O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

Eduard Seifert  - "Mr. Never-Miss"

Eduard Seifert 
Eduard Seifert (1870 - 1965)

Eduard Seifert was born in Leipzig-Reudnitz on 29 December 1870. He died on January 21st 1965 in Dresden. From 1898, until his retirement in 1938, he served as principal trumpet in the Royal Saxon State Orchestra (today: Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden).

The Dresden Opera and Royal Saxon State Orchestra were at the center of musical and cultural life in Germany and Europe. Both the orchestra and Dresden Opera were dedicated to, and focused on, the contemporary composers Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss - the oeuvre of Richard Strauss subsequently became an essential part of Seifert’s orchestral life. Seifert mastered Strauss’ trumpet passages perfectly and never failed, so colleagues named him “Mr. Never-Miss” (“Der Unfehlbare”).     

Eduard Seifert worked in Dresden with conductors such as Ernst von Schuch (1846 – 1914), Fritz Reiner (1888-1963), Fritz Busch (1890-1951), Karl Böhm (1894 – 1981) and the composer Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949).

Alongside his orchestral career, Eduard Seifert performed as a trumpet and cornet soloist playing turn of the century style music. He reintroduced the Haydn Trumpet Concerto to the public with a performance on F trumpet and was a trailblazer for baroque trumpet playing, performing many of the works of the masters Bach, Stölzel and Händel on his Heckel F/G trumpet. He was a true pioneer of baroque trumpet music and one of the first to master the demanding trumpet part for Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto, which he frequently performed on tour.
After retirement from the orchestra in 1938, Eduard Seifert worked as a trumpet pedagogue and performed as a trumpet player in Bach’s B Minor Mass and cantatas.

Student in Leipzig
From 1887- 89 and 1893-94 Eduard Seifert studied at the Leipzig conservatory. His trumpet teacher was Christian Ferdinand Weinschenk (1831-1910). He graduated in 1894 with a performance of Wilhelm Herfurth’s Concertino in E major.

Semper Opera
                    Dresden 1880
Semper Opera, Dresden 1880

The Orchestral Trumpet Player
Seifert’s first trumpet position was in Cologne with the Gürzenich Orchestra for one season from 1895-96. In 1896 he changed to the Royal Saxon State Orchestra as principal trumpet.

Richard Strauss’ trumpet
Eduard Seifert played principal trumpet in the premieres of Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and Rosenkavalier. Premiered in 1911, Rosenkavalier was the greatest triumph of the Dresden Opera during Ernst von Schuch’s era.

Here the Strauss premieres with Eduard Seifert on trumpet:

1901        Feuersnot (21.11.1901 Dresden)
1905        Salome (9.12.1905 Dresden)
1909        Elektra (25.1.1909 Dresden)
1911        Der Rosenkavalier (26.1.1911 Dresden)
1915        Alpensinfonie (cond. Richard Strauss)
1924        Intermezzo (4.11.1924 Dresden)
1928        Die ägyptische Helena (6.6.1928 Dresden)
1933        Arabella (1.7.1933 Dresden)
1935        Die schweigsame Frau (24.6.1935 Dresden)
1938        Daphne (15.10.1938 Dresden)
Richard Strauss dedicated the Alpine Symphony to the Dresdner Hofkapelle "in gratitude".

Gustav Mahler and Dresden
Ernst von Schuch was a strong supporter of the music of Gustav Mahler - a tradition continued by Fritz Reiner and Fritz Busch. Here are the Mahler performances in Dresden during Eduard Seifert’s tenure:

1897        Mahler 2 (cond. Ernst von Schuch) (2 to 4)
1898        Mahler 1 (cond. Ernst von Schuch)
1901        Mahler 2 (cond. Ernst von Schuch) (Mahler attendant)
1905        Mahler 5 (cond. Ernst von Schuch)
1907        Mahler 6 (cond. Ernst von Schuch) (excerpts)
1908        Mahler 4 (cond. Ernst von Schuch)
1911        Mahler 4 (cond. Ernst von Schuch)
1916        Das Lied der Erde (cond. Fritz Reiner)
1932        Mahler 8 (cond. Fritz Busch)

The Trumpet and Cornet Soloist
As a trumpet and cornet soloist, Eduard Seifert mostly performed turn of the century repertoire; his musical library gives an idea of concert literature a trumpet and cornet soloist was expected to perform at the beginning of the 20th century. According to his personal notes, Eduard Seifert played the backstage solo in Victor Nessler’s opera “Der Trompeter von Säckingen” 206 times.

The Brandenburg Blower
Eduard Seifert performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Magnificat, Orchestral Suite No. 3 and the  Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. These Bach performances took place in Gürzenich, Cologne, and in the Saxon cities of Dresden, Görlitz and Freiberg.

"Waking up" the Haydn Trumpet Concerto
Joseph Haydn composed
a trumpet concerto for Anton Weidinger in 1796.  The concerto "fell into a long sleep" for more than a hundred years, but was rediscovered in 1908 and subsequently performed by Franz Roßbach, a leading trumpet player in Vienna. He passed the manuscript to his friend Eduard Seifert and thus Dresden saw a public performance of the Haydn trumpet concerto in 1914. Seifert used the F side of his high F/G Heckel trumpet for the performance, noting where to pull the third slide (“3. Ventil raus!”) to stay in tune.

Joseph Haydn Trumpet Concerto - Cadenza by Eduard Seifert (click for larger image!)

 The Trumpet Teacher
“Hard work and talent – prerequisites for high art” – This was Eduard Seifert’s credo for his trumpet pedagogy. After retiring from the orchestra, he passed on his experience and skills as a trumpet teacher. For his students he was a big hero, advisor and friend.
List of Eduard Seifert’s students:

Karl Benzinger:                                  Principal trumpet Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Horst Eichler (1920 – 2001):           Principal trumpet, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Wilhelm Jänchen:                              Wechseltrompeter Staatskapelle, Dresden
Hans-Joachim Krumpfer (1928 - ): Principal trumpet, Berlin Symphony Orchestra
                                                            Professor, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin
Wolfgang Stephan (1918 - ):           Principal trumpet, Dresdner Philharmonie
                                                           Temporary assistant professor, Hochschule für Musik, Dresden
Franz Wietecki:                                 Principal trumpet, Berliner Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester
                                                           Temporary assistant professor, Hochschule für Musik, Berlin
Erwin Wolf (1919 – 1994):               Principal trumpet, Staatskapelle Dresden
                                                            Principal trumpet, Norddeutschen Rundfunk, Hannover
                                                            Assistant professor, Hochschule für Musik, Dresden
Walter Uhlemann (1912 – 1980):    Professor, Hochschule für Musik, München

Eduard Seifert’s Music Library
The Eduard Seifert music library gives an overview of the type of music popular at the turn of the century and during the nineteen-twenties. His handwritten notes and copies are a form of calligraphy that is very precise and perfect.   

Eduard Seifert’s Equipment
The trumpet-making dynasty, Heckel, was located in Dresden and was suppliers of brasswind equipment. Johann Adam Heckel had delivered a wooden trumpet for the premiere of Tristan and Isolde in Munich 1865. His son, trumpet maker Friedrich Alwin Heckel, nominated as "Koeniglich Saechsischer Hofinstrumentenmacher Dresden", hand-crafted all the trumpets for Eduard Seifert. These were rotary trumpets with the legendary Heckel design - they had the Heckel "Schnecke" and a garland signed with the F. A. Heckel engraving and later with the Theodor Alwin Heckel engraving.

Seifert's instruments
(click for larger image!)

From left to right:

Cornet C/Bb made by Thibouville-Lamy (Paris 1886) 
High G/F trumpet made by Friedrich Alwin Heckel (F. A. Heckel) (Dresden 1908) 
Bb Trumpet made by Friedrich Alwin Heckel (F. A. Heckel) (Dresden 1898) 
Bb Trumpet made by Ernst Theodor Alwin Heckel (T.A. Heckel) (Dresden 1948) 

All instruments made of gold brass and silver plated, Seifert’s Heckel trumpet in C is lost.

Preserving Eduard Seifert’s estate
Eduard Seifert passed his music library, documents and the trumpets to his last student, Prof. Hans-Joachim  Krumpfer. Mr. Krumpfer saved Eduard Seifert’s musical estate and donated it to the Trumpet Museum Bad Säckingen, thus preserving the trumpet legacy of an early 20th century trumpet pioneer.

Sound samples
There is a very interesting film placed on YouTube. It was made into a cinema film in 1932. In it you can see Fritz Busch conducting Staatskapelle Dresden (from the Semper Opera)
Ten minutes into the film, at around 10:11, you can see the whole trumpet section (left to right):
1. Eduard Seifert
2. Hellmuth Julius Max Hiekel (1895 - 1991), active 1923 - 1958
3. Otto Friedmann (? - 1931), active 1904 - 1931

Source: Andreas Schreiber, Von der Churfürstlichen Cantorey zur Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden. Ein biografisches Mitgliederverzeichnis von 1548 – 2003 (2003 im Selbstverlag herausgegeben).

Data verified by Dr. Edward H. Tarr. Mr. Heinz Zickler was of great help.

For more on Fritz Busch, look for The Complete Dresden Recordings, 1923-1932. (3CDs+DVD).

* Verena Jakobsen Barth in cooperation with Edward Tarr:
  Vorkämpfer/Eduard Seifert - Trompetenvirtuose des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Das Orchester 54:10, 2006, S. 36-41
* Friedel Keim - Das große Buch der Trompete : Instrument, Geschichte,
  Trompeterlexikon; Mainz, Schott, 2005 - ISBN 3-7957-0530-4

* Hans-Joachim Krumpfer, "Haydn 1797-1908: the Long Sleep of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto,"
  Brass Bulletin 75 (3/1991)

* Katalog Edward H. Tarr Trompetenmuseum Bad Säckingen 1985,

* Edward H. Tarr "East meets West: the Russian trumpet tradition from the time of Peter the Great",
  1. edition 2003, chapter 6. Pendragon Press, Hillsdale, NY, 2003, ISBN 1-57647-028-8

* Verena Jakobsen Barth
  Die Trompete als Soloinstrument in der Kunstmusik Europas seit 1900:
  mit besonder Berücksichterung der Entwicklung ab 1980
  am Beispiel der Solisten Håkan Hardenberger, Ole Edvard Antonsen und Reinhold Friedrich
  Göteborg 2007,
  ISBN 978 91 85974 03 - 0