Encounters III

Duel for Trumpet and Percussion

William Kraft

Set of Performance Scores
Performing Ensemble: Small Mixed Ensemble (2-9 Instruments)
Instrumentation: Trumpet, Percussion: vibraphone, song of bells (deagan) (optional but desirable), glockenspiel, tam tam, tuned gongs, 5 temple blocks, 5 cowbells: lowest one should be tuned to low D, 3 triangles, 5 suspended cymbals, 8 crotales, bongos (one pair), snare drum, field drum, tenor drum, bass drum
Item Number: 114-40994
Number of Pages: 16 x 2
Duration: 15:40
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: In Print


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Encounters III

Quick Overview

"Encounters III" is conceived of as a medieval battle; the trumpet represents the attacking force, the percussion the defending. There are three movements: I. "Strategy", II. "Truce of God", and III. "Tactics". Under one of the classical theories of warfare, strategy is considered the process of getting the enemy to come to battle, and tactics are the ways the battle is fought. The title "Truce of God" refers to a medieval convention of war wherein a truce, supervised by the Pope, was maintained from sundown Thursday to sunrise Monday.

I. "Strategy": After the approaching force (trumpet) has established contact with the defender (percussion) the players-combatants launch into a series of twelve attacks and counter-attacks. Medieval soldiers were often fixed in a position behind their shields with their spears jammed into the ground to impale horses - or men. The percussion, as the defending force, thusly is given twelve counterattacks which correspond to twelve attacks of the trumpet. The trumpet has a choice in the order of attacks, and the percussionist must recognize the attack and give the corresponding counterattack.

II. "Truce of God" is based on the Landini cadence (7-6-8), creation of the 14th-century composer Francesco Landini (1325-1397). In reference to the peaceful and holy aspets of the truce, the orchestration centers on bell sounds of many varieties - song bells, tuned gongs, vibraphone, Pyrenees cowbell and glockenspiel - while the trumpet suggests distant horns or bulges.

III. "Tactics" is made of real skirmishes and battles calling for great virtuosity on the part of both soloists. The middle of the movement is occupied by two cadenzas, one for the trumpet and one for the percussion. A last skirmish leads to the denouement - the defeat and withdrawl of the trumpet, and the restoration of peace.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Thomas M. Stevens
Composition Date 1971


I. Strategy
II. Truce of God
III. Tactics