Welcome to La Tromba Music!

In the name of all of the fine Musical Artists, excellent Technicians and associated persons working for and with La Tromba Music Productions, I wish to personally welcome you to our website.
I have had the great fortune to have been performing and teaching at University Level Institutions in Russia, Canada, the USA, Asia, and throughout Europe since 1970. During this time I have met with many thousands of students and both hobby and professional musicians. 
In the City Conservatory and the "University of Music" Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, Germany, where I have been teaching as full tenured Lecturer for the trumpet and Chamber Music from Baroque to Big-Band since 1983, I have been working with a wide range of students. My work here and professionly as Soloist, Conductor and / or Leader of Baroque and Classical Ensembles, Chamber Orchestras, Jazz Combos, Big- Bands and Modern Ensemble groups, has been a continuing and very positive learning experience for me.

During this time I have been very fortunate to also be able to organise and often sponsor through my La Tromba Music Productions firm, several Student Competitions, many International-level Master Classes and diverse Music Courses. These activities were often in close coordination with the my own European Brass Academy, the European Trumpet Guild (for which I elected President in 2003) and/or the International Trumpet Guild for which I have performed as featured Soloist on several occations in Germany, England, Canada and the USA.
Threw these and many other personal musical contacts made over the past 50 years of my professional career, I have been fortunate to be able to invite many fine Internationally Performing Artists and Teachers from "Jazz to Classic" from throughout the world, to lecture and help many of both my students and those of my colleagues here in Germany and to perform in Concerts and as well particpate in diverse recordings both in Germany and throughout Europe, Canada, the US and Russia.
Since 1980 I have, parallel to these Artistic and Pedagogical activities, cooperated in Research and Development capacties on both historical and modern instruments , interacting and consulting with amoung other international intrument makers, the Yamaha Musical Instrument Company of Hamamatzu, Japan (when creating special intruments for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra "Trumpet Section" and for the "original" German Brass Quintet and eventual Large Ensemble), with Herbert Laetzsch/Hans-Hermann Nienaber, Bremen and  Josef  Tilz and Josef Klier, Diespeck and Neustadt an der Eisch, Germany, for the deveöopment of my La Tromba Trumpet Mouthpiece line and with Kanstul Musical Instruments of Anaheim, California for the development of my own La Tromba high brass instruments. 
I have also worked in both the USA and Germany since 1997 with Kanstul on many of there own instrument designs and in Research and Development "Cooperations" , including Traditional and Romantic German and Austrian rotary-valve Symphonic Trumpets and Cornets for both international Soloists and Orchestral Musicians and as well and most specifcally for Baroque Music: with my most notable direct contribution to the world of the "trumpet artistry" to date being the celebrated Kanstul Model 1520 Bb/A/G piccolo trumpet! 
The original La Tromba Prototype "BAG", a Kanstul / La Tromba Cooperation from 1997, I still perform on today! It is in fact shown on the R and D section of this website.


All this has not surprisingly, given me a broad spectrum insite into what I call the "complete world of trumpet".

It is precisly because of all the very positive and exciting experinces I have had during this wonderful musical journey of now more than 50 years, that it is my sincere wish to reach out to the intensively competitive "world of trumpeters" with a new and open approach and a sincerely friendly and truly collegial attitude towards our profession which, for many of us, is our true passion. Cooperation and consultation is I have found the true key to higher Artistic develpment and achievment and not competition.


So, if you have a problem or questions, be it from breathing to emboucher , trumpets and mouthpieces to study books and  performance literature or even have your own contributions as to how to make this website an especially positive experience for you and your fellow student or professional colleagues, please feel free to go to "Contact" and leave your comment or question or better still, call and make an appoinment to see me personally in the La Tromba Studio here in Wuerzburg, Germany.

Sincerely yours,

Richard Carson Steuart

for
La Tromba Music Productions

 

Reiche's "Abblasen" (see painting lower) performed by Richard Carson Steuart on the prototyp LA TROMBA "Clarino" : "Baroque D" (A = 415 Hz). Recorded in Germany, August 2017. A true "natural" trumpet, it has no valves nor keys nor slides nor holes!)
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Special "Lecture-Concert" with Filmed Interview in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig on Nov. 18th, 2017 at 3 P.M. Free Admission!

In 2017, Richard Carson Steuart completed the development of the new "La Tromba" Clarino trumpet, an exact "replica" of the special intrument that Johann Sebastian Bach's famous "Solo Trumpeter", Johann Gottfried Reiche originally performed his music on.
Mr. Steuart has named this endevor his "Clarino- Project zu Leipzig" since it honors this, the 350th year of Reiche's birth!

He admits he was greatly inspired by both the mystery behind the famous Elias Gottlob Haussmann portrait of Reiche and by Bach's works, written specifically for him, to be played on his speicial "Clarino".

Since there are no existing "historical" versions of this original intruments from which to make a copy nor develope construction plans (other than Elias Gottlob Haussmann’s portrait itself!) Steuart decided to take the initative and build the instrument, constructing it as close as possible to the intrument in the painting!

 After countless hours of study, he has finally re- discovered  Reiche's original technique and how to play Bach's demanding works on this mysterious and almost forgotten instrument!

Just as Johann Gottfried Reiche's original instrument, shown in the Haussmann's original painting below, Steuart's La Tromba model, has no valves, nor keys, nor slides, nor "hinden" intonation-holes of any kind!
This is truly the "real deal",  just as Reiche played it over 300 years ago!


Steuart's singular, abitious aim with his "Clarino- Project zu Leipzig" is to revive the playing tradition of this historical "Bach Trumpet" and to reaffirm it as the true instrument for which Bach wrote.
With his initiative he hopes aswell to inspire young musicians, to once again learn to play and thereafter perform Bach's works "authenically" on this, the original Clarino Trumpet!  Yes, as they have not been performed on for almost 300 Years!

Steuart reports he has examined and personally tested several instruments from makers who have quite seriously attempted to construct such a Clarino instrument in the past. The best of these, he says, was made in Leipzig more than thirty years ago and is infact on display in the Old City Hall Museum of Leipzig even today. It is from the excellent workshop of Friedbert Syhre.
Although both Friedbert Syhre and Adolf and his son Rainer Egger of Basel, Switzerland (as well as Markus Rachet of Bamberg who too built an excellent copy of a much later dated intrument, originally from Balthasar Fürst of Ellwangen - 1770,  on display in the German National Museum in Nuerberg) succeeded in building "almost" playable instruments of this kind, it is in truth virtually impossible to reconstruct such a intrument without direct interaction and cooperation with a truly experienced, virtuoso performer who first and foremost clearly understands the instruments original playing technique. Imagine trying to build a superlative Formula 1 Car without the help of top driver, a Schumacher for Ferrari or a Fagio for Mercedes, to test and develop it to it's greatest potential!? Impossible!

Since no Artist at his level has made the concerted effort to first built and then actually learn to play this special instrument before, it was necessary for Steuart to start from the very beginning in his research and to do the basic work from the ground up.
Still, he has asked that past artist/historians like Walter Holy of Köln, Germany and most importantly, Donald L. Smithers of New  York City, U.S.A., be clearly mentioned here, to show do respect for their past, individual, ground- breaking contributions to the understanding of the original Clarino intrument and playing potential.  They are to be noted as important initial sources of both historical and with regards to specific points of discussion, practical performance information. They were both in any case true inspirations for Steuart's Clarino Project zu Leipzig.

Steuart says, "it is not only difficult and strenguous to play the Clarino trumpet musically and "in tune", in terms of a "well tempered" intonation, it also requires all the intelligence, experience and sensitivity that a seasoned and serious High Brass playing musician can muster. Therefore most professional trumpeters find it too tedious to spend the necessary time to first understand and then appreciate the Clarino as the true Bach Trumpet, let alone try to completely master it".  It therefore should be understood that only through the combination of specific prerequistes, as well as years of patient, disaplined practise, can this instrument be truly mastered!
He adds, " the Clarino trumept is extremely dangerous to perform on, because like any natural instrument it is difficult to "control" in the high register, (especialy without any intonation holes nor slides nor keys of any kind) and both excellent ear training and an advanced emboucher development are absolutely necessary to perform consistantly. Added to this and most importantly, an understanding and application of the proper playing technique of the instrument cannot be circumvented if one wishes to master it and to play excellent Bach's works on it! "This" he says "is the ultimate challenge when playing the Clarino!"

There are neither hand-written technical discriptions nor printed method books, nor any historical performance explanations as to how this instrument was originally played. Never the less, after working on this project for three years, Steuart believes he has, through his own disaplined and methodical study, (re)discovered the true historical playing technique of the instrument and is now willing and able to share this special knowledge with "the trumpet world"! And this on the afternoon of the 18th of November, 2017 in Leipzig!
This Lecture-Concert in Interview Form will take place in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig, Germany, on the exact location where Johann Gottfried Reiche served his regular musical duties right up to the day of his sudden death in 1734. 

 

The original painting of Johann Gottfried Reiche (1667-1734) (Oil on Canvas) by Elias Gottlob Haussmann (1695-1774), dates from 1726/27 and hangs in the Historical City-Museum of the Old City Hall in Leipzig (Inv.Nr. Me 470). The instrument held in his right hand is described as a "Trompete in zirkulärer Form" (Trumpet in Cirular Form): Clarino, Jägertrompete, Tromba da caccia, Italienische Trompete. 

Reiche's pure-silver and gold "Clarino" trumpet, obviously the true "Bach" trumpet, is quite without any intonation holes, nor keys, nor slides, nor valves of any kind! Steuart proposes that this special instrument was a gift from none other than "Kurfuerst and Herzog" of Saxony Friedrich August I, also known as "August der Stärke" (1670-1733) who was from 1697 in "Personalunion", King August II of Poland and Lithuainia. This must have been a truly "Kingly" gift for Gottfried Reiche, in high appreciation of his exceptional musical service to Saxony and for his King!

 

 

 

 

Further info:
According to Steuart's research, the Haussmann painting was very possibly comissioned by the City Elders of Leipzig specifically to honor Johann Gottfired Reiche's 60th birthday!
Having been placed in a number of other locations over the past almost 3 centuries, this painting hangs once again in the same building where Reiche, employed his entire professional career by the City of Leipzig- ultumately reaching the status of "Senior Stadtmusicus" (Senior Performing City Musician) in 1719,  perfomed his daily duties as Head "Stadt Pfeiffer".
In the painting Reiche is  holding in his right hand, a pure-silver and gold ornimented "Clarino" trumpet in circular from, (and please, it is certainly not a horn!) which obviously is the true "Bach" trumpet, what else can it be?!  In his left hand he is holding an Abblas Solo, perhaps his own composition?,... very probably! A flashy "signature fanfare" which he very surely performed from the "Rathhaus Turm" as a part of daily musical duties as Senior Stadt Pfeiffer of the City of Leipzig.

Mr. Steuart speculates, that because this instrument was made of pure Silver with Gold orimentations and therefore very rare and extremely expensive and of great difficulty to build at that time, it was most probably a personal gift from King August II to Reiche (also for his 60th birthday?) in appreciation of his exceptional musical abilities and continued loyal service to his King! 
Other theories are that it is perhaps infact a much older instrument, made in the Nürnberg workshops of Johann Leonard Ehe I in the late 18th century or even earlier by another famous Nuernberg instrument maker, Johann Carl Ködisch, originally for the Maravian Court of the Markgrafen of Olmuetz and most specifically for the use of the composer and trumpeter Pavel Josef Vejvanovky (1633-1693).  This does not "fit" the time line however.
Further speculations suggest it was even much older and that it was infact Anton Schnitzer who had built this special trumpet in the early to mid 16th century since Schnitzer had created the most innovative instruments of his time and avery famous one for none other than Cesare Bendinelli, composer, author and principal trumpeter of both the Viennese court from 1567 to 1580 and later in Munich from 1580 till his death in 1617. These ideas and speculations however interesting and "romantic" in nature are however not historically documented.

Some facts about the Clarino however are very clearly documented:

The German musicologist Michael Praetorius mentions and even clearly illustartes the Clarino Trumpet (in Coiled form) in his "Syntagma Musicom" published in Wolfenbüttel and in Wittenberg in three parts between 1614-1620.  So, this kind of instrument was well known and widely performed upon long before Reiche was even born.

We know too that Cantata 215 "Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen" was written by Johann Sebastian Bach specifically for the special Memorial Concert for King Friedrich August II and performed on October 5th, 1734.

We know that Reiche performed on this special Clarino instrument in Leipzig and on the night of October 5th to the 6th, 1734 died of exhaustion (heart attack and then a stroke?) on his way home, following the first performance of Cantata BWV 215!

We know that the Concert took place directly in front of the Historical City Hall in Leipzig and under no less than Bach's personal musical direction and that Reiche was most certainly the Solo Trumpeter for whom Johann Sebastian Bach had written this work and all of his most challenging and difficlut secular and religious compositions involving the Clarino dating from 1723 to 1734. 


There is also no doubt that a very special colleagial relationship between these two exceptional musicians began immediately after Bach's arrival in Leipzig in 1723, when he assumed the prestegious position of "Director Chori Musici Lipisiensis" (Musical Director of the City of Leipzig), a position he was to maintain until his death in 1750.

Reiche died on the night of October 5th to the 6th, 1734 following his participation as 1st Clarino Trumpeter in the Premier Performance of Bach's Cantata 215; "Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen" a work written by Bach specifically for that special "memorial concert" for the deceased King Friedrich August II!  The Concert took place directly in front of the Historical City Hall in Leipzig and under no less than Johann Sebastian Bach's personal musical direction!

One last fact:
The very last musical statement of Reiche's life, as 1st Clarino in the final Coro: "Stifter Reiche, Beherrscher der Kronen" of Cantata 215, was a beautifully lyrical melody where Reiche was literally allowed to "sing" with his Clarino above the whole ensemble while at the same time perform in perfect balance, intonation and musical inflection with the soprano voice part.

Steuart, who in an attempt to perfect it's construction and understand and revive the original playing technique, has been seriously researching, building and rebuilding his "Clarino" trumpet since 2015. He firmly believes that the special musically relationship between Reiche and Bach (although only a total of 11 years!) created the historical opportunity for the art of trumpet performance to develope above and beyond it's former limited role of only dramatic musical "sound and fury" and limited military fanfare style but in fact to be suddenly set it at the fore front of Bach's more sensitive musical expression.
The combination of Bach's music for the trumpet and Reiche's special performance ablities was the beginning of  the new develope of a more musically lyrical profile and character for the instrument. One, that with his special technique, Reiche quite obviously had perfected!

Steuart has since 1980, cooperated in research and development capacties on modern instruments aswell, interacting and consulting with amoung other international intrument makers, the Yamaha Musical Instrument Company of Hamamatzu, Japan (when creating special intruments for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestras Trumpet Section and for the "original" German Brass Ensemble), with Herbert Latzsch/Hans-Hermann Nienaber, Bremen and  Josef  Tilz and Josef Klier, Diespeck and Neustadt an der Eisch, Germany for La Tromba Mouthpieces and with Kanstul Musical Instruments of Anaheim, California.
He has worked in both California and Germany since 1997 with Kanstul on many instrument design, research and development cooperations , including Traditional and Romantic German and Austrian rotary-valve Symphonic Trumpets for both Soloists and Orchestral Musicians and as well and specifcally for Baroque Music: his most remarkable contribution to the world of the trumpet artistry to date, the celebrated Kanstul Model 1520 Bb/A/G piccolo trumpet!  The original La Tromba Prototype "BAG", a Kanstul/ La Tromba Cooperation from 1997, is in fact shown on the R and D section of this website.

Richard Carson Steuart continues to research and build refined instruments and mouthpieces, both of historical and modern design, primarily, but not exclusively for his own Artistic needs and these under his own exclusive La Tromba Brand in Germany.
The most recent example of this, the new La Tromba “Clarino” trumpet pictured below, will, together other "prototype" and original La Tromba Instruments as well as the newest Kanstul/La Tromba Cooperation Instruments, be presented and performed on for the first time in public by Richard Carson Steuart, in a special lecture / concert-- that will be film documented-- to take place on the 18th of November, 2017 at 3 P.M., in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig, Germany.
This Film Documetd Lecture/Concert with Interview is open to the general public.

Admission is free of charge!

 

 

 

Soprano and Trumpet Concert on Novemeber 17th, 2017 in Würzburg

 

 

 

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Introducing: The new La Tromba "Clarino"

In August of 2017 Richard Carson Steuart completed the development of his Clarino trumpet, a "replica" of the exact intrument that was performed upon by Johann Sebastian Bach's famous "Solo Trumpeter", Johann Gottfried Reiche.

He admits he was greatly inspired by both the mystery behind Elias Gottlob Haussmann’s portrait of Reiche and Bach's works, written specifically for Reiche, to be played specicially on his Clarino instrument. The original instrument, shown in Hausmann's painting, has just as Steuart's replica, has no valves, nor keys, nor slides, nor "intonation" holes of any kind! 
Since there are no existing original historical versions of this intruments from which to develope construction plans (other than Elias Gottlob Haussmann’s portrait itself) Steuart decided to take the initiative and build the instrument himself, constructing it as close as possible to the intrument in the painting. Through personal and direct study, he has finally uncover the original technique of how Reiche, himself both a respected composer and a highly acclaimed virtuoso, was able to play Johann Sebastian Bach's demanding works on his mysterious and almost forgotten instrument!