The Inspiration of Saint-Jacome by David Bertie

Every brass player and teacher should be in possession of The Inspiration of Saint-Jacôme by David Bertie and this is why...

I was first introduced to the work of David Bertie and a wealth of previously unknown practice material in his reinterpreted Advanced Studies of Aaron Harris; a book that has not left my music stand since it arrived in the mail some time ago. In The Inspiration of Saint-Jacôme, David has reawakened fascination in a book which I always considered more interesting than the Arban book. In his Foreword, David Baldwin offers insight into why the Arban Grand Method became the standard, conjecturing that Saint-Jacome may have been the better player, but Arban was the better pedagogue. Arban's melodic/harmonic direction often seems predictable while Saint-Jacôme offers consistent surprises, with greater musical depth amidst the technical challenges. Despite this, my Saint-Jacôme book generally collected dust on my shelf and, I suspect, the same is true for many other players. In selecting, organizing, and modifying this wealth of material, David Bertie has made Saint-Jacôme’s compositions more accessible and focused a spotlight on a tome that history

relegated to the shadows. David Bertie’s attention to detail, both in substance and presentation, is laudable. His books represent substantial additions to the repertoire and are worth far more than every penny.

Chase Sanborn

Saint-Jacôme’s Grand Method is one I was introduced to by my teacher at the same time as the Arban Grand Method. Both are outstanding study books, with many similarities. However, for me Saint-Jacôme’s was always that bit more detailed, a little more demanding and ultimately provided a better map to success. It was interesting to discover that Monsieur Saint-Jacôme lived much of his life in London and carried-out the testing of cornets for Besson – a job I currently do! David Bertie’s The Inspiration of Saint Jacôme gives far greater insight and explanation of this method, allowing both teachers and players to benefit without ambiguity from these timeless teachings. This book should be in the possession of every brass player and teacher - it will enhance everything you do.

Professor Roger B Webster PhD
Senior Lecturer, Performance and Psychology
Royal Northern College of Music

With The Inspiration of Saint-Jacôme, Dave Bertie has produced a quite remarkable book, finding the hidden gems in the Saint-Jacôme Grand Method, researching, editing, and organising them in a thoroughly comprehensive way. The book contains drills, exercises, studies, and duets in all the major and minor keys, together with a meticulously researched history of the life and times of Saint-Jacôme. This book will surely become a must have for all trumpet players and teachers.

John Hardy
Principal Cornet (1983 – 2012)
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Mr. Bertie has done a great service for the trumpet playing world with this new edition of Saint-Jacôme. To quote myself, “He has put order to the chaos”. Now there is no reason why this new Saint-Jacôme shouldn’t be on every brass player’s shelf right next to their Arban.

Eric Bolvin
Author of the Saint-Jacôme Manual

David Bertie should be thanked for unravelling, and shedding light on, the incredible wealth of material that Saint-Jacôme left us in his Grand Method. Any trumpet student who gets into this material using David’s enhancement, explanation, and back-story, will have spent their time to rich result. It's amazing it took so long for this material to reach greater clarity and usefulness. David’s excellent investigation and presentation are to be congratulated.

Rob Roy McGregor
Balquhidder Music/Glen Lyon Books

David, thanks so much for your new interpretation of Saint-Jacôme's Grand Method for Cornet and Trumpet. This is a great resource for brass musicians worldwide and your well written biography goes a long way in giving context to and understanding of its historical importance. To paraphrase Herbert L. Clarke “every serious player should have a copy.”

Robb Stewart
Robb Stewart Brass Instruments

Mr Bertie has achieved and anchored a milestone in the Trumpet world in this comprehensive revision of the Grande Méthode de Cornet by Saint-Jacôme. To take on a ‘Grand Method’ and make it even ‘grander’ is a remarkable achievement. Not only is there ample material for technical and musical virtuosity but also

included is a superb historical context in which we learn about Saint-Jacôme’s life. This inspired rethinking of the ‘Grand Method’ must be considered an absolute practice companion for every serious Trumpet student.


Philippe Schartz
Section Principal Trumpet BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Dear Mr. Bertie, this work really is a monument of research. What astounds me is the effort and care that you took to compile the selections of music in such an accurate and helpful manner. It is also incredible that some very important facts about Saint-Jacôme's life are included in the work. It takes great care and time to inspect historical documents, especially using information extracted from many primary resources. Thank you for making such a helpful resource available to all of us.

Dr Richard Schwartz
Author of the Cornet Compendium


This is terrific, David. The Grand Method of Saint-Jacôme has long been a favorite of mine and I am pleased it has become the same for you. Your editions of the Artistic and Characteristic Studies are perfect for the player seeking clear guidance on how to approach these études, and I very much look forward to seeing them published in the Colin Publications catalogue.

Graham Ashton
Professor of Music, Purchase College
State University of New York

The Inspiration of Saint-Jacôme contains a wealth pedagogical, musical, and historical content. I'm so excited at the possibility of practicing Saint-Jacôme with the clarity and focus provided here. Bravo to David Bertie for such an important and generous body of work.

Chris Gekker
Professor of Trumpet, Distinguished University Professor
University of Maryland

I am one of those who grew up with the Arban Grand Method and never took a serious look at Saint-Jacôme’s until I was a professional trumpet teacher. I simply didn't see the value others saw in it. Like an expert gem cutter, David Bertie has updated and organized this venerable tome so that its many unique facets are featured as never before. I have never recommended the Saint-Jacôme Grand Method as an all-around study method, but I do now, and David Bertie's edition is the one I recommend.

Frank Gabriel Campos
Professor emeritus, Ithaca College
Author, Trumpet Technique, Oxford University Press

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