An attempt to describe the performance principles of Matthias Loibner, Riccardo Delfino (?) and Tobie Miller.


The above mentioned respected professionals are understood from e-mails, conversations and their performances to reason thus:

1) That the primary sources are of limited value because they were written principally for the guidance of amateurs and beginners: and that they therefore can neither be assumed to be truly describing the whole of the professional performance practice of the day nor honestly describing the potential of the instrument even as it was understood at that time.

2) That consequently one MUST assume that there is a great deal of technical information that is simply absent: at best being hinted at in descriptions of the playing of virtuosi like Danguy.

3) To reiterate: that the virtuosi of the day such as Ravet, Danguy, and Baton must have employed techniques NOT listed in the beginners methods.

4) That we therefore have no real information as to how the performances really sounded when top performers played.

5)  That if these ideas are correct then it is irrational to allow one's interpretation to be limited by the 18th c. methods in a self-imposed ignorance of available modern technical insights.

6) That the solution suggested by Loibner and Miller (and others?) therefore is ... (within the context of appropriate baroque style) ... to begin by learning the music AS music with as little interference from the unusual characteristics of the instrument as possible... and only then at some later time to begin to consider the instruments special characteristics, such as trompette... which should then be orchestrated / notated / planned as if it were an individual instrument: that because we don't actually know exactly what techniques were used in the 18th c. there is no persuasive reason not to use modern techniques: such as (most noticeably on the recording) long buzzes; long crescendo buzzes; and buzzes planned to enhance the rhythmic or melodic context as implied by the text.

The beautifully well recorded cd by Loibner and Delfino shows to the world what can be achieved by adopting this thinking. I believe that European residents have benefited from several workshops with Loibner and Miller. I myself no longer admire this approach but it is certainly musically rational and gains, in my opinion, further support from the tirade against the trompette written by Baton. Baton's memoire pretty much opens the door to any well argued musical rationale regarding the use of the trompette BUT in my opinion there is still a first and unavoidable duty to try and achieve a musical and tasteful solution that is based on the foundations of the art as described by Dupuit, Baton, Bouin and Corrette, and as can be interpolated from some scores: particularly those of Baton who notated some of his scores very carefully for the particular requirements of our instrument.