10/09/2008

Rafael Mendez: Trumpet Master

I came across Rafael Mendez by accident; I was browsing YouTube for videos of other instruments playing the song "Flight of the Bumblebee" & I stumbled upon this video. I was blown away, seriously; he was amazing, it looked like he wasn't breathing throughout the piece, really astouding.

Taken from Wiki:

Rafael Méndez (March 261906 - September 151981) was a popular Mexican virtuoso solo trumpeterAs a young child in his native Mexico, Mendez was the cornetist for Pancho Villa. His most famous recording, "Moto Perpetuo," was written in the eighteenth century by Paganini for violin and features Mendez double tonguing continuously for over 4 minutes while circular breathing to give the illusion that he is not taking a natural breath while playing.

From 1950 to 1975, Méndez was a full time soloist, performing as many as 125 concerts per year. He was also very active as a recording artist. Many of his recordings are now available on compact disc.

Around the time of his retirement, Méndez asked a fellow trumpeter, Tom Hernández (who had studied under Méndez and Maurice André) to take over his soloing duties, but Tom declined in order to continue with his directing.

Mendez was legendary for his tone, range and technique. Méndez's playing was characterized by a brilliant tone, wide vibrato and clean, rapid articulation. His repertoire was a mixture of classicalpopular, Mexican folk music and jazz. Méndez contributed many arrangements and original compositions to the trumpet repertoire. His Scherzo in D Minor is often heard in recitals, and has been recorded by David Hickman.


He's definitely shown that the trumpet is an instrument with many moods & that you CAN do more than you think with it. I hope the OG trumpeters try to emulate this legend :p 


Check out the Rafael Mendez Online Library here, it's a comprehensive site with loads of information plus free music clips :) 

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