French-born Joseph Ropartz studied at the Paris Conservatory at the tail end of the 19th century and is rumored to have been classmates with George Enesco. As a renaissance man of sorts, Ropartz was a conductor, composer, and even a literary poet. This short work for trumpet holds similar characteristics of solo di concors, obviously influenced by his time in Paris, but the technical demands are much more approachable to a younger student.
While editions of this work are available for B-flat trumpet, the original scoring for C trumpet could be a great opportunity for players who are just starting C trumpet playing. Furthermore, this music is a common choice for competition amongst high school students; this is fortunate as this is great solo music that can be enjoyed by a variety of instrumentalists. For this reason, I believe trumpet students starting college would benefit from programing this piece on recitals and focusing on great stylistic integrity which often gets overlooked when preparing music that is out of the player’s current technical facility.
Some trumpet notes:
-Be sure to really observe the hairpin dynamics in the opening Andante. For younger students, multiple lessons could be spent on learning to convincingly phrase this section.
-Nail the style on the dotted eighths-sixteenths in the Allegro. A recommendation for practice would be to play scales on the pattern of the rhythm. Also, younger students may need assistance alternating between a 2/4 and 6/8 feel; singing and clapping can be good learning tools.
-Lastly, listen to Phil Smith’s recording of this (recorded and published as part of the International Trumpet Guild Journal). As Phil says, imitating the style of others helps us develop a style of our own.
Good luck and happy practicing!