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Concert at St.Mary's church in Sulzbach-Rosenberg on November 11, 1999Report by Sigrid Bloch of the Sulzbach-Rosenberg Journal

Surprisingly Versatile Hobby-Virtuosi
Three former Scherbaum-pupils play fastidious tunes at the parish church St. Mary's

Unfortunately, not too many visitors showed up at St. Mary's last Saturday evening. "Adolf Scherbaum in Sulzbach-Rosenberg: a trumpeter with world-reputation lives in our city ", that's what the advertising poster said to create interest in the concert given by Richard Feyer, Josef Kneißl, and Helmut Mörtl, all former pupils of Adolf Scherbaum.

Although none of them became professional musicians, they provided pure joy in their formidable play- their former teacher can be

Adolf Scherbaum has obviously influenced the artistic development of his pupils ,if not the development of their personalities too, in such a decidedly positive manner that they played to honor him on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

"Tones reach breathtaking height"

In the mid-50s, Adolf Scherbaum was one of the best-known and most appreciated soloist on the international orchestra daises. Regardless of the place, whether in Paris, Brussels, Basel, Zurich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, New York, Moscow, or Leningrad, he was surrounded with storms of ovations, because he was the first to reach the breathtaking heights that are a must in so many Baroque tunes. This is what was said in radio broadcasts which were transmitted in August in his honor, this is what you can hear and read in the internet which contains voluminous information about his entire carrier.

Also in great demand as a teacher

Adolf Scherbaum was also highly esteemed as a music-teacher. He taught as professor at the music academy of Saarbrücken. His friendship with Oskar Heimbucher and his new place of residence Heilsbronn both enticed him to teach at our municipal music school from 1977 until 1986. It almost goes without saying that he earned numerous prizes and awards.

Three of his former pupils have now got together, coming from the furthest 'corners' of Bavaria to join Christoph Hammer who also had connections with Scherbaum, for the explicit purpose to express their appreciation of him with a birthday-concert.

Richard Feyer, Josef Kneißl, and Helmut Mörtl, distributed the trumpet parts among themselves without letting it be known who would be playing which part. And there was no need for that either, because all of them demonstrated perfectly clean intonation, brilliant timbre, and astonishing virtuosity.

Naturally, none of them can follow in the footsteps of their master since they are probably just keeping up their favorite hobby and have no intention of becoming professional musicians. The program was nevertheless very fastidious, consisting of tunes and sonatas from Antonio Vivaldi, Pavel Vejanovsky, Georg Philip Telemann, and Giuseppe Alberti.

Christoph Hammer excelled at the organ

Just the name Christoph Hammer alone itself guarantees a high-quality performance. And you couldn't have asked for a better supporting partner for the trumpets. The only regrettable point was the condition of the organ, which is known not to be the best.

Hammer accompanied the fast movements of the concertos and sonatas in a precise, yet unobtrusive way. In the slow, more solo oriented central, and especially in the organ pieces of John Amner, Georg Muffat, and Johann Sebastian Bach, he demonstrated his outstanding skill and, most of all, his profound knowledge of Baroque music.

The decorative trills and runs, the precisely aimed effects and the skillful engulfing of the predetermined melody, or rather its harmonic variations, all this was certainly well worth hearing. Highly justified ovations rewarded the musicians for their splendid Baroque-performance.

I am grateful to Mr. Rolf Ziegler, Böblingen, for his translation into English.