Bond: Trumpet Concerto (p/f)

Stock Code: TR046

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Baroque concerto by contemporary of Handel. Also available for Solo Trumpet & Strings. Capel Bond was born in Gloucester in 1730 where his father was a local bookseller. Little is known of his early life other than that he was apprenticed to the Gloucester Cathedral organist in 1742. By 1749, however, he had moved to the prosperous midland city of Coventry where he embarked upon a career typical of many English organists of the time. He was for 40 years organist at St Michael’s (later the Coventry Cathedral) as well as organist at Holy Trinity, Coventry; he promoted concerts locally and in Birmingham and Wolverhampton; and – we may assume from the extensive list of subscribers to his publications of music – enjoyed the patronage of well-placed musical dilettantes in the Warwickshire and Leicestershire areas. He died in 1790.

Bond’s Trumpet Concerto was published as the first in a set of Six Concertos of Seven Parts in 1766. Like so many written by 18th century English composers, Bond’s set takes as its basis the Corellian concerto grosso format of a concertino 2 solo violins and continuo, and a full string ripieno. Where he stands apart from his peers is in the quality of the writing and in its scoring: Bond’s music has a charm and elegance, which together with the variety gained by adding a solo trumpet in the opening concerto and a solo bassoon in the last, contributed to the popularity his music enjoyed throughout the 18th century and beyond.

The exact circumstances surrounding the composition of the Trumpet Concerto are unknown. It is, however, tempting to speculate. The similarities of the second movement’s subject to the fugue in the Overture of Handel’s Samson, and the motoric string writing later in the movement to the close of the Hallelujah chorus from Messiah, point to 1754, the time when Bond was promoting performances of Samson and Messiah. Furthermore, it is known that ‘Mr Adcock, the first trumpet of the Vauxhall Gardens, London’ was engaged to play in Bond’s concerts in that year. It would seem, then, that Capel Bond may well have composed a concerto for his star instrumentalist in 1754 and included it later in his collection of concertos. If this is correct, the quality of the music represents something of an achievement for a 24-year-old, provinically-trained musician.

The present edition was prepared from copies of Bond’s 1766 publication in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and the British Library. All articulation and dynamic markings are the composer’s. Minor errors (missing accidentals) in the original have been tacitly corrected, and a few peculiarities of notation (ties and beaming notes) have been adjusted to conform to modern practice. The keyboard reduction is by the editor.

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