BESSON in Paris

Series of four trumpets specially built by Besson in the 1920s, for a performance of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the house of Countess Thibault de Chambure (1), probably in 1925 during the inauguration of her Music Society.

These are natural trumpets equipped with slides used to overcome the accuracy problems specific to models from the 16th and 17th centuries. The slide allows, when playing, to go down 1/2 tone and adjust harmonics 11 and 13. (High F and A) They can be played in D 440 and C 415 using additional slides.

Each instrument has a removable bell. The small models were used as Clarino and the larger ones as Vulgano and Basso.

Lengths without mouthpiece: 93.4 / 96 / 97 / 97.5cm.

NB: The Besson workshop had designed two prototype series of these trumpets. The other is  in Paris, at the Musée de la Philharmonie.

The address “96 rue d’Angoulême” appearing on each of the bells corresponds to the year 1889, and shows that they came from the workshop’s stock. The use of parts recovered from old stocks was common in the design of prototypes, before their eventual production.

Provenance: Collection of trumpeter Louis Déjean, professor at the Toulouse conservatory. He was a member of the Music Society of the Countess de Chambure.

(1) Geneviève Thibault de Chambure (1902-1975), musicologist and great collector of old instruments, was curator of the Instrumental Museum of the Paris Conservatory, from 1961 to 1973. It would become the current Musée de la Philharmonie