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A Life in Trumpet

Norman Bolter, Benjamin Britten, Yves Chardon, Eric Ewazen, Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Alan Hovhaness, Jean Hubeau, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Otto Ketting, Ruth Lomon, Francis Poulenc, Camille Saint-Saëns, James Stephenson, Igor Stravinsky, Robert Suderburg, Tomáš Svoboda, Albert Tiberio

Eric Berlin, William Sperandei and James Tinsley, trumpets
James Sommerville, horn; Ronald Barron, trombone
Joel Moerschel, cello; Lawrence Wolfe, double bass
Deborah DeWolf Emery, piano; Paul Jenkins, organ
Hawthorne String Quartet
Kyushu Symphony Orchestra / Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor
Berkshire Chamber Orchestra / Ronald Feldman, conductor
Frequency Band / Norman Bolter, conductor
UMass Wind Ensemble / James Patrick Miller, conductor

Executive producers: David L. Smith, Charles Schlueter and James Tinsley. Producers and recording engineers: Edward Marshall and David v.R. Bowles. Assistant producers: James Tinsley and William Sperandei.
Assistant engineer: Brian Schieferstein.
Album mastering: David v.R. Bowles, Swineshead Productions, LLC.

Limited Edition 3-CD Set | 32-Page Booklet



The Trumpet Shall Sound! This retrospective set featuring Charlie Schlueter covers a wide range of moods and styles: Bravura and virtuosic, poignant and evocative, solo trumpet and chamber music, and trumpet featured as soloist with both orchestral and wind ensemble accompaniment.

Charlie Schlueter was one of the world’s greatest orchestral principal trumpeters for over four decades, culminating in positions with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared worldwide as soloist, teacher and clinician, and many of Charlie’s former students in Cleveland, Minneapolis and Boston have gone on to have their own successful careers. Essays by former students and colleagues that beautifully attest to Charlie’s character and accomplishments as a teacher, musician, trumpet player and human being appear in the appendix of his just-released book, Indirection. The Charles Schlueter Foundation continues to celebrate and preserve the trumpet’s cultural and artistic heritage, commission works for brass instruments, promote music performance and education, support professional achievement and international collaboration, and encourage young musicians by providing lessons, master classes and workshops.
As a performer, teacher and friend, Charlie’s authenticity, empathy and insight are a unique set of traits that have touched the lives of many people. Humor—that most important human quality—is so abundantly present in Charlie. It’s easy to understand how listeners fall in love with Charlie’s sound. A musician’s sound tells you who they are—and since Charlie is a tremendously honest, caring and secure person, he and his sound will always be one and the same.
And what a sound! At its most focused, it seems to coalesce into a shimmering river, equal parts core and resonance, the substance of which is like a bridge that can carry thousands of tons and is built to carry a million more—a sound that can leave listeners astonished, with all of their molecules resonating in perfect alignment. He’s also a master of dynamic range, from a dominating fortissimo to the most gossamer of pianissimi. If the world were full of such people, traits such as gender, age, skin color, physical appearance, history and ethnic background would mean nothing, and we’d all be making music together.
In Charlie’s teaching, he conveys to his students the most fundamental principles regarding “wind and song,” using his own Zen approach, and he’s always attended many of his students’ recitals. Charlie possesses the greatest gift a teacher can have: The ability to see each student for who they are. His ownership of the concepts of note shape, phrasing, musicality and sound quality are seminal and transformative. Charlie Schlueter has been and continues to be a force for beauty and love in the world, exemplifying the words of Emerson: The only true gift is a portion of thyself. It’s a beautiful thing when someone so giving has such an extraordinary amount to give.

Trumpeter Charles Schlueter began playing trumpet at age ten in Du Quoin, Illinois, where he studied with Charles Archibald, Don Lemasters, Ed Brauer and Mel Siener. Schlueter received his Bachelor of Science degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Vacchiano, eventually becoming principal trumpet of the Juilliard Orchestra. To support himself during his time in New York, he worked odd jobs, sang in church choirs and freelanced with orchestras and Latin bands. After graduation, he performed in the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall, toured with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and performed in Hyannis, Massachusetts, at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. Schlueter joined the Kansas National Guard in 1963 and served six years, transferring to the US Army Reserve in Wisconsin in 1964 and the Ohio National Guard in 1967. His first orchestral position was as principal trumpet with the Kansas City Philharmonic, followed by three years as principal trumpet with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and five years in the Cleveland Orchestra. He then won the position of principal trumpet with the Minnesota Orchestra, where he remained for nine years before becoming principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1981. In addition to Schlueter’s four-decade career as an orchestral trumpeter, he taught trumpet at the New England Conservatory of Music for over three decades. His 2021 book, Indirection, lists nearly 170 students he instructed in Cleveland, Minneapolis and Boston. Schlueter also taught and coached hundreds of other musicians as an instructor at the Tanglewood Music Center, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Schlueter toured the globe with the BSO, both as principal trumpet and as a member of the BSO Chamber Players. For many years, he was a visiting professor at Kurashiki-Sakuyo University in Japan, and he continues to teach, perform and give master classes in Brazil, where in 1988 he helped to create the Northeastern Brazil Brass Master Classes in João Pessoa, subsequently expanded to São Luis, Recife and Belém. In 2001, he established the Charles Schlueter Foundation to foster the enjoyment of music, promote music education, assist in the training of young brass performers, encourage fine brass pedagogy and commission new music for brass.

This career retrospective of recordings by Charles Schlueter showcases the work of a seminal and monumental trumpet master. These performances provide an ideal complement to Schlueter’s revelatory book, Indirection: On Becoming a Better Musician and Trumpet Player as a Conceptual Process, published in 2021 by Combray House. Taken together, Charlie’s musicianship and writing serve to exemplify and conceptualize both his own work and the dynamic, complex cultural evolution of our own era, which Charlie himself exemplifies.

For him, successful trumpet mastery entails sophisticated human anatomy, respiration and psychology; the details of trumpet construction and design; and, of course, the various aspects of acoustics. All of this self-conscious knowledge and discipline serves his ultimate musical goal of being able to project intimately nuanced trumpet sound into every pair of ears in a room or auditorium, unimpaired by piano or orchestral accompaniment, and at any dynamic level.

From the Classical beauty and virtuosity of Hummel’s Concerto for Trumpet to the high modernism of Hindemith’s formidable Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, and culminating with a disc of contemporary works—some written specifically for Charlie by eminent composers, including my late colleague at Williams College, Robert Suderburg - this superb collection delineates the history of solo trumpet music. All in all, the anthology embodies that history through the unique musical vision and sound of Charles Schlueter.

Some of these recordings were made at Symphony Hall in Boston, where for a quarter century Charlie was principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Hummel Concerto was recorded in Japan. Finally, most of the solo recordings were made at Williams College, made possible because of a series of initiatives specifically designed to bring more music, especially trumpet music, into the magnificent acoustical environment of Thompson Memorial Chapel. These efforts eventually resulted in the acquisition of a Bösendorfer Imperial Grand piano, an exquisite and generous gift from the Robert Lipp family. The Bösendorfer proved an ideal companion to Charlie’s unique, dark, richly nuanced sound. We are gratified to share with listeners the products of this collaboration. [ David Lionel Smith, June 2022]
Otto Ketting (1935–2012)
INTRADA for Solo Trumpet in C (1958)
Arthur Honegger (1892–1955)
INTRADA for Trumpet and Piano (1947)
Jean Hubeau (1917–1992)
SONATA for Trumpet and Piano (1944)
I. Sarabande
II. Intermède
III. Spiritual
Robert Suderburg (1936–2013)
CHAMBER MUSIC VIII: A SONATA for Trumpet in C and Piano (1987)
I. ballade
II. invocation
III. procession
IV. departure
Norman Bolter (b.1955)
MARSHA’S GIFT for Trumpet and Piano (2005)
Eric Ewazen (b.1954)
A SONG FROM THE HEART for Trumpet and Piano (2007)

Tomáš Svoboda (b.1939)
DUO CONCERTO for Trumpet and Organ (1997)

Yves Chardon (1902–2000)
SONATA for Trumpet in D and Piano (1958)
I. Allegro vivo
II. Lento, con indifferenzia
III. Andante
IV. Lento
V. Vivace
Robert Suderburg
CHAMBER MUSIC VII: CEREMONIES for Trumpet and Piano (1984)
I. calls and echoes (allegro)
II. calls and echoes (adagio, andante)
III. procession
Paul Hindemith (1895–1963)
SONATA for Trumpet and Piano (1939)
I. Mit Kraft
II. Mässig bewegt, Lebhaft
III. Trauermusik, Sehr langsam / Chorale: Alle Menschen müssen sterben

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
FANFARE FOR A NEW THEATRE for Two Trumpets (1964)

Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
SONATA for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone (1922, revised 1945)
I. Andante moderato
II. Andante
III. Rondeau

AVE VERUM CORPUS for Three Trumpets (1952)

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
FANFARE FOR ST. EDMUNDSBURY for Three Trumpets (1959)

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921)
SEPTET IN E-FLAT MAJOR for Trumpet, String Quintet and Piano (1879–80)
I. Préambule
II. Menuet
III. Intermède
IV. Gavotte et finale
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778–1837)
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Andante
III. Rondo
Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000)
Ruth Lomon (1930–2017)
ODYSSEY* (1997)
I. Turning Point
II. Dancing on the Abyss
III. Shifting Currents
Norman Bolter (b.1955)
ON THE CUSP* (1999)
James Stephenson (b.1969)
DUO FANTASTIQUE* for Two Trumpets (2007)
Albert Tiberio (b.1935)
I. Prologue
II. Soliloquy
III. Scherzo
IV. Cantilena
V. Bravura


Monette Raja Samadhi in C (#1061) with integral C1-1 mouthpiece
Mutes Marcus Bonna (MB) cup mute
Florio straight mute (fiber) with Endsley foam “silencers”
Monette D trumpet (#012) with D1-1 mouthpiece
Monette E-flat trumpet (#003) with E1-1 mouthpiece
Monette Raja Samadhi in C (#1061) with integral C1-1 mouthpiece
Mutes Florio straight mute (fiber) with Endsley foam “silencers”
Monette trumpet in E-natural (#302) with E1-1 mouthpiece
Monette decorated presentation Flumpet in B-flat (designed for Art Farmer)
with B1-1FL mouthpiece
Monette decorated presentation Raja Samadhi with integral C1-1 mouthpiece
Mutes MB Harmon mute [8]; MB brass straight mute

MSR Classics
Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble ERIC BERLIN