Maurice André – Trompettissimo (1995)

FrontCover1Maurice André (born 21 May 1933 – 25 February 2012) was a French trumpeter, active in the classical music field.

He was professor of trumpet at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris where he introduced the teaching of the piccolo trumpet including the Baroque repertoire on trumpet. André has inspired many innovations on his instrument and he contributed to the popularization of the trumpet.

André was born in Alès in the Cévennes, into a mining family. His father was an amateur musician; André studied trumpet with a friend of his father, who suggested that André be sent to the conservatory. In order to gain free admission to the conservatory, he joined a military band. After only six months at the conservatory, he won his first prize.

At the conservatory, André’s professor, Raymond Sabarich, reprimanded him for not having worked hard enough and told him to return when he could excel in his playing. A few weeks later, he returned to play all fourteen etudes found in the back of Arban’s book to a very high standard. Sabarich later said that “it was then that Maurice Andre became Maurice Andre.” Maurice André won the Geneva International Music Competition in 1955, together with Theo Mertens, and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1963. He was made an honorary member of the Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Ithaca College in New York in 1970.

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André rose to international prominence in the 1960s and 1970s with a series of recordings of baroque works on piccolo trumpet for Erato and other labels. He also performed many transcriptions of works for oboe, flute, and even voice and string instruments. André had over 300 audio recordings to his name, from the mid-1950s to his death.

André had three children: Lionel (1959-1988) trumpeter and music teacher; Nicolas, who plays the trumpet; and Béatrice, who plays the oboe. All three performed with their father in concert. He also made several recordings with his brother Raymond (b. 1941).

One of André’s students, Guy Touvron, wrote a biography entitled Maurice André: Une trompette pour la renommée (Maurice André: A Trumpet for Fame), which was published in 2003.

André spent the last few years of his life in retirement in southern France. He died at the age of 78 in a hospital in Bayonne on 25 February 2012. He is buried in the cemetery of the village of Saint-André-Capcèze (in the Lozère). (by wikipedia)

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At the height of his career, the name of Maurice André was synonymous with the trumpet. Not only was he largely responsible for establishing the trumpet as a popular solo instrument, but he also dominated the scene in the 1960s and 70s with a punishing schedule of concerts (an average of 180 a year) and more than 300 recordings, many made on his trademark piccolo trumpet.

André’s eventual success was founded on a solid technique, superb breath control and seemingly inexhaustible stamina, attributed by him to his years in the coalmine: “I built myself up when working in the mine at 14 years old, when I was moving 17 tons of coal a day,” he once said.

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Certainly the technique was formidable. Playing a three-valve Selmer instrument (a fourth valve was added by the manufacturer in 1967 in collaboration with André to extend the register downwards), he effortlessly negotiated the stratospheric pitch range for which the Baroque repertoire was notorious. In the virtuoso faster movements, his tone sparkled brilliantly; in the slow movements it was creamy and seductive. As Karajan once opined: “He’s undoubtedly the best trumpet player, but he’s not from our world.” (theguardian.com)

So … it´s time to listen to Maurice Andrea again … and again … and again …. He was brilliant !

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Personnel:
Maurice Andre (trumpet)
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Wolfgang Karius (organ)
Guy Perdersen (bass)
Jean-Marc Pulfer (organ)
Gus Wallez (drums)
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Harmonia Nova (on 01.):
Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark (bass)
Niels Lan Doky (clavecin, harpsichord, cembalo)
Daniel Humair (drums)

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Tracklist:

Marc-Antoine Charpentier:
01. Te Deum – Introduction 4.44

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Suite/Ouverture N°3 BWV 1068:
02. Air 3.24
03. Gavotte 1.19

Kantate BWV 78:
04. Aria pour 2 Trompettes 2.23
05. Suite/Ouverture N°2 BWV 1067 – Badinerie 1.25
06. Kantate BWV 140 -Choral “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” 2.17
07. Suite/Ouverture N°2 BWV 1067 – Bourrées I & II 2.11

Antonio Vivaldi:
08. Le Quattro Stagioni – Largo 3.22

Johann Sebastian Bach:
09. Brandenburgisches Konzert – NR. 3 BWV 1048 – Allegro 2.15

Benedetto Marcello:
10. Adieu Venise 4.14

Arcangello Corelli:
11. Allemande 2.30

Jean-Michel Defaye:
12. Fugatissimo 2.21

Georg Friedrich Händel:
13. Allegro 2.40

Domenico Cimarosa:
14. Melodie 2.58

Georg Friedrich Händel:
15. Water Music – Aria 2.41

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Maurice André (21 May 1933 – 25 February 2012)