Yesterday was the fourth, and final, recording day with Christian Amonson of Arts Laureate at the helm of the recording booth. We recorded Doug Hedwig’s beautiful three-movement work New Worlds for soprano, trumpet and piano. My CSU colleagues, Tiffany Blake (soprano) and Tim Burns (piano) collaborated on this new piece. In fact, all five works that I recorded over this week were newly-commissioned chamber pieces that feature the trumpet.
New Worlds was finished in April of this year, and is based on three poems that were compelling to Doug to set to music. The first poem, Annus Mirabilis, is by John Dryden (written in 1666), and Doug called this movement “Lunar Neighbors.” The second poem, written in 1744, is by John Armstrong, and is called The Art of Preserving Health. This movement is called “In Their Turns to Rise” which is the last line of that poem. The last movement, “Our Moon,” is based on the eponymous poem by Peter Elias, a 20th-century poet.
It was great to record this piece, featuring the wonderful singing of Tiffany, after all the more trumpet-centric compositions earlier. Here are some photos of yesterday’s session:
In this post, I’ll share a few pieces written for a trumpet ensemble of seven trumpets. Today, the recordings were made by students (except for Ben Wright in the first example).
A week ago, I wrote a post about the trumpet ensemble for baroque trumpets, but I forgot to mention probably the most important trumpet ensemble piece ever written. This is the Concerto for 7 Trumpets and Timpani by Johann Ernst Altenburg (1734-1801). It was printed in his equally-important book, Versuch einer Anleitung zur heroisch-musikalischen Trompeter- und Paukerkunst (An Essay on the Introduction to Heroic and Musical Trumpeters’ and Kettledrummers’ Art) (Halle, 1795).
Here is Ben Wright performing this piece with students from the New England Conservatory on piccolo trumpets:
We have already explored some 5- and 6-piece trumpet ensemble pieces by Erik Morales, but here is one for seven: his Music from Strange Places played by trumpet students from the University of Miami at the 2015 NTC competition.
And, as you might have imagined, Eric Ewazen also wrote for this instrumentation. His Fantasia for Seven Trumpets here is played by a Florida State University Trumpet Ensemble at the 2019 NTC Semi-Finals.