There persists a myth that the true geniuses somehow were born with a unique talent that somehow developed independently and totally originally of those who preceded them. In reality the truth is quite different. The great innovators first put forth thousands of hours studying and imitating the great masters that came before them before developing their own individual styles.
The last few years I have taken on a new trumpet model: Rafael Méndez. The legendary Mexican trumpeter, was rightly called “The Heifetz of the trumpet”. I am modeling many aspects of Méndez’s playing and personality, including his incredible breath control, the best articulation ever by a trumpeter, the wild abandon and total lack of fear with which he played virtuosic passages, and last but not least the soulful expressionism and generous phrasing which expresses deep emotional content in his playing.
I have a long way to go before I approach Rafael Méndez's artistry but the process of modeling him has been extremely rewarding, inspiring, and enjoyable. The current results include this video of his arrangement of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. It’s a fun and not very serious arrangement of the masterwork that bears as much of Méndez’s signature as Mendelssohn’s.
You can read the full article at: http://joshuamaccluer.com/the-essent...rafael-mendez/