Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra

Lauren Bernofsky

Rental
Publisher: Balquhidder Music
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Although Lauren Bernofsky was trained as a violinist, she has contributed a substantial amount to the brass repertory. Among these pieces is her Trumpet Concerto (1998), a full-length work cast in the traditional formal plan of the classical concerto, but in a more modern tonal language. The piece was written as her doctoral dissertation for Boston University, under the guidance of Lukas Foss.

The first movement, Allegro, is based on principles of sonata form, with a relatively fast first theme and a more lyrical second theme. The trumpet's opening flourish begins with an outline of a G major dominant seventh chord, but by the top of the arpeggio the B (or third) has become a B-flat (thus implying G minor). This major/minor interplay foreshadows the character of the first theme, which plays the ideas of minor and major off of each other. The lyrical second theme borrows its accompanimental figures from the first three notes of the first theme, and the trumpet plays this gently-cascading second theme muted, for a more mysterious color. The movement has the traditional development section followed by a recapitulation and ending with a virtuosic cadenza.

The second movement, entitled Cantilena, has a more intimate character, and the trumpet is once again muted as it plays the "singing" solo line. The piece is in ternary form; in the middle section, the trumpet plays the melody, and then this material is taken over by the piano while the trumpet plays an accompanimental line. The unusual, haunting harmonies in this movement come from the simultaneous use of two tonal centers, D major and E-flat major (for instance, the opening melody outlines D major, but with a bass line in E-flat.)

The third movement, marked Allegro leggiero, is a quick and sprightly movement following the outline of a rondo form, though one of the intervening sections is itself an A-B-A. The dance-like character of this movement comes from the use of asymmetrical meters (such as 8/8 bars divided into 3 + 3 + 2). The cadenza in this movement comes to a close with a curious technique: while playing a trill, the trumpeter slowly adjusts the third slide so that the half-step trill gradually becomes unison repeated notes.

This piece was originally orchestrated for a classical-size orchestra with double winds and brass, and a piano reduction was later commissioned by the trumpeter Mary L. Thornton as part of her doctoral dissertation project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Scores & Parts

Concerto for Trumpet - Solo Part with Piano Reduction

Additional Information

Composition Date 1998
Duration 23:00
Orchestration Solo Tpt.; 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere August 12, 2001. Gary Peterson, Trumpet, Symfoniorkesteret from the Halsn?y Musikksommerskole

Details

I Allegro
II Cantilena
III Allegro leggiero