The Time of My Life

The Time of My Life

Independent, distributed by CD Baby (2013)



Brunette Dillon-Piccolo Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Bb Trumpet

Los Angeles Studio Orchestra, Jorge Mester & Bill Reichenbach-Conductors


1-3. Kim Scharnberg – Travelogue for Trumpet

4. Jim Self – Whimsies for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone

5. Georg Philipp Telemann – Fantasies for Flute No. 4

6-8. Carlo Tessarini – Sonata in D for Trumpet and Orchestra

9. Georg Philipp Telemann – Fantasies for Flute No. 2

10-12. Ronald Royer – Concerto for Trumpets and Orchestra

13. George Philipp Telemann – Fantasies for Flute No. 6

Video Playlist
1/3 videos
Concerto for Trumpets and Orchestra: Ouverture, For Piccolo Trumpet
Concerto for Trumpets and Orchestra: Ouverture, For Piccolo Trumpet
Nocturne, For Flugelhorn
Nocturne, For Flugelhorn
Divertissment, For Trumpet
Divertissment, For Trumpet

More than once I have heard colleagues comment “…they are actually paying me to do this”. The musicians and friends who participated in this project fit into that category. I am both pleased and honored that they chose to perform on my CD. -Burnette Dillon

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.

Recording Notes:

The Time of My life was recorded at the historic Ocean Way Recording. Hannes Bieger, in Sound On, writes: “It is hard to avoid superlatives when writing about this landmark studio located on Sunset Boulevard, in the heart of Hollywood. Ocean Way has been dubbed ‘the Abbey Road of the West Coast’, and more than a billion copies of records produced there have been sold worldwide.”

Originally named The United Western studios, it was constructed in 1952, and was the home of many major recording sessions in the 1960s and 1970s. The owner, Bill Putnam, was a pioneer in recording studio acoustics. He was involved in the early development of stereophonic recording and is acknowledged to be the first person to use artificial reverberation for commercial recordings. Allen Sides purchased the United property in 1988 and renamed it Ocean Way Recording. Some of the famous musicians who recorded in these studios include Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Chick Corea, Bette Midler, and Frank Zappa.

It was a treat to record in this wonderful studio with a group of exceptional musicians, including our trumpet soloist, Burnette Dillon and the preeminent conductor, Jorge Mester. The recording was engineered and edited by the masterful John Richards. To add to the pleasure of this experience, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the famous Canadian American singer, songwriter and actor, Paul Anka, who was recording in another room at the studio.

When it came to mixing the recording, Burnette booked Capitol Studios, another famous Hollywood landmark studio. Capitol knew how to make the experience feel special, starting with a personalized parking space!

Jorge Mester, Burnette Dillon and Ronald Royer during the recording session at the famous Ocean Way Recording Studio, Los Angeles
John Richards at the mixing board at Ocean Way Recording, while Vincent Cirilli focuses on the Pro Tools computer program
Parking in a personalized space before mixing the recording at Capitol Studios