INTERNATIONAL TRUMPET GULID, BRASS HERALD AND THE HISTORIC BRASS SOCIETY’S REVIEWS OF “THE ART OF THE HIGH BAROQUE”

Historic Brass Society, July 2008.

Reviewer Jeffrey Nussbaum; President,

“The Art of the High Baroque”. World Premiere Recording on Baroque Trumpet.

Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti, Baroque trumpet. The Belgian Baroque Soloists,

Niranja Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H.Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier,

Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranja Wijewickrema. Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

 

This latest CD by Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is nothing short of remarkable. All six compositions on this recording are listed as “world premiere recordings on Baroque trumpet” and an examination of Lowry’s International Trumpet Discography bears out this claim. The works in question are Trumpet Concerto in D by Joseph Riepel (1709-1782), Trumpet Concerto in Eb by Franz Querfurth (fl. Mid-18th century), Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in C, Trumpet Concerto No. 2 in D by Georg von Reutter II (1708-1772), Trumpet Concerto in D by Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789), and the Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in D by J. Michael Haydn (1737-1806). In some sense these works are like the famous Haydn Trumpet Concerto but on steroids. All are unbelievably virtuosic and demanding. Ed Tarr, in his thoughtful CD program notes states that the Michael Haydn D-major trumpet concerto has the distinction of presenting the “world record” height of sounding A above high C, in bar 41 of the first movement. The Richter concerto ascends to high concert G.www.tce-studio.com baroquebahb@aol.com

That this is the first time anyone has recorded these demanding pieces on baroque trumpet is no surprise and certainly puts Bob Civiletti in a very special category. Civiletti started his trumpet career as a lead jazz and commercial player and went on to help develop the “Tongue-Controlled Embouchure (TCE)” technique with the well-known “chop doc” Jerome Callet. His fantastic ability to control the very extreme high tessitura on the trumpet serves him well with this repertoire. However, these pieces are not played like a lead jazz trumpeter. Civiletti plays this repertoire with a great deal of style and sensitivity and the Belgian Baroque Soloists matched him in this regard.

The cadenza in the second movement of the Joseph Riepel D major concerto is one of the very few written out by the composer of a trumpet work of this period. It is short and has little thematic material from the composition. It is more of a brilliant flourish than a melodically developed cadenza as found in other repertoire. Civiletti uses this as a model for cadenzas in the other works. The cadenza played in the first movement of the Richter D major concerto echoes the extreme passage to the high G above C ending with an arpeggio down to the third harmonic, G below the staff.

This is somewhat of a landmark recording, the absolutely most demanding Baroque trumpet repertoire well played on a baroque trumpet. Bob Civiletti certainly sets the bar several notches higher for future players………..

Bob Civiletti performs with remarkable skill and musicianship and has shown the brass world that this repertoire is approachable on Baroque trumpet. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Having given us a view of the possibilities, maybe in the next generation trumpeters will perform these works on a natural trumpet with no vent holes and come even closer to a perfect performance. Until then, this recording is the closest we will come to knowing the sounds of the likes of the great Austrian trumpet virtuosos of that era such as Johann Heinisch (fl. 1725-51) and J.B. Resenberger (c. 1700-1781).

The Brass Herald October 2008 issue #25 

Huw Morgan Reviewer.

“The Art of the High Baroque”

Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti

For fans of the Baroque trumpet, this latest release from the American virtuoso Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is certainly a must-have. Featuring six world premiere recordings on the notoriously difficult “Natural” trumpet of the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Goerg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn. Civiletti navigates the extreme upper register passages of these concerti with exquisite technical prowess and musicianship. As record producer Edward H. Tarr explains in his informative liner notes, the extension of the trumpets high register employed by the composers of the Rococo or Mannheim period require not only fantastic endurance and embouchure strength, but also an incredible accuracy to pitch the upper note, where the partials lie treacherously close together.

Throughout the disc Civiletti almost makes a mockery of these difficulties, delivering impeccable performances, particularly in the Adagio movements of the Riepel and Haydn which require a warm, glowing tone at both ends of the instruments range. The florid and arpeggiated features in the final movements of the Richter and Reutter concerti are dispatched with equal aplomb, as are particularly impressive “lip trills”- as someone who finds this particular skill reasonably difficult to execute, I could only listen in awe and amazement!

In comparison with the piccolo trumpet and chamber orchestra recording of these works already on the market, the period-instrument Belgian Baroque Soloist provide a more intimate ( and certainly more authentic ) feel to the ensemble……..

A mention must go to the conductor Niranjan Wijewickrema for his discerning and tasteful handling of the accompaniment and the ensemble as a whole for tempering their ornamentation in these works.

…….it is abundantly clear in this recording that Civiletti is truly a trumpet phenomenon, a modern day master of the Baroque trumpet stratosphere whose unique musical and technical abilities afford him a special place in the roster of great trumpet artist. A truly inimitable recording from a very

talented gentleman: buy it!

 

The Belgian Baroque Soloists,

Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H. Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier,

Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema.
Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

  

The International trumpet Guild.

 

Vol.33, No.4 June 2009

Reviewer: Marc Reed, director of instrumental activities, Waldorf College, Forest City Iowa. “The Art of the High Baroque”. World Premiere Recording on Baroque Trumpet. Featuring the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Georg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn.

Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti, baroque trumpet. The Belgian Baroque Soloists, Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H.Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier,

Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema. Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

 

 

This recording represents Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti’s first full solo trumpet album. Civiletti is currently principal trumpet with the Dallas Bach Society and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. The Art of the high Baroque is a collection of six concerti penned in the late eighteenth century at a time when music for solo trumpet was at its zenith. The Belgium Baroque Soloist accompany Civiletti on period instruments.

Edward H. Tarr (Producer) writes in the liner notes “…the works on this recording represent the summit of trumpet playing art. Until this recording no one has attempted to play these on the instrument for which they had been conceived: the valveless Baroque trumpet.” It is easy to understand why these pieces have been long considered inaccessible because of the stratospheric range demanded of the trumpeter. Civiletti demonstrates both command of the treacherous natural trumpet and almost super human strength as he navigates the extreme high passages presented in these works. Aside from this, Civiletti’s ornamentations, an area which many struggle with on the valveless trumpet, is well refined in technique, style and artistry. A fine example comes in the first movement of G.von Ruetter II’s Concerto No. 2 in D major where Civiletti maneuvers through trills and mordents with a mastery rarely heard on the Baroque trumpet. This album is a solid purchase for any collector of Baroque trumpet recording, not only for the repertoire performed, but for the exposure of Robert Civiletti’s strong playing.

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Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 10:12 am  Comments (8)  

THE NEW TCE CUSTOM MOUTHPIECES ARE NOW AVAILABLE!!

 

 

 

Every beginner, intermediate, advanced, comeback player and professional trumpeter.

If you are interested in playing in the high range without straining and maintaining a powerful centered tone,

The NEW TCE CUSTOM #1 and #2 mouthpiece’s are now available.

These mouthpieces have been tried and tested

throughout the USA and Europe with great enthusiasm.

 

TCE Custom #1.

 

 

Brilliant, powerful and centered tone.

When played with the TCE technique the overtones ring true.

Great for lead and high range playing.

 

 

Here are the specifications.

Cup inside diameter .605

Bore-#29.

Back bore-similar to Bach #76.

Rim-wide/semi flat.

Cup-medium /shallow.

 

 

TCE Custom #2.

 

 

A fatter centered sound with darker color and fuller tone.

Great for Solo playing in the low, mid and upper ranges.

When played with the TCE technique the overtones ring true.

 

Here are the specifications.

Cup inside diameter .630

Bore-#28.

Back bore-similar to Bach #87.

Rim-Semi flat.

Cup-shallow.

 

SPECIAL ORDERS ARE NOW BEING TAKEN.

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Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm  Comments (10)  

Skype lessons. Skype lessons have been proven to be very helpful. I have been giving Skype lessons to trumpeters all over the world. Here is a Skype lesson testimony.

I play cornet for fun in brass bands here in the UK. Last year I accidently stumbled accross Superchops / TCE and had a couple of great lessons with Jerry Callet whilst holidaying in New York. I had read favourable reviews of lessons with Bahb, and was attracted to the idea of video lessons via skype. I had my fifth lesson with Bahb last week – here’s a progress report so far.

 

Firstly let me say that not much of this would be possible without skype. Having the video link facility is just like having Bahb in the room with you. Also he can see what I am doing and make instant corrections and suggestions. There are a few technical glitches now and again and sometimes the connection can be dropped at busy times but hey, its free and quite new technology – non of this was even possible a couple of years ago.  The other irritating thing about skype is that you can actually see the ease with which Bahb slouches at his desk and casually plays from double pedal c to super c !!!

 

Lesson 1 was mainly an introduction to the five articulations. Bahb took me through each in turn and explained the importance of each for strengthening the tongue. He emphasised the importance of the “gu” articulation to enable the tongue to be kept in the forward position. The “huff” articulation is useful to develop good legato playing. Bahb suggested lessons from the manual for me to try and I was reassured that I had understood the concept of TCE and had been progressing along the right lines. Just as the lesson was ending I asked “what about pedals, then? “. Another hour later I had a thorough understanding of the importance of playing double pedals in TCE. Yes I had known about the relaxing effects on the lips, but I didn’t appreciate their importance in building up the musculature.

 

Lesson 2 progressed from the first with more work on the articulations and more exercises from the manual.

 

Lesson 3 was quite a revelation. Bahb suggested that I was overblowing and had me exhaling much more before playing with the result that the sound improved almost straight away –with more focus and clarity of tone.

 

Lesson 4 had me working on range with Bahb introducing a simple scale exercise playing single notes from “g” above the staff to “c” but played pp. When these were sounding ok he had me playing two attacks on each note then four all still pp. Next I added the “d” then the “e”.

 

Lesson 5 was mainly taken up by further discussion of pedals. Bahb had me spitting multiple double pedals – these should be staccato and lound. We next worked on the transition from einsetzen to ansetzen – this I found very difficult at first, but Bahb explained it takes time to do this well and advised to keep doing the exercise.

 

So far I am very pleased with my progress over the last few months. I am slowly experiencing improvement with endurance, range and sound. Bahb is an excellent teacher and is always able to suggest just the right exercise to get over a particular problem. The lessons are informative but they are also great fun as well – which after all is what music is all about!

 

Regards

Paul

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 1:28 pm  Comments (2)  

The Brass Herald from the UK has just reviewed my new CD, “The Art of the High Baroque”. Here it is. Bahb!

The Brass Herald October 2008 issue #25

Huw Morgan Reviewer.

“The Art of the High Baroque”

Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti

For fans of the Baroque trumpet, this latest release from the American virtuoso Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is certainly a must-have. Featuring six world premiere recordings on the notoriously difficult “Natural” trumpet of the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Goerg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn. Civiletti navigates the extreme upper register passages of these concerti with exquisite technical prowess and musicianship. As record producer Edward H. Tarr explains in his informative liner notes, the extension of the trumpets high register employed by the composers of the Rococo or Mannheim period require not only fantastic endurance and embouchure strength, but also an incredible accuracy to pitch the upper note, where the partials lie treacherously close together.

Throughout the disc Civiletti almost makes a mockery of these difficulties, delivering impeccable performances, particularly in the Adagio movements of the Riepel and Haydn which require a warm, glowing tone at both ends of the instruments range. The florid and arpeggiated features in the final movements of the Richter and Reutter concerti are dispatched with equal aplomb, as are particularly impressive “lip trills”- as someone who finds this particular skill reasonably difficult to execute, I could only listen in awe and amazement!

In comparison with the piccolo trumpet and chamber orchestra recording of these works already on the market, the period-instrument Belgian Baroque Soloist provide a more intimate ( and certainly more authentic ) feel to the ensemble……..

A mention must go to the conductor Niranjan Wijewickrema for his discerning and tasteful handling of the accompaniment and the ensemble as a whole for tempering their ornamentation in these works.

…….it is abundantly clear in this recording that Civiletti is truly a trumpet phenomenon, a modern day master of the Baroque trumpet stratosphere whose unique musical and technical abilities afford him a special place in the roster of great trumpet artist. A truly inimitable recording from a very

talented gentleman: buy it!

 

The Belgian Baroque Soloists,

Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H. Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier,

Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema.
Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm  Comments (3)  

The language of the Tongue Controlled Embouchure.

The language of the TCE begins with the spit attack or the spit-buzz. I don’t like using the word buzz because most of us think that we need to make the lips buzz . The buzz is the result of spitting.

The 5 articulations must be learned in order to train the tongue to stay in the forward position. The natural tendency for the tongue is to retreat in the mouth. The 5 articulations are also required if you want to be an expressive trumpeter.

Published in: on October 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm  Comments (1)  

My most resent trip to the Mannheim region of Germany.

My resent trip to Germany teaching the TCE took me to Rhein Neckar and Eberbacher. These two towns are very close to Mannheim. You can read the newspaper reviews from both Masterclasses in either English or German at the reviews page on my website . I had a geat time teaching students who were already on the correct path with TCE training. Their teacher, Wolfgang Brecht had taken lessons with me the year before and understood the technique very well. I was very pleased to find that many of his students had a good working knowledge of the TCE. I also had a great time working with older and professional players who were searching for better embouchure’s. As a matter of fact, some of the professional player have followed up with Skype lessons.

During my time off , Wolfgang took me on tours of Mannheim, Heidelburg and Schwetzingen . As a Baroque trumpet specialist and historically correct player I was fascinated with the culture of the Rococo period. I started to identify with the period and found a deeper connection to the repertoire that I perform.

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 11:36 am  Comments (4)  

HARMONICS AND THE TONGUE MUSCLES.

 

The practice of harmonics with the seven valve positions on the trumpet has been around for a long time. In my earlier years I would play them for hours. Afterwards, I would fell that my top lip would be very stiff and swollen. What I now realize is that the Orbicularis Oris muscle ( the muscle that circles your mouth ) was becoming exercised and made stronger. When I used to practice harmonics I did not think of my tongue as being part of my embouchure. I thought I was practicing Lip Flexibilities as prescribed by many trumpet methods. After having spent more than fifteen years learning to control my playing with my tongue, I am reintroducing the harmonics in a new light. If you change your thinking about harmonics and move each note with the different areas of your tongue, you will find that your tongue will develop the muscles that it needs to keep it in the forward position.

Published in: on September 13, 2008 at 11:49 am  Comments (5)  

The benefits of a TCE Embouchure.

 
The benefits of a TCE embouchure are a focused tone, perfect intonation and extreme high range development.

During my trumpet playing career I had always noticed that I had a very strong embouchure. From the time I was 11 years old I could play for hours. I never gave it much thought until I started teaching. I remembered what my father had told me about putting my tongue in between my teeth and blow. When I started to study the tongue forward technique and the Super-chops technique I became aware of what I had been doing most of my trumpet playing life. With my tongue in this forward position I always had a great sound and a centered tone. Some of the best trumpet players in the world are playing with their tongues in between their teeth. The simplest way to identify the TCE in a great trumpeter is to listen closely to their sound. If you hear an immediate execution of sound in the articulation and not a doua sound as if the pitch goes flat, they are playing with their tongue in the forward position. With the tongue in this position you are able to control the air speed and the size of the aperture. If you train your tongue to stay forward and in between your teeth you can develop total control over your playing.

 
 

 

Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 10:34 am  Comments (9)  

Why a TCE blog?

The TCE is the most successful brass embouchure method in the world, and is endorsed by some of the world’s most famous brass players. I have mastered the TCE method. This is evident in my playing and demonstrated by the many successful students I have all over the world. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the technique of the TCE to as many people as possible and to help them understand what it sounds like to have a centered sound, perfect intonation and a high playing range.

To learn more about TCE Virtuoso Embouchure, visit my web studio at http://www.tce-studio.com

Published in: on August 24, 2008 at 6:13 am  Comments (1)