Ludwig Güttler has been one of Germany's best known and most versatile trumpeters for more than 50 years. His concert activities have taken him beyond Germany across the whole of Europe. Shortly before his 75th birthday, he looks back and dedicates himself in this Edition to the continent united in music: Europe.
Selected works and composers allow Güttler to show how music anticipated the political unification of Europe centuries ago. The individual works in this set, representative of many thousand such works and composers, demonstrate what paths music took in past times, what ground its creators covered and how their paths crossed. National boundaries may have kept changing, but music-makers stayed in touch with each other, emulated or challenged each other and picked up the latest fashions.
Composers cross-fertilized each other at these points of intersection and created what we know now as "European classical music". But they were not the only ones who regularly exchanged notes with their colleagues. Their compositions made the rounds too – from that day to this, but very much so even in those days of slow travel. Ludwig Güttler observes: "Sometimes it is the long journeys that indicate the works were durable, long-lived, exceptional – masterpieces, in fact." The spectrum of this Edition ranges from Bach and his contemporaries Vivaldi, Telemann, Pisendel, Zelenka, Neruda and Hasse by way of travellers Haydn and Mozart to Dvořák, who made it across the Atlantic.
Güttler himself knows better than practically anyone else how to draw together these threads. His intensive research throughout Europe has caused many forgotten works to see the light of day and enjoy the acclaim of audiences. He has made his own contribution to historically informed performance practice with the reconstruction of the corno da caccia.
Edition Europa is also a retrospective. "Less in the sense of reflection than as a review of what has been achieved," says Güttler. "I have been blowing the trumpet for 60 years now, conducting, fighting for what I believe in." But even at 75, he is not ready to sit back. He still has a full concert diary and still spends a lot of time on his "excavations". His goal? "I should like to bring to life as much good music as possible with my colleagues, and show what truly unbelievable riches are still awaiting us."