Welcome to La Tromba Music!

In the name of all of the very fine Artists, excellent Technicians and otherwise associated persons working for and with La Tromba Music Productions, I wish to personally welcome you this, our website.
I have had the great fortune to have been performing professionally since 1966 and teaching at University Level Institutions (in Canada, England, the USA, Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and throughout the EU) since 1970. During this extended time period I have met with many thousands of Music Students and Top Professional as well as truly excellent Hobby musicians. 

Begining in my home town in Regina Saskatchewan, Canada in 1970 as Music Conservatory teacher and continuing in Germany in 1982/83, first at the City Conservatory and from 2001 at the "University of Music" (Hochschule für Musik) in Würzburg, I continue to be a tenured Lecturer for the Trumpet as well as Chamber Music from Baroque to Big-Band today. During this time I have also been very fortunate to also be able to organise (and often sponsor) through the La Tromba Music Productions firm, various State Student Competitions, International Master Classes and diverse advanced Music Courses for Professionals.
Many of these extra activities were in cooperation with my own EBA "European Brass Academy", while others were with the ETG "European Trumpet Guild" and/or the ITG "International Trumpet Guild". The ITG is an organisation with over 6000 members worldwide and for which I have also produced and donated their "CD of the Year" in 2010. I have as well contributed to the "Trumpet World" through the ITG when I both taught and performed as featured Soloist Pro Bono on several earlier occations in the USA as well as in Germany 2001, in England 2005 and in 2008 in Canada.

I have once again been honoured by an official invitation from the Board of the ITG to Perform as Featured Soloist in a formal Piano and Trumpet Recital! This I plan to present together with my young Spanish Pianist Daniel Delgado! 
This high profile Concert-Lecture will take place in the Grand Ball Room of the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida, USA on July the 10th, 2019 during the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Main International Conference.  

Through such special opportunies and because of many other extraordinary experiences, I have been forunate to have developed several wonderful personal musical contacts. Over the past 50 and more years of my broad spektrum professional career, I have been very fortunate to meet and make friends with many fine Performing Artists and Teachers from Jazz to the Classic gendre throughout the world and then inturn, to have the pleasure of being able to personally invite many of them to come to Germany to work and teach here as La Tromba Music Production guests. Their work with my students and those of many of my colleagues here at the Würzburg University and in other institutions throughut Europe , combined with their generous participation as Performing Guest-Artists in Concerts as well as in diverse Recordings here in the EU as well as in Canada, Russia and the USA has brought a great deal of joy to me personally and has generated a high amount of sincere musical appreciation for virtually all that have been involved,... Students and Professors alike! 

Since 1980 I have aswell, parallel to these Artistic and Pedagogical activities, cooperated in various international Instrumental Research and Development capacties. Interacting and consulting with Brass Intrument makers such as Schilke Trumpets (and the great Renold Schilke personally) of Chicago Illinoise, the Yamaha Musical Instrument Company of Hamamatzu, Japan (and Toshi Kamiama San) , I was involved in the development of special intruments for both the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra "Trumpet Section" and for the "original" German Brass Trio Quartet, Quintet and lastly our Large Ensemble). Here in Germany I too have worked with amoung others, Herbert Laetzsch /Hans-Hermann Nienaber of Bremen and both Josef Tilz and Josef Klier of Neustadt an der Eisch, in the development of my own diverse line of La Tromba Trumpet Mouthpieces.

Starting in 1997 I was frequently in the USA working personally with Zigmant Kanstul of Anaheim, California for the development of my own La Tromba high brass instruments. 
and worked in both the USA and Germany with Kanstul on many Research and Development "Cooperations", including the development of Modern and Traditional German and Austrian rotary-valve Symphonic Trumpets and Cornets. These we developed for both international Soloists and Orchestral Musicians in Europe and the USA. One of my most notable contribution to the world of modern "trumpet artistry" to date is the celebrated Kanstul Model 1520 Bb/A/G piccolo trumpet!  In fact the Prototype "BAG" Trumpet, the very first Kanstul / La Tromba Cooperation from 1997,  on which I still perform today is shown in the R and D section of this website and can
be heard on our newest La Tromba YouTube.


Klick here to see the video.

 

 
My Concert and Recording career has given me a broad spectrum insite into what I call the "Complete World of the Trumpet" and precisly because of all of the truly positive and very exciting experinces I have had during this wonderful musical journey of now more than 50 years, it is my sincere wish to reach out to the intensively competitive "world of trumpeters" with a truly new, "open approach" and a sincerely friendly and collegial attitude towards our profession which, for many of us, is much more than that...it is our true passion!

Cooperation and consultation is in any event, I have found, the true key to artistic develpment and highest achievment and certainly not the common and all too often selfish and cold competitive attitude that cloud many mind minds and numb many ears!


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

 

Reiches "Abblasen" Performed by Richard Carson Steuart on the prototyp LA TROMBA "Clarino" : "Baroque D" (A = 415 Hz). Recorded in Germany, August 2017.
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Special "Lecture-Concert" and Interview in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig on Nov. 18th, 2017 at 3 P.M. Free Admission!

 

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

Just as Johann Gottfried Reiche's original instrument, shown in the Haussmann's original painting below, Steuart's La Tromba model, has no valves, no keys, no slides, and certainly no "hinden" anmd completely unauthentic intonation-holes of any kind!
This is truly the "real deal" my friends,  just as Reiche played it over 300 years ago!


Greatly inspired by both the mystery behind the famous Elias Gottlob Haussmann portrait of Reiche and by Bach's works, written specifically for Reiche, to be specifically played on his special "Clarino" Trumpet, Mr. decided to have the instrument built anew.
Since there are no existing "historical" versions of this original instrument from which to make a copy nor any existing construction plans (other than Elias Gottlob Haussmann’s portrait itself!) Steuart decided to take the initiative,  having his Chief Accustical Engineer, Mr. Heinz Poggensee of Würzburg Germany, construct it as close as possible to the instrument shown  in the painting itself!

After countless hours of both trial and error AND methodical developmental construction attempts together, combined with new "Historical" mouthpiece development and of course intensive personal practise, Mr. Steuart sincerely believes he has finally re-created Reiche's original instrument and mouthpiece AND at the same time rediscovered his very special playing technique!

Yes! after almost 300 years he believes he knows exactly how Reiche was able to perform Bach's extremely demanding works on this mysterious and almost forgotten natural trumpet instrument!

 

 

Press here to LINK to a new La Tromba "YouTube", the first of a series of informative and instructive lectures produced by La Tromba Music Productions

 

Steuart's singular, abitious aim with his "Clarino- Project zu Leipzig" initiative is to revive the true and authentic playing tradition of this historical "Bach Trumpet" and to reaffirm it as the true instrument for which Bach wrote his Clarino parts.

With his initiative he hopes as well to especially inspire both Professionals  and young musicians like, to once again learn to play this intrument again and thereafter finally perform Bach's works "authenically" on the original Clarino Trumpet! 
Yes, as Bach's works were performed almost 300 Years ago!

Mr. Steuart reports he has of course examined and personally tested several instruments from makers who too have quite seriously attempted to construct such a Clarino instrument in the past. Two of the best of these, he says, were both made in Leipzig and are infact on display in the Grazzi Museum and in the Old City Hall Museum of Leipzig even today. They are from the excellent workshops of Syhre in Leipzig and Volgt in Markt Neukirchen.
Although Syhre of Leipzig and Adolf and Rainer Egger of Basel, Switzerland not to forget mention 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 quite playable instruments of this kind, it is in truth virtually impossible to reconstruct such a instrument without direct interaction and cooperation with a truly experienced, virtuoso performers. One, who first and foremost clearly understands the instruments original playing technique.

Since no modern Artist at his level has made the concerted effort to first build and then actually learn to play this special original instrument before, it was necessary for Mr. Steuart to start from the very beginning in his research.
Past artist/historians like Walter Holy of Köln, Germany and most importantly, Donald L. Smithers of New  York City, U.S.A., should be clearly mentioned here aswell, to show do respect for their individual, ground- breaking contributions regarding their clear understanding of the original Clarino intrument and it's playing potential.  They too are to be noted as important initial sources of both historical as well as practical performance information. Both are/were in any case true inspirations for Steuart's Clarino Project zu Leipzig even though neither artist had in their time understood nor ever used "hand reflextion" in coordination with tounge and mouth compression techniques in their performances on similar Coiled Trumpets.

Steuart says, "it is not only difficult and strenuous to play the natural trumpet musically with or without the
non-authentic "well tempered" intonation holes commonly used today, 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 or Tromba da caccia (Hunting Trumpet) the true Bach Trumpet, let alone try to master it and then to perform in public on it.
It therefore should be clearly understood that only through the combination of several physical and specific technical prerequisites, as well as years of patient practice, can this instrument be truly mastered!"

He adds, " the Clarino trumpet is an extremely "dangerous" intrument to perform on at the best of times, because like any natural instrument it is difficult to "control" in the high register, (especially without any intonation holes nor slides nor keys of any kind, just as the intrument was originally played ) and both excellent ear training and an advanced emboucher and breathing development are absolutely necessary to perform consistently on this extremely sensitive instrument.
Added to this and most importantly, a deep understanding and application of the both tounge positioning techniques and my newly rediscovered hand reflextion technique, cannot be circumvented if one wishes to master this fine instrument and to authenically play Bach's demanding works on it! "This" he says "is the ultimate challenge when playing the "Clarino" Trumpet!"

There are neither hand-written technical descriptions, 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"!
His first Clarino Lecture-Concert took place in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig, Germany on the 18th of November 2017, 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 perhaps a gift from none other than "Kuerfuerst und 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 and Gold was therefore very rare and extremely expensive. it was most probably a personal gift from King August II to Reiche (also for his 60th birthday?) in high 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 Nuernberg workshops of Johann Leonard Ehe I in the late 18th century or even earlier by another famous Nuernberg instrument maker, Johann Carl Ködisch, and originally for the Moravian Court of the Markgrafen of Olmuetz. That is 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 17th century since Schnitzer had created the most innovative instruments of his time, including the very famous Pretzel Trumpet for none other than Cesare Bendinelli, composer, author and principal trumpeter of both the Viennese court from 1567 to 1580 and later for the Court in Munich from 1580 till his death in 1617.
These ideas and speculations however interesting and "romantic" in nature are not historically documented.

Some facts about the Tromba da caccia (”Clarino”) however are very clearly documented:

The German musicologist Michael Praetorius mentions and even clearly illustrates the Clarino Trumpet (in Coiled form) in his "Syntagma Musicom" published in Wolfenbüttel and 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 Reiche and to be performed by him on October 5th, 1734.

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

We know as well that the Concert took place outside and 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 as well as all of his most challenging and difficlut secular and religious compositions involving the Clarino dating from 1723 through to 1734, including the Christmas Oratorio. 


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 performing 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 musical relationship between Reiche and Bach (although a total of only 11 years!) created the rare historical opportunity for the art of trumpet performance to develop above and beyond it's former limited role of loud and dramatic musical "sound and fury" and forcefull military fanfare style but in fact to be suddenly set and at the fore front of Bach's most sensitive and interactive musical expressions.
The combination of Bach's music for the trumpet and Reiche's special performance abilities was the beginning of a new and much more lyrical musical role for the instrument. One that through his special musical gifts and highly developed playing technique, Reiche quite obviously had perfected even in the early 18th century!

Since 1980, Steuart has aswell cooperated in research and development capacties on modern instruments, interacting and consulting with among other international instrument makers, the Yamaha Musical Instrument Company of Hamamatzu, Japan (i.e. when creating special instruments for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestras Trumpet Section and for both the "original" German Brass Quintet and later Large Ensemble), with Herbert Laetzsch / Hans-Hermann Nienaber, Bremen and  Josef Tilz /Hablowitz and Josef Klier, Diespeck and Neustadt an der Eisch, Germany, for La Tromba Mouthpieces in Würzburg and last but not least with Zigmant Kanstul Musical Instruments of Anaheim, California.

He worked in both California and Germany from 1997 with Zigmant 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, is 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, study  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,... Made 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, were presented and performed on for the first time in public by Richard Carson Steuart, in a special lecture / concert-- that was film- documented on the 18th of November, 2017 at 3 P.M., in the "Historical City Hall" in Leipzig, Germany.
This Lecture/Concert with Interview was open to the general public and admission was free of charge!
 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: Bernd Cramer 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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!