• John Joubert
  • Chamber Music for Brass Quintet (1985)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Fine Arts Brass Ensemble with funds from West Midlands Arts

  • hn.2tpt.tbn.tba
  • 15 min

Programme Note

John Joubert: Chamber Music for Brass Quintet, Op. 104
Allegro - Adagietto - Vivace

Commissioned by the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble with the aid of funds provided by West Midlands Arts, and first performed at the Three Choirs Festival on August 22nd 1985.

The three movements of my Chamber Music for Brass Quintet were composed during the first few months of this year, the full score being completed on the 22nd May. Unlike much of my recent music, which has either text of some kind or a literary background, it is an abstract work wholly free of extra-musical content - hence the title which is intended to suggest a 'classical' orientation. Like all my music, however, it is tonally based - in this case in the key of D flat.

The first movement is dominated by the repeated-note pattern heard at the beginning. A more lyrical theme using wider intervals is introduced by the second trumpet, closely followed by the trombone. The rest of the movement is concerned with the interlinking and juxtaposition of these ideas.

The adagietto which follows is played muted throughout, except for the middle section where the unmuted horn has florid semi-quaver passage-work leading to the return of the opening melody, varied, on the first trumpet.

The first half of the concluding vivace presents three ideas which are repeated with different treatment and in different order in the second half. They are (a) a scalic figure accompanied by repeated notes, (b) a chromatic theme first heard on the tuba, and (c) a legato melody first heard on the horn and repeated on trumpets in octaves. On their repetition we hear first the chromatic theme treated fugally, then the horn melody repeated as before by trumpets on octaves and finally the scalic figure plus repeated notes which together bring the work to its conclusion.
© 1985 John Joubert