This paper examines Anton Weidinger, the 18th- and early 19th-century keyed trumpet player for whom Joseph Haydn and Johann Nepomuk Hummel composed their trumpet concerti. As the most successful of many attempts to chromaticize the trumpet in the late 18th century, during which the Baroque clarino style of trumpet-playing was waning, Weidinger’s keyed trumpet enjoyed a short-lived period of prominence from about 1800 to 1804, the period during which Weidinger premiered these two concerti. Subsequently, the keyed trumpet declined in popularity, and eventually it was replaced by the valve trumpet. Both concerti emphasize the chromatic capabilities of the new instrument. A detailed examination of some passages from the third movements of the two concerti suggests a deliberate attempt on the part of Hummel (perhaps under Weidinger’s influence) to “quote” and outdo the most virtuosic passages in the Haydn concerto and to cast the new instrument as capable of playing in a “singing” operatic style. Musical quotation from Luigi Cherubini’s opera Les Deux Journées further cements the implicit connection Hummel draws between the keyed trumpet and opera (and, by extension, the human voice). The paper concludes that Weidinger and Hummel sought, in Hummel’s concerto, to announce to the musical world that the trumpet was ready to move beyond its Classical status as a tutti instrument. Though the success of Weidinger and his keyed trumpet was transient, the two concerti composed for him today stand as cornerstones of the solo trumpet literature.


Anton Weidinger, Joseph Haydn, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Keyed Trumpet, Trumpet Concerto

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