Trumpet solo for funeral?
July 29, 2011 5:01 PM   Subscribe

What would be a good piece for a classical trumpet player to play at his great-grandmother's funeral?
posted by teatime to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is there any particular tune that the guest of honor liked to sing or hum, while she was alive? That'll make a huge emotional impact, at a service
posted by thelonius at 5:06 PM on July 29, 2011

l'Amour or la Grace from the 12 heroic marches by Telemann.
They're both a little short, but they're like a 440m dash of emotion in music.
posted by plinth at 5:10 PM on July 29, 2011

Did she have a particular hymn that was meaningful to her? Or was she in the service during WWII?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:25 PM on July 29, 2011

The 'Pie Jesu' from Fauré's Requiem makes for a beautiful and moving trumpet solo (accompanied or not) appropriate for this sort of occasion. (I would provide a link to a performance, but a quick search -- which is all that I have time for -- unfortunately yields nothing to do it justice.)
posted by trip and a half at 5:38 PM on July 29, 2011 [4 favorites]

Just A Closer Walk With Thee is pretty traditional in certain parts of the US.
posted by elizardbits at 5:38 PM on July 29, 2011

My main advice is "something easier than you'd normally play" -- I recently played (classical trumpet) at the funerals of two people who were close to me, and even after years of experience I was surprised at how hard it is to play when you're getting choked up, and how the music itself can push you further into being choked up while you're playing. It's a wind instrument, it's not fair, but it seems to be the deal.

As for particular songs, if you have accompaniment I'd vote for lieder -- Brahms's Wie Melodien zieht es mir, for example, is gorgeous, not terribly taxing, works with piano or organ, and is playable on trumpet right off the piano/vocal score.
posted by range at 5:52 PM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am completely serious when I suggest that you should play "Taps". Played well, by someone who really understands the horn, it can be very moving. And traditionally it gets played at military funerals. Yours won't be one, but that doesn't mean you can't use it.

(In case you didn't know: play it with first and third keys down.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:54 PM on July 29, 2011

Came in to say Taps too. It's truly beautiful when played by someone who bothers to infuse it with feelings, and military traditions aside, prettymuch everyone in the US (this is a US funeral?) can relate to it and recognize the depth of goodbye it signifies.
posted by Ys at 7:11 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Depending on the secular/non-secular, sub-type religious background of the ceremony and the other hymns on the program, a heartfelt Amazing Grace or Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, like Taps, could be all the clarion call you need.
And yes, as range says, if you can imagine having any emotional response to the proceedings, keep it as technically simple as possible. There's no need to show off any musical or virtuosic acumen with this performance, the best song will be whatever you can do in a genuine and accomplished way... so probably something you already know. (The funeral can't be that far off!?)
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:44 PM on July 29, 2011

Depending on the ceremony: When the Saints Go Marching In. At the end. Especially if you play a more melancholy piece earlier in the service.
posted by pupstocks at 8:32 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Abide With Me?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:50 PM on July 29, 2011

Seconding Range on "something easier than you'd usually play." I played Taps at my grandfather's funeral a few years ago and barely made it through. Taps is a nice song, too, especially for people who know the lyrics.
posted by sibilatorix at 11:06 PM on July 29, 2011

How about the second movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto? It can be really beautiful in the right setting and I'd consider it quiet and reflective.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:31 AM on July 30, 2011

posted by psc1860 at 6:10 PM on July 30, 2011

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