Neruda Trumpet Concerto as an Alternative to the Haydn

I don’t like for my students to play the Haydn trumpet concerto in high school unless they plan on auditioning as music majors at a university. The Haydn is unnecessarily difficult on the B flat trumpet and I believe this difficulty detracts from what is more important, the style and phrasing of learning and performing classical concerti.

As an alternative, I prefer that my students learn the Neruda concerto instead. The Neruda has many of the same stylistic attributes as the Haydn trumpet concerto, but it is more idiomatic to the B flat trumpet. To me, the Neruda feels like it could have been written for B flat.

I know this may sound hypocritical because I played the Haydn concerto in high school. It’s true, I did play it in high school on the B flat trumpet, but then I played it twice in college on the E flat trumpet. On the E flat trumpet, the Haydn is a simple, unforced, piece of beauty. When I first played it on the smaller trumpet, I was amazed at how easy it was and how much more accessible the style and phrasing became as a result.

On the B flat trumpet, the Haydn trumpet concerto is nothing more than a display of technique and physical control. To me, in my unimportant opinion, it is a pointless exercise.

The Neruda on the other hand gives us an opportunity to access the style and phrasing without all the technical challenges.

College Auditions – The Exception

Many colleges require the Haydn trumpet concerto as part of their audition repertoire and specify that it must be performed on the B flat trumpet. Oh well! For those who wish to take that path in life, I recommend learning the Neruda concerto first, before you learn the Haydn. That way you may be able to retain the style that you learned on the Neruda and transfer to the Haydn.

About Eddie Lewis

Eddie Lewis is primarily known as a Christian free-lance trumpet player in Houston, TX. Eddie makes a living playing trumpet, teaching trumpet and jazz improvisation, writing trumpet music and authoring trumpet books. His second book, Daily Routines for Trumpet, is used regularly by thousands of trumpet players around the world. If you would like to purchase some of his CD's, feel free to visit our online music store at
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