A Trumpeter's Listening List

The View from My Window --Judson Scott, 1998, watercolor

The most basic performance challenge is to play one note perfectly, therefore, most warm-ups begin with long tones. The value in long tones is in the blowing; blowing against your best sound, undistracted by valves or motion of any kind. Learn to love the beautiful sound that you can make and always make a sound that you can love. Music is an art sculptured in sound and your tone color is the single most important element in your playing.

--Judson Scott

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I remember being a young trumpeter curious about the classical repertoire but not knowing where to begin. Here is a list of works in various styles with important trumpet parts. The list is in rough stylistic order, so if you find a composer you like you might also like the one next to him. My first recordings were The Planets by Holst, Sinfonietta by Janacek and a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies; what are yours?

Gabrieli                         Canzonas and Sonatas
Bach:                            B Minor Mass
                                    Christmas Oratorio
                                    Brandenburg  No.2
Telemann                      Trumpet Concerto
                                    Water Music
                                    Music for the Royal Fireworks

Haydn                          Trumpet Concerto
Hummel                       Trumpet Concerto
Beethoven:                   Symphonies 9, 7, 3

Brahms                        Symphony 2
Saint-Saens                  Symphony 3
Dvorak                        Symphonies 9, 8, 7
Wagner                        Prelude to Die Meistersinger
                                   Siegfried Funeral Music
Prelude to Tannhauser
Bruckner:                     Symphonies 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
Mahler:                        Symphonies 5, 3, 6, 1, 2, 9, 7,
Pictures at an Exhibition
Holst:                           Planets
Tchaikovsky                 Symphonies 4, 5, 6
Romeo and Juliet
Verdi                            Requiem
Pines of Rome
Rimsky-Korsakov         Scheherazade
                                    Capriccio Espagnol
Sibelius                         Symphonies 2, 5
 Alpine Symphony
                                    Death and Transfiguration
                                    Don Juan
                                    Ein Heldenleben
                                    Till Eulenspeigal
Puccini                         Tosca (warning, this is an opera)
Ravel                           Bolero
Debussy                       Nocturnes       
An American in Paris
                                  Rhapsodie in Blue
                                   Concerto in F

Bartok                         Concerto for Orchestra
Fanfare for the Common Man
                                   El Salon Mexico
Prokofiev                     Symphony 5
Romeo and Juliet
Shostakovich                Symphonies 5, 1, 8, 10
                                    Piano Concerto no. 1
Mathias der Maler
                                    Symphonic Metamorphosis
Janacek                        Sinfonietta
Lutoslawski                  Concerto for Orchestra
                                    Le Sacre du Printemps
                                    Octet for winds
LíHistoire du Soldat

A Few Recommended Recordings 

The recordings listed below provide excellent examples of great brass playing, there are, of course, numerous additional examples. (OK, Jessye Norman is a vocalist not a brass player, but she creates such a huge, breath supported tone, that she is a good role model for any wind instrumentalist.)

http://cdbaby.com/cd/jamesdarling --Sonatas for Trumpet, James Darling, trumpet, Genevieve Sidoti, piano.
[JD was my teacher, highly recommended]

Deutsche Gramaphon: D-115302--Copland, Appalachian Spring et al., Ray Mase, trumpet, Orpheus Chamber Orch.

EMI Classics: 5 67783 2--Richard Strauss and Paul Himdemith horn concerti, Dennis Brain, horn.

EMI Classics: 5 66950 2--Mozart, horn concerti, Dennis Brain, horn, Karajan, cond./Philharmonia Orch.

Naxos: 8.553531--The Art of Baroque Trumpet, Niklas Eklund, Baroque trumpet.

Phillips: 411052-2--R. Strauss, Vier Letzte Lieder, Jessye Norman, soprano

Summit Records: DCD 129--Tuba Tracks, Gene Pokorny, tuba, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Summit Records: DCD 141--OrchestraPro HORN - David Krehbiel, San Fransisco Symphony.

Summit Records: DCD 142--OrchestraPRO TUBA - Gene Pokorny, Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Summit Records: DCD 143--OrchestraPro TROMBONE - Ralph Sauer, Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Summit Records: DCD 144--OrchestraPRO TRUMPET - Phillip Smith, New York Philharmonic.

Summit Records: DCD 267--Portrait of an Artist, Arnold Jacobs, tuba.


Classical contemporary music only, a must for aspiring composers.