• John McCabe
  • Sonata after William Byrd's 'Haec Dies' for Trumpet and Piano (2014)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • trumpet, piano
  • 15 min

Programme Note

This Sonata was commissioned by Simon Debruslais, and derives its underlying material from William Byrd’s motet Haec Dies from his 1591 collection of Cantiones Sacrae.
An outline of the motet is "hidden” within the texture of the music, but never stated directly. The Sonata employs that beautiful instrument the Flugelhorn (beloved of Vaughan Williams and Miles Davis) for the first two main sections, switching to D Trumpet (familiar from Baroque music) for the final part, which is faster than the earlier ones. The first section is moderately-paced and obsessively circles around particular intervals, notably parallel or near-parallel fifths (possibly my revenge on the academic world). The middle part of the work is slow, framed by very brief scherzando trio-like sections. The piece lasts about 17 minutes.

(c) John McCabe, 2014