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.
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.
” Among all the trumpeters I have worked with in New York, it’s this guy Civiletti who impressed me most”
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.
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…”
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.
Frist Trumpet Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Columbus
“… regarding the TCE, my sound is now stronger and more controlled…”
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… “
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.”
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.