Written for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

  • 2tpt.hn.tbn.tba
  • 10 min

Programme Note

Edward Gregson's Quintet is for 2 trumpets in C, horn in F, trombone and tuba. The title page of the score is inscribed 14th Feb '67, London. There are only two movements; Andante sostenuto and Allegro molto ritmico, but the first is divided into two parts, the second being Allegro Scherzando. The horn opens the main theme, cantabile, three rising notes followed by a quaver-semiquaver pattern, both of which are seminal. The time is 6/8 changing to 7/8, thereafter an alternation of 6/8 and 3/8, with occasional single bars of 5/8. The accompanying repeated note motive is also of considerable importance, and becomes more so with the change to Allegro scherzando, 6/8, which is built upon repeated notes with a semitonal rise. With a crisp fff chord at cue 9 there comes the return to Tempo Primo (Andante sostenuto) and the opening material, the theme now given by the first trumpet and the trombone in canon.

The second movement is, as indicated, strongly rhythmical, with crisp accents and a powerful impetus based upon a quaver-and-rest formulation. At the Meno mosso five bars after cue 21, the second trumpet leads off into a fugal section, the order of entry being - horn, trombone, tuba, first trumpet, in 4/4-5/4 time, and ending on trills in the three upper instruments. There is then a repeat of the first part of the movement leading to an independent coda.

Burnett James