purcell, and others

The glorious sound of Baroque organ and brass music evokes the formal and ceremonial grandeur of the great courts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.  France under Louis XIV and Louis XV, England beginning with the Restoration, and the German States after the Thirty Years’ War each developed unique artistic styles that clearly express their national character while using the same Baroque musical idiom.  This program, which pairs Baroque organ compositions with brass instrumentation, presents festive music from these distinct musical traditions, written by two generations of composers whose lives spanned the years 1650-1750, and who defined the music of their time and place.  It provides an opportunity to explore differences in musical structure, texture, and rhythm in a period before such individual character gave way to a more universal, international style in the transition to the world of Haydn and Mozart. 

As with most music in the Baroque era, many of the works on our program were originally scored for keyboard generally, and not organ specifically.  Keyboard instruments included the harpsichord and clavichord in addition to the organ, with the type of music itself suggesting the choice of instrument.  Music written for the Church was most typically played on the organ, which could emulate different instruments through manipulating the various organ stops that control the flow of air through the pipes.  Music written for dancing was performed on the harpsichord or clavichord. 

Similarly, the pieces called trumpet tune or trumpet voluntary (LeBègue, Mouret, Purcell, and Stanley) were not scored for trumpet, but were instead solo organ works to be played during the church service, with the organist using a trumpet stop that simulates a brass tone.  Using the organ instead of an actual trumpet may have been an economy—one performer instead of two—or because the natural trumpet used until the early 1700’s had no valves and hence a limited range. 

With the development of the valve trumpet and more extensive repertoire, modern performance practice encourages the pairing of organ and brass, which today achieves the signature sound we associate with Baroque music and which delights audiences throughout the world.

Bach | Dramma per musica
            Fantasie and Fugue in C minor BWV 562
            Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 543
Charpentier | Prelude from the Te Deum
Clarke | The Kings March
Dandrieu | Rondeau
Lebèque | Tune
Mouret | Trumpet Tune
Purcell | Trumpet Tune in C 
                Trumpet Tune in D
                Rondeau from “Abdelazar”, Sonata
Stanley | Trumpet Voluntary
Subject to change

$50 Preferred Seating | Reserve in Advance (click here)
$30 General Seating | Tickets available at the door 
$25 Berkshire Bach Members
Free for all Students with ID*
*Berkshire Bach’s Free Student Tickets Program is underwritten by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. 
First United Methodist Church
55 Fenn Street | Pittsfield, MA