Social media isn’t that bad. If it wasn’t for Facebook I wouldn’t have found out that two amazing musicians had died. Yesterday legendary trumpeter Adolph “Bud” Herseth died peacefully at age 91. Bud played principal trumpet for the Chicago Symphony for a mind boggling 53 years, under conductors such as Fritz Reiner, George Solti, and Daniel Barenboim. He was, without a doubt, one of the greatest orchestral trumpet players who ever lived, and there is much recorded proof of this statement. He was also a real person; at the end of this video, he is given a flower, and he puts it in the bell of his trumpet.
This is a little clip from the same video. This is my favorite version of Mahler’s 5th, and one reason for that is the great brass section, headed by Herseth.
Just a few minutes ago I saw on Facebook that the conductor Sir Colin Davis had passed away at age 85 after a short illness. He was best known for his championing of the music of Berlioz (which is a bit odd because Berlioz was French, and Davis was British. Well, I guess great music can span the English Channel), and 20th century British composers. Anyone who knows what they’re talking about will say he is one of the greatest Berlioz interpreters ever, and he made many recordings to back up that statement.
This is a performance of Berlioz’s Requiem, conducted by Davis, and it kicks ass. Need I say more?
It’s been a sad few days for orchestral music. Heaven’s orchestra has just gotten a fresh conductor and a new principal trumpeter. Rest in peace.