The Unnatural Trumpet: The Adoption of Vent Holes in the 1960s and ’70s
With the founding of the Cappella Coloniensis in 1954 by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in Cologne, historically informed performance style was adopted by the modern orchestral scene. (Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus had preceded this group by one year.) The orchestra’s instrumentation was copied from that of the Dresden court orchestra in the late 17th century. Not only were old string instruments found and rebuilt to 17th-century standards; it was also necessary to build models of Baroque and Classical woodwind and brass instruments. Another similar ensemble which I soon joined was the Collegium Aureum. It was founded in 1962, also in Cologne, by the record label Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. In both of these groups, the natural trumpet resisted adoption.