Commissioned by Howard Snell with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain

For James Watson

  • timp/str(min
  • trumpet
  • 21 min
    • 12th July 2025, Methodist Central Hall, Scarborough, United Kingdom
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Programme Note

The Trumpet Concerto is in the usual three movements and is scored for Strings and Timpani. The first movement, Allegro giusto, has a sonata form outline and contrasts two main ideas; the first is strident, angular and highly rhythmic: the second is more lyrical and pensive. The strings and timpani play a dramatic role in the musical argument. The second movement again has contrasting elements. After an orchestral introduction (which re-introduces the twelve-note statement heard in the first movement, this time on pizzicato violins) the trumpet enters dramatically. The music here is fragmented but soon dissolves into a more flowing middle section which builds to a powerful climax. The opening music returns, this time in inversion, but leads now to a simple and plaintive re-working of the first trumpet entry. The tension has been resolved and there follows a short cadenza in which the timpani eventually enters and links with the trumpet straight into the Finale, Vivo e brillante. This is more light-hearted and is cast in rondo form. The rondo theme itself is exuberant, upward running scales abounding. The episodes, a broad sweeping tune followed by a hectic string fugato based on the rondo tune, and finally a scherzo, punctuate the various re-appearances of the main theme. A boisterous coda concludes the work.

This work was commissioned by Howard Snell and the Wren Orchestra of London with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Denby Richards, 1983


Trumpet Concerto: I. Allegro vigoroso - Meno mosso - Tempo I ma piu mosso
Trumpet Concerto: II. Mesto (In Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich) -
Trumpet Concerto: III. Vivio e brillante - Scherzando


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