Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra
Original 1977, rev. 1985, orchestrated 2018
This started life as Concerto for Trumpet and Brass Band, the cover of which says ‘Trumpet Concerto, Brass Band version’, the intention from the start being to make an orchestral version at some point. Finally, roughly 40 years later, I have got round to completing this major project, which I now regard as my definitive Trumpet Concerto.
The music is substantially the same — the solo part is almost identical — but enhanced in various ways in the standard orchestra with the addition of a drumkit and a bass guitar (full details below). This has allowed me to realise fully some of the ideas, with particular leanings towards jazz and rock, that I could only hint at in the original version (it gets positively prog in the last movement!). The work is in three movements, to be played without a break. The soloist changes to flugelhorn for the central slow movement, which I dedicated in memoriam Duke Ellington, who had recently died at the time of the original composition. Ellington’s tune Mood Indigo weaves in and out of the texture of the first half of this movement, becoming a long, slow lament after the soloist’s big cadenza.
As the work is intended to run continuously, the recording you’re invited to listen to below is a single 27 minute chunk of audio/video, but if you want to go to individual movements, movement II starts at 5:21 and III at 18:29.
I would of course be truly ecstatic if there’s a soloist, conductor, orchestra or other commissioning body out there that would care to perform, and preferably fund this piece…
- 3 Flutes (Fl. 2 doubles on Alto flute, Fl. 3 on Piccolo)
- 3 Oboes (Ob. 3 doubles on Cor anglais)
- 3 Clarinets (Cl. 3 doubles on Bass clarinet)
- 3 Bassoons (Bsn. 3 doubles on Contrabassoon)
- 4 Horns in F, with standard horn mutes
- 3 Trumpets in B flat, with straight, harmon and cup mutes (Tpt. 3 doubles on Flugelhorn in B flat, no mutes required)
- 3 Trombones (Tbn. 3 should be tenor-bass), with cup, harmon, straight and plunger mutes
- Tuba, with standard tuba mute
- Percussion 1: Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, 5 Cowbells
- Percussion 2: Xylophone, Marimba, Crotales, 5 Temple blocks, Tam-tam
- Percussion 3: Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Tubular bells, Snare drum, Tam-tam
- Percussion 4: Drumkit, Glockenspiel, Tubular bells, 1 Maraca
- Bass guitar: 5-string (low B) fretless
- Soloist: the outer movements are for Trumpet in C, with harmon, cup and plunger mutes for the finale. The middle movement is played on a Flugelhorn in B flat (no mutes required).
- Strings (minimum sections):
- 12 Violins I
- 10 Violins II
- 10 Violas
- 8 Cellos
- 6 Double basses
Performances / broadcasts / ‘real’ recordings
None so far... anyone?
Listen to MIDI version (27:08)
This is the identical recording twice, the choice being offered in case of technical hiccups on either of the ‘mother ships’. Note: these two players will run simultaneously, so unless you fancy a double dose (out of sync) of my ‘spiritual output’, I recommend that you take care to avoid this happening!
This a computer-generated mockup of music entirely or partially for ‘real’ instruments. Clearly it is no substitute for a live performance, but it’s all I’ve got — or perhaps all I can make public for various reasons. There’s a fuller disclaimer on the Listen page.
...with a sneak preview of the score
Or just in case YouTube isn’t co-operating today...
- Sequencer: MOTU Digital Performer (Mac)
- Each part was recorded to an individual audio track, which were then grouped into stems: flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets and trombones were each given a sub-stem; then the woodwind sub-stems were grouped into a main woodwind stem, as were the brass sub-stems along with the tuba track into a main brass stem. The percussion got their own stem, as did the strings, leaving only the piano, harp, bass guitar and soloist ungrouped. This made managing the complete mix very much easier. Very gentle application of MOTU MasterWorks Limiter; reverb is Eventide 2016 Stereo Room.
- All woodwind: AudioModeling SWAM instruments
- All brass including soloist: SampleModeling — The Trumpet (which includes flugelhorn), The Trombone, Horn and Tuba (host: NI Kontakt)
- Xylophone, Crotales, Glockenspiel: Spitfire Audio Ricotti Mallets (host: NI Kontakt)
- Vibraphone, Marimba: SonicCouture Vibraphone, Grand Marimba (host: NI Kontakt)
- Tubular bells: Modartt Pianoteq 6
- Maraca: DrumLab Cabasa (yes, really) (host: NI Kontakt)
- Cowbells, Snare drum, Temple blocks: NI Battery
- Drumkits, Tam-tam: NI Kontakt library instruments
- Piano, Harp: Modartt Pianoteq 6
- Bass guitar: IK Multimedia Sample Tank library instruments
- Section strings: Spitfire Audio Sable Strings (host: NI Kontakt)
- Solo strings: Embertone Friedlander Violin, Fischer Viola, Blakus Cello, Leonid Bass (host: NI Kontakt)
- Score: MakeMusic Finale
- Movie: Apple iMovie
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