Chamber music: trumpet ensemble for six

We will explore the trumpet ensemble for six today, and there are a lot of great pieces. Let’s start with the very prolific composer, Amy Dunker’s Florisshen, played by Illinois State University’s Valkyrie trumpet ensemble. She also wrote Slider for the same instrumentation. Full disclosure: I’m preparing an unaccompanied piece written for my by Amy for an upcoming recording session called Three Views from the Hubble Telescope—it’s a very challenging piece, but so cool!

Eric Ewazen, one of my favorite composers, and a contemporary composer who has written so much music for brass, wrote A Concert Fanfare, played here by the Vancouver Island Trumpet Ensemble. There is a funny opening that comes before this split-screen recording (so wait a few seconds).

Ewazen also wrote a wonderful Prelude and Fugue for six trumpets. Bertold Hummel wrote Säckingen for six trumpets and timpani. Here is the third movement:

Great-sounding contemporary composer Kevin McKee wrote the very popular Dürrenhorn Passage, played here by the U.S. Army Band Trumpet Ensemble.

And, lastly, revisiting Erik Morales (who we looked at in yesterday’s post), here is his Conquest in a split-screen performance with Rich Stoelzel (Canada), José Cháfer (Spain), Manu Mellaerts (Belgium), Fabrizio Nasetti (Italy), Sławomir Cichor (Poland) and Matthias Kamps (Germany).


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Chamber music: trumpet ensemble for five

The trumpet ensemble is a fluid genre. It can be scored for three to six to dozens of trumpets. In Monday’s post, I shared some modern trumpet ensemble literature for three and four trumpets. Today, I’d like to look at trumpet ensembles made up of five trumpets.

Here is the Eastman trumpet ensemble playing Tony Plog’s Contrasts.

Jan Koetsier wrote a three-movement Concertino Piccolo for two piccolo trumpets in A and three C trumpets. Here is the first movement:

There are many other “serious” trumpet quintet compositions, but on a slightly lighter note, here are some trumpet ensemble pieces by the popular composer Erik Morales, starting with his Cityscapes.

Here is his Cyclone.

Morales also has a Metallic Fury, Path of Discovery and X1 for trumpet quintet–all great. If you’re interested in something a little jazzy, here is Wolf Escher’s Five Steps to the Answer.


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