great pioneer of the baroque trumpet in the 20thcentury.
playing on his coiled "Reiche trumpet".
the trumpet in the symphony orchestras of Herford (l945), Bielefeld
(1945-50), Frankfurt (1950-51), and Hanover (1951-56). In 1956 he
joined the Cologne RO, and in 1968 was appointed as trumpet teacher at
the Staatliche Folkwang Hochschule, Essen.
Holy was the
first trumpeter in the 20th century to play successfully
on valveless Baroque trumpets. From 1960, as principal trumpet of the
Cappella Coloniensis, he made recordings and demonstrated Baroque
instruments in travels throughout the world.
On January 7,
1996 he was awarded the Johann Ernst Altenburg Award by ITG
in recognition of his successful pioneering efforts with the Baroque
the Hausmann painting of Gottfried Reiche a
trumpet in F (today this equals a tuning of E) was built. To help with
intonation problems, an instrument maker, Otto Steinkopf, who had
reconstructing woodwind instrument for Moeck, Celle, suggested
in tone holes. In addition to correcting intonation it also was
aiding the accuracy. 3 tone holes were made. On the photo of Holy
(see above), he is coverering the holes with 3 fingers of his right
was a student and trumpet colleague of Holy, Helmut
made the trumpet in 1959. With this trumpet, Holy recorded the Second
Concerto with Harnoncourt in 1964 (see picture below).
Recording of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
1964, Palais Schönburg, recording of
Concerto No. 2,
Holy 4th from left.
The tempo in the
recording from 1964 is very slow when compared to more
recent recordings (listen to the sound clips - see below). Part of this
was due to technical problems the woodwinds had. Holy plays very
softly and in a more chamber-music spirit than for instance Adolf Scherbaum
did at the same time (with a valve piccolo trumpet). Scherbaum's
sounds more like a trumpet concerto.
Said about Walter Holy:
(in an interview):
were some of the pioneers in
reviving the Baroque
the 20th century?
Holy was probably the first serious pioneer. His recordings of Bach
cantatas with Concentus Musicus are available.
(when Holy got the Johann Ernst
first heard him
performing the J.S. Bach Magnificat
in 1963. He was playing the coiled Finke trumpet and I was so impressed
with the beauty of his playing that I bought the same instruments and
took lessons from the man himself. He inspired me with the beauty of
playing and his enthusiasm for the instrument and the music.
Thanks to Verena
Barth for information and photo of the recording
session. She met Walter Holy in April
2004 in his home.
Thanks to Jerome
for the first copy of the photo of Holy with his coiled trumpet.
Professor Wolfgang Meyer and Ingus Schmidt for a better image
of the photo.
Thanks to Edward H. Tarr and Neville Young
correction to the text.
Walter Holy, the
pioneer of the Baroque trumpet, died quietly on March
7, 2006, in Cologne. He was 84.
Edward H. Tarr on the ITG website