2007 (approx 8 mins)
for 4 trumpets (4 Bb, 2 doubling Eb)
Commissioned by The Park Lane Group in memory of Philip Jones
This work was commissioned by The Park Lane Group for four exceptional young trumpeters to play in the Park Lane Group Young Concert Artists Series. The work is dedicated, at the request of the Park Lane Group, to the memory of Philip Jones – one of my idols, whose influence in brass ensemble playing of the twentieth century remains unparalleled.
The trumpet itself has developed beyond all measure in the last thirty years, in technical terms of construction and the facility of musicians who play it. It is now an instrument capable of playing florid lines, extremes of range and dynamics, etc. This work intentionally explores the various characteristics of the instrument as well as techniques that recent advancements in engineering have made possible. Quarter-tones, low ‘pedal’ notes, valve tremelos and a variety of mutes are a few ways in which alluring sonorities and a palette of timbres are achieved.
The title refers directly to the first four trumpets from the Book of Revelation. About twenty years ago, I wrote a piece called The Fifth Trumpet for The Wallace Collection – a symbolic work on this Biblical theme. With four trumpets available, I felt impelled to return to the subject. The design of this new composition reflects the shape of the appropriate chapters, where increasing trumpet calls generate tension through counterpoint, set against images of a changing landscape.
© Paul Max Edlin 2006
Perusal score available on request