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Classical 101

Farewell To Trumpet Legend David Mason

Musicians spend their entire lives perfecting the craft of making music.

Some toil in relative obscurity as studio musicians, others have the opportunity to perform in ensembles, orchestras, or as soloists. Most also enjoy teaching, working with young musicians to pass along their love of music and the skills needed to speak in this timeless language. David Mason was such a musician.  He was principal trumpet in some of the world's best-known orchestras...Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Covent Garden Opera, and the English Chamber Orchestra. He also taught for some 30 years at the Royal College of Music.

From Symphony Hall to Penny Lane

For most, however, it was a short solo in one of pop music's most recognizable songs that got Mason much more than his 15 minutes of fame.  Even if you didn't know his name until now, you know his sound. As the story goes, he was performing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, with it's famous piccolo trumpet part, on BBC2 with the English Chamber Orchestra...a broadcast that Paul McCartney happened to be watching. The Beatles had recently finished laying down the tracks for Penny Lane, but McCartney was searching for just the right sound to finish the song. He had recorded the part on a reed instrument, but just wasn't satisfied.  Then, he heard Bach.  The next morning, Mason's phone rang. I'll let him tell the story from there as told to the BBC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxO4nODCGD0 David Mason recently passed away at the age of 85, but thanks to four lads from Liverpool, his trumpet lives forever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hIV7jwLXt8