New From Edition Walhall

Three new publications of note have arrived from Edition Walhall. Of greatest interest, perhaps, is the

Overture in D TWV55: D17 for two trumpets and organ. This edition by Johan Plietzsch, from an original in the Hessische Hochschul und Landesbibliothek in Darmstadt, is in the style of a French overture-suite. This magnificent overture is followed by dance movements entitled Les janissaries, two minuets, an Espagniole, Carillon, A la Trompette, and Bouree. The trumpet parts are challenging, reaching the high D several times. Very interesting organ writing compliments the trumpet parts and gives them rests in strategic places. Each movement could stand alone in performance, but one feels that the greatest statement would be a performance of it in its entirety.

The second publication is the wonderful Cantata BWV 51 of Johann Sebastian Bach. Edition Walhall has chosen to offer this as an arrangement for soprano, trumpet, and organ, with the string parts incorporated into the organ part. The editor, Reinhard Ardelt, makes it clear in his notes that while there exist several similar arrangements, this one is a literal transcription of the string parts, deviating only when doing so would create severe technical problems for the organist. The reviewer is ambivalent about the merits of this offering. It is understood that difficulties often exist in finding suitable string players and coordinating schedules. The questions left to the Historic Brass Society members are whether this approach is justified given our generally accepted goal of offering performances that most closely resemble what the composer would have heard and how far from that we should allow ourselves to stray.

The final work to be discussed is In terras descendam from the Sacri Concentus of Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646-1712). The work is for soprano, flute or violin, trombone, viola da gamba , and continuo. After an Adagio stilo recitative, the work alternates between lively and slower metered movements, most of which utilize the trombone, and do so in a technically challenging way. An inner adagio offers the trombone room for ornamentation as it responds to the vocal part.

All of these publications are printed quite clearly with good layout. There are separate trumpet parts for the Telemann, curiously offered for trumpet in C and in B flat. One would have liked to see a set for D trumpet.

Details for the publisher are as follows:
Edition Walhall
Verlag Franz Biersack
Richard-Wagner Str. 3
D-39106 Magdeburg
Tel. 0391-857820
Fax 0391-8520079
Email: info-edition-walhall@freenet.de

--- James Miller