Chronicles for Trumpet and Wind Symphony

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  • Duration 17 min
  • Year 1998
  • Instrumentation solo trumpet, picc, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 bsn, Eb cl, 3 Bb cl, bass cl, contrabass cl, 2 alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, 3 cornets, 2 trumpets, 4 hrn, 3 trb, 2 baritone, tuba, timp, perc.
  • Commissioned by for Philip Smith by several American Universities
  • Publisher C. Alan Publications

1. Prelude


2. Lamentation


3. Epilogue


Program Notes

Chronicles for Trumpet and Wind Symphony was premiered February 26, 1999 at the CBDNA National Conference by the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony, Eric Rombach-Kendall conductor, Philip Smith soloist. This work was commissioned by the University of New Mexico along with the following Consortium members:

Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Mallory Thompson, Conductor
Michigan State University Wind Ensemble, John L. Whitwell, Conductor
Yale University Concert Band, Thomas C. Duffy, Music Director
Texas Tech University Symphonic Band, John Cody Birdwell, Director
New Mexico State University Symphonic Winds, Ken Van Winkle, Director
Sam Houston State University Wind Ensemble, Matthew McInturf, Director
Baylor University Wind Ensemble, Michael Haithcock, Conductor
University of Oregon Wind Ensemble, Robert Ponto, Conductor
University of South Florida Wind Ensemble, William Wiedrich, Conductor

I composed Chronicles during the summer of 1998. It's the second large trumpet work I've written for Phil Smith. The first being a Concerto for Trumpet commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in 1988. This work in many ways could also be considered a concerto if not in a strict sense of form at least in its expansiveness.

The first movement (Prologue ) has several thematic ideas that interweave throughout. There's a mixture of pointillism verses lyricism here along with a driving pulse created by running scale passages shared between soloist and ensemble. I also use a fanfare like motive (as in the opening solo trumpet cadenza) which serves as a unifying force that reappears throughout There is a quick coda, ending with a seven bar chorale in which the solo trumpet recaps material from the opening cadenza.

The second movement (Lamentation ) begins with a chorale and consists of several contrasting sections: Section A, the opening chorale with the soloist entering in the later half of the section. Following is section B (a restless agitato). This section builds to a short climax which leads us to section C (a plaintive melody in the clarinets followed by a building of tension in the brass). Section D follows (a lyrical trumpet melody with a steady ostinato accompaniment). There is a short trumpet cadenza followed by the return of the opening chorale. The movement slowly fades into silence.

The last movement (Epilogue ) is no more than a rondo in 3/4 time. There are several sections all of which lead to a trumpet cadenza. Following the cadenza is a fast coda bringing back material from the first movement. The solo trumpet states one last high staccato fanfare as the piece whirls to it's conclusion.