(string parts can be played by a section or a single player)
Other Version: Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Piano
When Burnette Dillon asked me to write a concerto using a variety of different trumpets, I was intrigued. We began by making a plan to use three instruments: a piccolo trumpet in A, a flugelhorn and a trumpet in Bb. Both the piccolo trumpet and the flugelhorn were new territory for me as a composer. Luckily, Burnette was a commissioner who wanted to have an active part in the creation of a new work. His help in creating solo parts that were idiomatic was invaluable. Burnette has worked as both a symphonic and studio musician in Los Angeles, so I decided to make musical references to both worlds.
The opening Ouverture, for piccolo trumpet, is in a neo-baroque style, in homage to an instrument commonly associated with this era. The movement is basically in a French Ouverture form, with a slow majestic start followed by a fast, energetic, and virtuosic middle section, and ends with a return to the slow majestic music. The musical material from the very opening is continually developed throughout the movement, using a variety of baroque (and more contemporary) techniques, including a fugato in the fast section.
The slow movement features the flugelhorn, an instrument rarely used in classical compositions, but commonly found in jazz ensembles. Being a Nocturne, the movement aims to suggest a night atmosphere with a quiet and meditative character. Starting with a slow plaintive melody, the movement switches to a more upbeat section with a slight jazz influence, suggesting a little night time frivolity.
The finale is for the Bb trumpet and is named Divertissement, a piece designed for the entertainment of the audience and the players. The movement is in a straight forward sonata allegro form, but sounds more like a musical potpourri, going through a variety of virtuosic episodes for the trumpet, the horn section and the rest of the ensemble. Film music is an influence, here paying tribute to Hollywood action/adventure films.