Classical Music for the Summer

Johann Baptist Georg Neruda Trumpet Concerto in E flat

It is disappointing that relatively little is known about the classical Czech composer Neruda. It is recognised (Wikipedia) that he lived from c. 1708 to 1780. He was born in Bohemia to a well-respected music family. Following his early years as a violinist and conductor in Prague, he became Konzertmeister in the Dresden Court Orchestra.

His composition output includes 18 symphonies, 14 instrumental concertos, sonatas, sacred works and an opera “Les Troqueurs”.

One of my absolute favourite pieces of trumpet music is Neruda’s Concerto in E flat for Trumpet and Strings. It was originally written for a natural horn but is now performed almost exclusively on an E or B flat trumpet. I had the privilege of hearing this work performed in the breathtakingly beautiful Baroque, Steinhausen Church of Pilgrimage in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Such was the perfection of natural acoustics, I could feel every tone of the trumpet and had to muse over a conflict between the beauty of the composition and the artistry of the performer! This is a marvellous piece of music.

As to my favoured recordings on CD, I have two CDs that I can happily recommend:

Six Trumpet Concertos with Crispian Steele-Perkins playing Trumpet and the English Chamber Orchestra directed by Anthony Halstead. Innovation Music Productions Ltd

Haydn and Hummel Trumpet Concertos (including Neruda Trumpet Concerto in E flat), with Alison Balsom playing Trumpet and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. EMI: 2162130

Both CDs are available from