Flor Alpaerts – Character piece for trumpet in D and string orchestra (or piano)
(Antwerp, 12 September 1876 – Antwerp, 5 October 1954)
Already during his studies at the Municipal Music School of Antwerp (from 1897 onwards the Royal Flemish Conservatoire), which was led by Peter Benoit (1834-1901), Flor Alpaerts played in several Antwerp orchestras from 1891 onwards. The intense contact with the orchestral repertoire was useful for his composition studies, which he continued at the same time. He graduated in 1901 and that same year, a Festival Flor Alpaerts was organised, in which he successfully presented early works. In 1903 Alpaerts was appointed as teacher at the Antwerp Conservatoire, where he would remain active until 1941, first as teacher of solfège, harmony (from 1908) and counterpoint and fugue (from 1924), and finally as director from 1933.
Meanwhile Alpaerts strongly devoted himself to the pedagogical and artistic legacy of Peter Benoit. As the conductor of the ‘Zoo Concerts’ (from 1919 onwards) and as the artistic director (from 1920 onwards) of the Benoit Fund, he created high-profile performances of Benoit’s great choral works in collaboration with the oratorio choir Arti Vocali. He also prepared several of his scores for publication. In addition, he has conducted both the great international repertoire as well as works by his Flemish colleagues. Also as a guest conductor abroad Alpaerts showed himself a fervent advocate of Flemish music. For one season (1922-1923) he was also director of the Royal Flemish Opera, together with the singer Arthur Steurbaut, but this turned out to be a fiasco: he resigned before the end of the season.
In addition to his many activities at the Antwerp Conservatoire and as a conductor, he also found the time and energy to compose a lot. Among his best-known works are the orchestral works Pallieter (1924), Tijl Uilenspiegel (1927) and especially the James Ensor Suite (1929). He also composed stage music, songs, choirs, piano and chamber music.
This rhapsodic Character piece for trumpet and string orchestra or piano is an early work that Alpaerts completed in March 1904. He dedicated it ‘to my good friend and excellent trumpeter Mr Jos Vennix’. This must have been Jozef (Jos) Vennix (born c. 1862), father of the well-known trumpeter Jos. Vennix (1892-1970), an alumnus of the Antwerp Conservatoire, who was connected to the orchestra of the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp.
Stijn Saveniers edited this score on the basis of the following scores from the library of the Antwerp Royal Conservatoire:
Autograph manuscript of the version for string orchestra (with piano reduction) – KVC 60979
Copy of the solo part and the string parts – KVC 109452
Autograph manuscript of the version with piano – KVC 69769
Autograph manuscript of the version with piano – KVC 26661
Edition by CeBeDeM of the version with piano – KVC 177066
(translation: Jasmien Dewilde)
This edition was published in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music (www.svm.be).
Flemish and German preface > HERE