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Pair of Natural Trumpets by Michael Saurle, Munich, 1806
Top: NMM 7131. Bottom: NMM 7132.
Five-piece brass body, interrupted in the middle by internal crooks. Overlapping tab seam. Saxon rim with iron wire insert. Brass ferrules with engraved lines in three groups.
Each trumpet comes with six crooks for F (U-shaped), E (U-shaped), E-flat (U-shaped plus small coil), D (U-shaped plus large coil), C (U-shaped plus one large and one small coil), and B-flat (U-shaped plus two large coils).
Engraved on garland in script: Michael Saurle in München 1806
Stamped on receiver ferrule: 1. (NMM 7131) and 2. (NMM 7132).
Internal crooks stamped 1 F, 1 E, 1 DIS, 1 D, 1 C, and 1 B
Accessories: NMM 7131 comes with a shallow brass mouthpiece; NMM 7132 has a brass mouthpiece with deeper cup and larger throat.
Sounding length: 1740 mm (F), 1835 mm (E), 2000 mm (E-flat), 2145 mm (D), 2380 mm (C), and 2715 mm (BB-flat); internal diameter receiver (minimum): 11 mm; bell diameter: 106 mm.
These two natural trumpets with internal crooks, called "Inventions-Trompeten" by Saurle, were designed to serve as a matching pair, as can be conjectured from the stamps on the receiver ferrules. Although both sets of crooks are stamped with "1" (instead of "1" and "2"), there can be no doubt that they were built in the Saurle workshop for this pair of trumpets. This conclusion can be drawn by comparing them with other Saurle instruments. To distinguish both sets of crooks, one set has additional engraved crosses that do not appear on the other set. Both mouthpieces are contemporary and reflect the custom of using the first trumpet, with its shallow mouthpiece, for higher parts and the second trumpet, with its deep-cup, large-throat mouthpiece, for lower parts.
It is exceptional to have a matching pair of natural trumpets with all their original crooks preserved (except for one replacement, the D crook of NMM 7131).
Michael Saurle Sr. (1772-1845) was the leading brass instrument maker in the Bavarian capital of Munich at the beginning of the 19th century. Although these two natural trumpets might not be the earliest surviving instruments from his workshop, they are the earliest dated ones. Saurle was a very innovative instrument builder, also making keyed trumpets and, by 1826, trumpets with valves.
Lit.: "Beethoven & Berlioz . . . Major Exhibition to Open in Sioux Falls on September 12," National Music Museum Newsletter 30, No. 3 (August 2003), p. 1.
André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 53.
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