Tandem, New Music for Two Trumpets

Tandem, New Music for Two Trumpets

Independent, distributed by CD Baby (2016)

I’d like to express my deep appreciation to Bruce, Jim and Ron for composing such melodic and lyrical music. Their talent, energy, ongoing support and friendship surpassed all my expectations from the outset. – Barton Woomert

Recordings

Performers

Barton Woomert & Steven Woomert – Trumpet / Rachel Kerr & Sonya Sim – Piano

For Royer: Barton Woomert-Trumpet, Steven Woomert-Flugelhorn & Rachel Kerr-Piano

Tracks

1-3. Jim McGrath – Three Bagatelles for Two Trumpets and Piano

4-11. Ronald Royer – Fantasy Variations on a Gregorian Chant for Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Piano (16:45)

4. Theme (1:40)

5. Variation 1: Largo (2:14)

6. Variation 2 (Echoes): Andante (1:31)

7. Variation 3 (Hocket): Allegretto (1:15)

8. Variation 4 (Romanza): Moderato (2:59)

9. Variation 5 (Turkish): Allegro (1:32)

10. Variation 6 (Danza): Allegro giusto (2:07)

11. Variation 7 (Epilogue): Meno mosso – Majestic (3:27)

12-14. Bruce Broughton – Three, for Two B-flat Trumpets, Cornets and Piano

15. Jim McGrath – Hollywood Nocturne for Trumpet and Piano

Introduction

While performing for many years in the orchestral world, I always held a vision to be instrumental in bringing new music to the trumpet community, particularly as I began working closely with advanced trumpet students and then to my surprise, with my own trumpet-aspiring son. When I set out to commission the new works for this project, my primary goal was to contribute beautiful music that was challenging but also enjoyable for trumpeters to play. I’d like to express my deep appreciation to Bruce, Jim and Ron for composing such melodic and lyrical music. Their talent, energy, ongoing support and friendship surpassed all my expectations from the outset. – Barton Woomert

Program Notes

I have composed several works that have been inspired by various types of classical music from the past, but this is the first time I was inspired by the music of the Middle Ages. Barton and Steve Woomert approached me to compose a work featuring two trumpets and piano in an expressive and melodic style. I thought of the possibility of composing a set of variations based on a Gregorian chant, and that it could be colourful to use a trumpet and a flugelhorn instead of two trumpets. Then we decided to expand the project by creating two versions, one for piano and one using chamber orchestra to accompany the two brass instruments.

For the theme, I chose the Kyrie Cunctipotens Genitor, a musical setting of the Kyrie that was written in the 10th century and was appropriate to be sung on Christmas Day as part of the Mass. In the early 1360s, Guillaume de Machaut chose this chant for the Kyrie section of his La Messe de Nostre Dame. I start my Fantasy Variations with the piano playing a quote from the beginning of Machaut’s Kyrie. The Kyrie chant main theme enters, played first by the flugelhorn then by the trumpet. The introductory Machaut material returns, in varied form, at the beginning of variations 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7. In variation 1, the trumpet and flugelhorn play the theme transformed by music from classic Hollywood epic biblical films such as Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. Variation 2 (Echoes), seeks to have the trumpet and flugelhorn create the sound of echoes, as found in nature. Variation 3 (Hocket) is based on a Hocket, a device used in polyphonic music of the 13th and 14th centuries which is characterized by the splitting of a melodic line between two voices. The trumpet and flugelhorn use this devise, where one instrument sounds while the other is silent, to play the main melody of this variation. Variation 4 (Romanza) is influenced by the film music of Film Noir movies, featuring a seductive and slightly disturbed atmosphere in honour of the “femme fatale”. In variation 5 (Turkish), inspiration comes from Turkish classical music, with the trumpet playing a short cadenza followed by a rhythmic section in an unusual 14/8 time. Variation 6 (Danza) is inspired by the rhythmically intense music of the Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera. Variation 7 (Epilogue) returns to France, the country of origin for the opening Machaut music. However, inspiration has now fast forwarded to the music of French Impressionism. A part of the original Gregorian chant returns before the music builds to a celebratory and triumphant finish.

Top Photo: Steven & Barton Woomert, Rachel Kerr & Sonya Sim