David Sawer: Trumpet Concerto

David Sawer Trumpet Concerto
Trumpet Concerto

David Sawer: Trumpet Concerto

Year of composition:
1994
Scored for:
for trumpet and orchestra
Composer:
David Sawer
Soloists:
trumpet
Instrumentation:
2 2 3 2 - 4 3 4 1 - perc(5), hp, pno, str - high soprano (vocalises)
Instrumentation details:
2(1 & 2/alto/picc)·2·(2/eng hn)·3(2 & 3/contl)·1·cbn - 4·3·4·1 - perc(5) - hp - pf - strings - high soprano
Commission:
Commissioned by Graham Ashton with funds from Arts Council of England
Duration:
13’
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Audiosamples

Trumpet Concerto
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Work introduction

The title ‘concerto’ can give audiences the expectation of an almost physical opposition between soloist and orchestra. Composers know this perfectly well, and cannily use the label either to reinforce or confound these expectations. David Sawer’s Trumpet Concerto is certainly a theatrical piece, where the soloist is a performer in some sort of drama, and where everything that he does is a response to his situation. The trumpet in Sawer’s concerto is a protagonist who takes on the orchestra, and, almost literally, lifts it up in a series of four fights. Each time, until the last, the orchestra drops to the ground, regains its strength, and makes a comeback, repositioned for battle, with new tactics and new armour. The most obvious signs of this are the predominance of different percussion sounds in each of the fights: first metal, then wood, followed by skin, and finally metal again. The changes between these sonorities take place in the preparations for each fight, which are dancelike, rather like two boxers circling round each other before fists begin to fly.

Martin Cotton

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