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A Popular Concerto and a Suite with Two Versions

A Popular Concerto and a Suite with Two Versions

Haydn composed his Trumpet Concerto in E Flat in 1796 for his friend Anton Weidinger, who was also the developer of the keyed trumpet that could play chromatically. Unlike the natural trumpet, the keyed trumpet had four to six holes or keys similar to the flute; however, the keyed trumpet was ultimately not successful due to its poor sound quality. (Trumpets used today are called valved trumpets and were first introduced in the 1830s.) In fact, the piece is considered one of Haydn’s most popular concertos and is a favorite of trumpet players and classical music lovers everywhere.

Tage Larsen, the trumpet soloist performing Haydn’s trumpet concerto with the Evanston Symphony Orchestra, has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s brass section for more than 15 years. Before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Larsen played in the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and was the solo cornet player with The “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. Larsen teaches trumpet at the DePaul University School of Music and currently resides in Evanston.

Grieg originally composed his Holberg Suite for solo piano, but later adapted it for string orchestra. The five-movement piece is based on Norwegian themes and baroque dance forms including the Praeludium, Sarabande, Gavotte, Air, and Rigaudon. Grieg’s piano version of the piece was first performed in December 1884 and was an instant hit, which is why he likely chose to transcribe it for string orchestra. Both versions of Grieg’s Holberg Suite are still performed today, but you will hear the string orchestra version performed by the Evanston Symphony Orchestra.

Joseph Haydn

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