Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Andre Smith's 1994 article in the International Trumpet Guild Journal is a great read for anyone interested in brass quintet literature and performance. Smith credits Ewald for "designing" the modern brass quintet, i.e. creating the instrumentation of 2 sopranos, alto, tenor, and bass voices. Smith also draws attention to unpopularity of the slide trombone. He states that this was due to: 1) the common usage of rotary valve instruments; 2) the inability for some players to produce a legato articulation since "each note has to be articulated at the moment that the slide changes position." Other facts that were new to me include the fact that Ewald was a proficient musician on multiple instruments (cornet, trumpet, tuba, cello and pian ) and that he wrote 4 (i.e. FOUR) brass quintets - the first, which was reorganized for a string quartet due to difficulty.