Two Portraits

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1. Psalm


2. Incantation


Program Notes

I composed the TWO PORTRAITS for the 20th Anniversary of the International Trumpet Guild. This work was written in the summer of 1995, and consists of two movements. Both movements are in a romantic contemporary style and may be played as a set or individually.

The first of these Portraits entitled PSALM was originally published in the International Trumpet Guild Journal. This movement was conceived as a Flugelhorn solo. The soloist in this movement plays a kind of quite soulful chant over a ostinato figure in the piano. There are some cadenzas for the soloist and the piece develops into several sections before returning to the ostinato figures.

This ostinato figure although in 3/4 feels more like 6/8 at times and this 3/4, 6/8 alternation runs throughout the movement. When this is played against the melodic line in the solo part it leads to some interesting and unexpected results. The movement is approximately 6 minutes in length.

The second Portrait entitled INCANTATION is for both Trumpet and Flugelhorn. This movement is in direct contrast to the PSALM with it's character being more energetic and lively with a good share of changing meters. There are some strong melodic lines in the solo part which soar above the rhythmic excitement in the piano. There is a lot of contrasting material here, always changing, yet driving forward. There are some nice running passages throughout for both soloist and pianist, and a contrasting middle section with long singing melodic lines. This movement makes a good companion piece for the Psalm. Approximately 5 minutes in length.

TWO PORTRAITS was recorded in 1996 by Cala Records with Phil Smith and Joseph Turrin at the Piano. It should be available in 1998 as part of a series called NEW YORK LEGENDS with Principal players from the New York Philharmonic. Other works by the composer recorded on this CD include INTRADA, FESTIVAL FANFARE, and an arrangement of George Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me" for trumpet & piano).