Kristian Steenstrup: Pièces de Concours

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The relative paucity of solo repertoire for trumpet and cornet composed by significant composers compared to piano, strings, and woodwind instruments is well known. While the natural trumpet experienced a position as a soloist instrument in the Baroque era, only Joseph Haydn and Johann Nepomuk Hummel composed concertos for the trumpet in the Classical era, and no significant Romantic composers wrote sonatas or concertos for these instruments, a trend that somewhat persisted into the 20th century.

While some performers have explored the possibilities of adapting transcriptions from other instruments’ repertoire with the technical limitations this exhibits, the tradition in the context of the concours of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris has produced a rich source of repertoire for the trumpet and cornet. The concours are end-of-year exams where musical and technical skills are tested through a solo performance of a selected work. In the beginning, the works were composed by either the professor of trumpet or cornet and later by composers commissioned by the Conservatoire.

Some of these works, for example compositions by Georges Enesco and André Jolivet, achieved recognition and became part of the established repertoire, but a great deal of them remained unfamiliar to performers and teachers. Thanks to the extensive work of Brandon P. Jones in fulfilling the requirements for his Ph.D. thesis, “The Contest Works for Trumpet and Cornet of the Paris Conservatoire, 1835–2000”, these works have been made available for teachers and students worldwide.

Since the trumpet and cornet classes at the Paris Conservatoire were founded in 1835 and until 2000, when the tradition of composing pieces for the exams ended, the Conservatoire has provided 171 works for trumpet and cornet, of which only 63 (up to 2018) have been recorded. This volume of recordings aims to revitalize and expand awareness of the repertoire for the trumpet and cornet accompanied by piano.


André Wormser: Fantaisie Thême et Variations
Émile Jonas: Concertino
Charles Hubans: Premier Concertino
Émile Jonas: Premiére Fantaisie
Henri Büsser: Variations en Ré Bémol
Émile Jonas: Deuxième Fantaisie
Marc Delmas: Choral et Variations
Marius Perrier: Prélude et Allegro
Armand Bournonville: Pendant la Fête (Introduction et Allegro)
Jean-Joseph Édouard Barat: Lento et Scherzo
Paul Bédouin: Fantaisie

Kristian Steenstrup, trumpet
Maria Eshpai, piano