O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

The Arban Collection

Front CD cover
Back CD cover

Russel Gray perform the Arban Cornet Solos on the cornet owned by J.B. Arban c. 1866

The Scottish cornet virtuoso Russell Gray recorded these solos in the Winter/Spring of 2002-03. The manufacturer, Courtois, still had the instrument, in excellent condition, and were happy to lend it for this CD.

Accompanied by the Fodens Richardson Band, conducted by Roy Newsome and Frank Renton.

Track listing:

1. Le "Cornet" Polka (Arr. Simon Kerwin),
2. Variations sur Norma (Arr. Simon Kerwin),
3. Sur L'Opera Il Crociato de Meyerbeer (Arr. Roy Newsome),
4. Cavatine de Beatrice di Tenda (Arr. Simon Kerwin),
5. Caprice et Variations (Arr. Thomas Wyss),
6. Variations sur la Tyrolienne (Arr. Graham Walker),
7. Fantaisie sur Acteon (Arr. John Wallace),
8. Fantaisie et Variations (Sur un Theme Allemand) (Arr. Roy Newsome),
9. Fantaisie Brillante (Arr. Fred Muscroft)

Total playing time: 65:51

Russel Gray playing Arban's cornet
Russel Gray playing on Arban's cornet.

Pam Brown who participated in the Arban Collection project told me this:

The Arban cornet looks in mint condition although Russell said the valves leaked a bit. It had no triggers or slide rings so intonation was left to the lip. It also had a lovely dual water key release which sounds a great idea. The big difference between Arban and Grays sound would be the mouthpiece. Gray used a modern Lewington MacAnn while the Arban mouthpiece (or at least a mouthpiece contemporary with the instrument) had an incredibly flat and wide rim. Russel did demonstrate the cornet using the older mouthpiece and the sound was quite haunting.
Orchestrating the Arban solos for Brass Band is an interesting point... I think the plan is to publish the arrangements so the solos can be more accessible to the public domain ..which might not be so authentic but must be a good thing. (Maurice Andre is accompanied by the Orchestra D'Harmonie Des Gardies Del Paix in an Erato recording of the Carnaval De Venise, Fantaisie Brilliant and Arban's variations on La Traviata).
I gather Gray is half way through this project and plans to record the other half of the Arban solos in the future.

I order it online here!