RIP Maurice André
Maurice André started life as a coal miner but by joining the military was able to toake up a place at the Paris Conservatoire.
From The Daily Telegraph obituary:
"He was to the classical trumpet what Louis Armstrong was to the jazz trumpet, raising it to the status of solo instrument and joining it to the ranks of the piano, violin and cello as a recognised concerto instrument. Maurice André pioneered moves into the trumpet’s higher register, exploring a range of notes that few had dared to imagine, meaning that his arrangements of works by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi incorporate passages of outstanding agility. As well as performing concertos for the instrument by Haydn and Hummel, he remodelled and recorded works for oboe, strings and even the voice on an almost industrial scale. He went on to establish the piccolo trumpet as a mainstream instrument, demonstrating the full potential of its clear, bright ringing tone.
"Maurice André had remarkable physical stamina, a seemingly inexhaustible supply of breath, and a supremely controlled line that would later inspire trumpeters such as Håkan Hardenberger from Sweden and Alison Balsom from Britain. As one Canadian critic noted: “He soars to those top Ds effortlessly. The runs ripple up and down. In the slow movements he is superbly and tastefully expressive.” Maurice André, however, also argued that personality mattered. “You’re like a matador in a bull ring,” he told The New York Times in 1983. “I see flautists and oboists go on the stage gingerly. If you do that with the trumpet you’re finished. You have to go on as a winner.” "
Maurice André recorded extensively for French EMI and for Erato Disques. Four 4 6CD box sets are available of his many Erato recordings of arrangements and concertos with a possible set of trumpet and organ music to come. Around 50% of the recordings in the boxes had not been on CD before, in other words being largely unavailablle since the late 1980s.