Christoph Förster (1693–1745)
Concerto in D
for 3 Trumpets, Timpani, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins, Viola,
Full Score & Instrumental Parts
Also available as part of our Baroque Trumpet Bundle here.
Although it is difficult to date Förster’s concerto precisely, or to ascertain when it was performed, its elaborate scoring for three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, strings, and continuo suggests that the work may have been intended for a festive occasion. The two exuberant outer movements showcase the different instrumental families, with the trumpet section being prominently featured (historically, music for trumpet choir was often an acoustic symbol of power). The trumpets enjoy extended soli sections, which are sometimes alone, accompanied by continuo, or accompanied by continuo with other instruments. It is notable that the timpani generally do not act as part of the trumpet section in these instances, but rather as another orchestral bass voice; the timpanist does participate in some of these extended soli sections, but only when other instruments are also accompanying the trumpet choir.
In contrast to the boisterous first and third movements, which employ the full ensemble, the introspective middle movement uses a reduced scoring consisting of a solo trumpet accompanied by violin and continuo. Förster’s first trumpet player must have had a great deal of stamina. After playing the first movement, this adagio would be an endurance test for the soloist; save three eighth rests, there are no breaks for the trumpeter during the entire sixteen-measure movement. One consolation for the player is that the part’s range in this movement, which spans from written G4 to A5 and lies primarily between C5 and G5, does not sit particularly high.