Reviews

Hi Scott,
Thank you for your review. I’m really very pleased to know that I have been able to help you with your playing. This new book is really talking off. To answer your questions the method is progressive however I do state that the student should work the drills that fit their needs. The section on the five articulations is very important. Using all five articulations in an exercise is very progressive. When working on the five, train your minds eye on the shape of your tongue. You will see that your tongue’s shape changes with each articulation as you go through all ranges of the horn. This changing of the shape of the tongue makes the tongue stronger. A strong tongue makes for more control. I hope this is helpful. All the best, Bahb!
Bob,
After a long layoff from using TCE, I’ve been using your new TCE Power Training book as part of my daily routine for two weeks, now. My focus has been on the Introductory Einsetzen/Ansetzen exercises and the first three Power Drills. I have strictly followed your instructions while practicing all exercises and drills. I love how the Einsetzen/Ansetzen exercises so naturally set up the TCE. So far, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in the focus, clarity and pitch of my sound, particularly in articulated passages. Thankfully, I have already received some compliments on the “fullness” and “compact” nature of my sound. In addition, my endurance has also improved significantly due to the application of the forward tongue and the corresponding reduction of mouthpiece pressure. I can play through one or, sometimes, two page exercises or songs without removing the mouthpiece from my embouchure. My top notes seem easier to play, as well. Finally, the historical section is a very interesting read and is a great introduction to the whole method.
I have the following questions for you. Is the book intended to be progressive, or do you recommend that students work through each of the sections in parallel? So far, I have only focused on the spit buzz articulation. When do you have students incorporate all five articulations?
I’ve copied my trumpet friend/colleague Harvey Samuels on this review. I know that he has recently received this book, as well, and I look forward to future discussions with you both on this topic!
Many thanks,
Scott Diamond

 

 

Dear Bahb:

I wanted to send you a brief note about your excellent new book, “TCE Power Training”. This really explains a lot of the concepts that I originally saw in the “Trumpet Secrets” book authored by yourself and Mr. Callett. I first noted a new articulation (Bri-Gato) which presents a very nice tool for bridging the gap between playing legato notes and slurring, especially in some of the type of music I am looking into such as Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, et al. I wondered what kind of tonguing they were doing and it seems like this new articulation would explain it.

I also appreciated reviewing the detailed notes and explanations concerning the use of the Einsetzen/Antzen. These really are useful exercises and with the help of this book (as well as some guidance from you — see below) are becoming easier to understand and execute.

The highlight of the book for me, at least at the beginning, is the power drills. These are especially helpful in developing the tongue as well as the muscles surrounding the lips. The directions are very clear and explicit and emphasize what I consider to be the important element of resting after each drill. The power arpeggios are similarly helpful and nearly self-explanatory.

I have not yet had a chance to work on the power harmonics but they look to be as useful as the drills and arpeggios. I think everyone would appreciate that these drills combine the various five articulations one measure after the other, which makes them more applicable to playing actual music.

I would strongly suggest anyone interested in learning TCE as well as trying to interpret all of the great exercises in the book, to consult with a qualified teacher such as yourself. Last week you provided some very helpful information that, while contained in the wording of the book, becomes much more understandable when you demonstrate how to do them.

I also thought it was very informative to review the history of the pointed tongue technique which, while obliquely referred to by Mr. Callett in an earlier publication (possibly Trumpet Yoga), became much more clear and understandable after reading the forward to your book.

Thanks for adding this excellent publication to the existing body of the TCE method. I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in this method that this would be the definitive book not only to start with, but to use exclusively from the standpoint of exercises

Dale Bode, JD

Here is the review.
“Finally a book that deeply explains (with citations) the historical narrative and modern-day relevance of the tongue controlled embouchure! All of that coupled with exercises that provide a true brass-player’s workout whilst teaching you to play correctly and develop awareness of your chops – this book is a game-changer in understanding how to become a proper virtuoso musician. There is no nonsense in this approach to playing; no time wasted on gimmicks or bravado strength building; just sensible development of the key aspects of embouchure control and real power.I have had this book for two weeks and the exercises have already added another level to my development. All aspects of the TCE are combined into efficient tools that train your embouchure and easily show any weaknesses.I wish to congratulate both Robert (Bahb) and Niranjan (Nini) on this compilation of knowledge. Hopefully the brass community will embrace your wisdom and bring about another golden age of brass music!”Speak soon,Rich Colquhoun U.K.
Dear Robert,
I have just listened to your fantastic CD with the baroque trumpet : umbelievable! so high and so perfect !! Thank you very much and BRAVO
I have asked Buffet Group to give you my CD : did they gave it to you ?
I hope to see you again soon and to listen to you !
Warmest regards
Guy Touvron

 

Reviewer Marc Reed, director of instrumental activities, Waldorf College, Forest City Iowa;
The International trumpet Guild June 2009 Vol.33, No.4.

“The Art of the High Baroque”. World Premiere Recording on Baroque Trumpet. Featuring the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Georg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn. Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti, baroque trumpet. The Belgian Baroque Soloists, Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H.Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier, Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema.
Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.
www.tce-studio.com baroquebahb@aol.com

This recording represents Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti’s first full solo trumpet album. Civiletti is currently principal trumpet with the Dallas Bach Society and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. The Art of the high Baroque is a collection of six concerti penned in the late eighteenth century at a time when music for solo trumpet was at its zenith. The Belgium Baroque Soloist accompany Civiletti on period instruments.

Edward H. Tarr (Producer) writes in the liner notes “…the works on this recording represent the summit of trumpet playing art. Until this recording no one has attempted to play these on the instrument for which they had been conceived: the valveless Baroque trumpet.” It is easy to understand why these pieces have been long considered inaccessible because of the stratospheric range demanded of the trumpeter. Civiletti demonstrates both command of the treacherous natural trumpet and almost super human strength as he navigates the extreme high passages presented in these works. Aside from this, Civiletti’s ornamentations, an area which many struggle with on the valveless trumpet, is well refined in technique, style and artistry. A fine example comes in the first movement of G.von Ruetter II’s Concerto No. 2 in D major where Civiletti maneuvers through trills and mordents with a mastery rarely heard on the Baroque trumpet. This album is a solid purchase for any collector of Baroque trumpet recording, not only for the repertoire performed, but for the exposure of Robert Civiletti’s strong playing.

Reviewer Huw Morgan; The Brass Herald October 2008 issue #25.

“The Art of the High Baroque”, Robert J. “Bahb” CivilettiFor fans of the Baroque trumpet, this latest release from the American virtuoso Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is certainly a must-have. Featuring six world premiere recordings on the notoriously difficult “Natural” trumpet of the works of Joseph Riepel, Franz Querfurth, Goerg von Reutter II, Franz Xavier Richter and J. Michael Haydn. Civiletti navigates the extreme upper register passages of these concerti with exquisite technical prowess and musicianship. As record producer Edward H. Tarr explains in his informative liner notes, the extension of the trumpets high register employed by the composers of the Rococo or Mannheim period require not only fantastic endurance and embouchure strength, but also an incredible accuracy to pitch the upper note, where the partials lie treacherously close together.

Throughout the disc Civiletti almost makes a mockery of these difficulties, delivering impeccable performances, particularly in the Adagio movements of the Riepel and Haydn which require a warm, glowing tone at both ends of the instruments range. The florid and arpeggiated features in the final movements of the Richter and Reutter concerti are dispatched with equal aplomb, as are particularly impressive “lip trills“- as someone who finds this particular skill reasonably difficult to execute, I could only listen in awe and amazement!

In comparison with the piccolo trumpet and chamber orchestra recording of these works already on the market, the period-instrument Belgian Baroque Soloist provide a more intimate ( and certainly more authentic ) feel to the ensemble……..

A mention must go to the conductor Niranjan Wijewickrema for his discerning and tasteful handling of the accompaniment and the ensemble as a whole for tempering their ornamentation in these works.

…….it is abundantly clear in this recording that Civiletti is truly a trumpet phenomenon, a modern day master of the Baroque trumpet stratosphere whose unique musical and technical abilities afford him a special place in the roster of great trumpet artist. A truly inimitable recording from a very talented gentleman: buy it!

The Belgian Baroque Soloists; Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H. Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier, Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranjan Wijewickrema. Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

Reviewer Jeffrey Nussbaum; President, Historic Brass Society, July 2008.

“The Art of the High Baroque”. World Premiere Recording on Baroque Trumpet.
Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti, baroque trumpet. The Belgian Baroque Soloists, Niranjan Wijewickrema, Conductor; Marie Haag, Catherine Meeus, baroque violins; Rainer Ardt, baroque viola; Eve Francois, baroque cello; Benoit Vanden Bemden, baroque bass viol; Sopie van Heerle, harpsichord; Stefanie Troffaes, Wim Vandenbossche, transverse flutes; Mark De Merlier, Frank Clarysse, natural horns; Alain De Rijckere, baroque bassoon. Producer and program annotator; Edward H. Tarr, Recording engineer; Paul Pasquier, Editing; Paul Pasquier, Niranja Wijewickrema.
Buccina Cantorum Recordia BCR 3313114. Recorded 10-13 April 2007.

This latest CD by Robert J. “Bahb” Civiletti is nothing short of remarkable. All six compositions on this recording are listed as “world premiere recordings on Baroque trumpet” and an examination of Lowry’s International Trumpet Discography bears out this claim. The works in question are Trumpet Concerto in D by Joseph Riepel (1709-1782), Trumpet Concerto in Eb by Franz Querfurth (fl. Mid-18th century), Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in C, Trumpet Concerto No. 2 in D by Georg von Reutter II (1708-1772), Trumpet Concerto in D by Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789), and the Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in D by J. Michael Haydn (1737-1806). In some sense these works are like the famous Haydn Trumpet Concerto but on steroids. All are unbelievably virtuosic and demanding. Ed Tarr, in his thoughtful CD program notes states that the Michael Haydn D-major trumpet concerto has the distinction of presenting the “world record” height of sounding A above high C, in bar 41 of the first movement. The Richter concerto ascends to high concert G.

That this is the first time anyone has recorded these demanding pieces on baroque trumpet is no surprise and certainly puts Bob Civiletti in a very special category. Civiletti started his trumpet career as a lead jazz and commercial player and went on to help develop the “Tongue-Controlled Embouchure (TCE)” technique with the well-known “chop doc” Jerome Callet. His fantastic ability to control the very extreme high tessitura on the trumpet serves him well with this repertoire. However, these pieces are not played like a lead jazz trumpeter. Civiletti plays this repertoire with a great deal of style and sensitivity and the Belgian Baroque Soloists matched him in this regard.

The cadenza in the second movement of the Joseph Riepel D major concerto is one of the very few written out by the composer of a trumpet work of this period. It is short and has little thematic material from the composition. It is more of a brilliant flourish than a melodically developed cadenza as found in other repertoire. Civiletti uses this as a model for cadenzas in the other works. The cadenza played in the first movement of the Richter D major concerto echoes the extreme passage to the high G above C ending with an arpeggio down to the third harmonic, G below the staff.

This is somewhat of a landmark recording, the absolutely most demanding Baroque trumpet repertoire well played on a baroque trumpet. Bob Civiletti certainly sets the bar several notches higher for future players. Given the outstanding aspects of the performance one is almost hesitant to remark on any shortcomings. No landmark efforts are flawless. Certain extreme passages with difficult leaps are occasionally attacked in a less than perfect way and tone quality is sometimes affected. However, 100% technical perfection is not to be expected on a maiden voyage. Bob Civiletti performs with remarkable skill and musicianship and has shown the brass world that this repertoire is approachable on Baroque trumpet. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Having given us a view of the possibilities, maybe in the next generation trumpeters will perform these works on a natural trumpet with no vent holes and come even closer to a perfect performance. Until then, this recording is the closest we will come to knowing the sounds of the likes of the great Austrian trumpet virtuosos of that era such as Johann Heinisch (fl. 1725-51) and J. B. Resenberger (c. 1700-1781).

An endorsement of the new TCE Training Manual:

Robert J. (BAHB) Civiletti has come up with a new volume explaining in detail how to apply the techniques of the tongue-controlled embouchure (TCE) to the Modern and Baroque trumpets. I am sure this will be extremely useful to those attending his master classes and I wish the new publication every possible success.
Edward H. Tarr, Univerity of Music Karlsruhe

Robert J. (BAHB) Civiletti hat ein neues Werk produziert, “Das Übheft für die TCE-Seminare”, worin er sorgfältig erklärt, wie die Techniken des zungengesteuerten Ansatzes (TCE) auf die Moderner und /Barocktrompete anzuwenden sind. Ich bin sicher, dass diejenigen, die seine Meisterklassen besuchen, das Heft mit Gewinn benutzen können und wünsche der neuen Publikation den verdienten Erfolg.
Edward H. Tarr, Musikhochschule Karlsruhe

Historic Brass Society’s CD Review of BAHB und Freunde “Baroque Masterpieces Natural Trumpets Organ and More”

“Robert (BAHB) Civiletti is fast becoming one of the more active American Baroque Trumpeters performing today…much of his performance activity has been in Europe.

The winner of the National Trumpet Competition, Civiletti possesses an impressive technique and has a fine and lyrical sense. On this recording he shares the glory with Friedemann Immer and one could not ask for a more supportive musical partner. Of all the tracks on this CD, two of the most noteworthy are the works of Antonio Caldara billed as world premier recordings…Edward H. Tarr who wrote the liner notes comments that these works represent the very highest levels of the Trumpeter’s art that was the standard in the Imperial Court of Vienna, with demanding lines ascending up to g’s above high c! Civiletti and Immer are joined with Claudia Immer and the three gives a brilliant and dazzling reading to these works. Newsletter: HBSNL #17″

Historic Brass Society’s CD Review of Buccina Cantorum’s ” Music of the Italian Baroque ”

“…As an American performer who concertizes regularly in Europe, this recording should convince many of us that not all the talent lies across the pond. … we are given the opportunity to hear Civiletti play solamente, and by his doing so we are reminded of what the trumpet was meant to do, i.e. inspire awe and thrill the audience. The listener is grabbed by the lapels and told, ” Listen to this; here is what a trumpet sounds like.” …he performs with a combination of beauty, strength, and vigor in playing these showpieces, and the results are simply dazzling”.

Review: HBSNL #15 Frank Hostica.

ITG CD Review ” Music of the Italian Baroque”.

” Civiletti’s playing is masterful and expressive throughout, especially on the Viviani. His stunning virtuosity and warm tone are a joy to hear…Civiletti navigates the treacherous high passages with ease and displays a formidable command of the valveless Baroque Trumpet… Civiletti’s brilliant playing is the true highlight of the disc.

Elisa Koehler: International Trumpet Guild Recording Review Editor June 2004.

Tito Puente:

” Among all the trumpeters I have worked with in New York, it’s this guy Civiletti who impressed me most”

Peter Massures:
Prinvipal Trumpet Koninklijk Concetgebouw van Amsterdam.

” Congratulations, never to my knowledge have the Secrets of the Trumpet been explained like this”…from BAHB’S clinic at the Music Concervatory in Amsterdam.

Antoine Acquisto:
Principal trumpet l’Orchestre de l’Opera Royal de Wallonie and Trumpet instructor at the l’Insitut Superieur Musical et Pedagogique a Namur, Belgium.

“…BAHB’S workshop at the Institut was quite amazing and very beneficial to all the participants…”

Friedemann Immer:
International soloist, recording star and teacher, Hochschule fur Music Koln Germany and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

“One must listen to BAHBS’ playing with this TCE technique, even after hours of practice his high register remains brilliant, strong and secure…”from TCE clinic in Michaelstein Cloister Blankenburg Germany.

Steven Foster:
Frist Trumpet Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Columbus

“… regarding the TCE, my sound is now stronger and more controlled…”

Mike Ponella:
Lead Trumpet Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band

“… the TCE helped me to improve alot of playing features, one being my playing in the double high “C” area on a constant basis… “

Ansgar Brinkmann:
Solo-Trumpet with the “Niederrheinische Sinfoniker”, Moenchengladbach, Germany

“My sound became more centered and powerful, my endurance and my high range increased enormous! Therefore I only can highly recommend this outstanding method to all who want to have a fundamental improvement in their playing.”

Edward Green:
Professor of music, Manhattan School of Music, NYC

To attend a concert of Buccina Cantorum is–as they say–to get “double your money’s worth” for not only was the sheer music-making top notch, they also explain the music in a way that adds to the depth and excitement of the experience. Mr. Civiletti, in particular, proved that an artist can be an educator, and an educator an artist–for his demonstrations of the particularities of the trumpet of that time– (trumpets, actually, as he showed)–left everyone in the audience feeling they had new insight into the Baroque.

And let it not be missed: this trio plays only on authentic instruments, and with authentic Baroque temperament and tuning.