Kelvin Grove Art Gallery, Glasgow
John Wallace, trumpet, John Butt, organ
This piece began life as the second and third movements of a Sonata for solo trumpet. Because of the stamina problems it presented, I then adapted it for two trumpeters, to share the strain; taking the opportunity to enhance the echo-effect in the canzona and open out the antiphonal implications of the toccata. (The solo version still remains extant, as a kind of ultimate endurance test, if the player can surmount it!)
Even this didn't seem quite enough; and I've enjoyed the further challenge of developing the same music further still, and realizing its latent harmony, in this version for single trumpet with organ. In the process came many changes, expansions, additions; entirely new is the long continuation of the echo-canzona (a "middle eight" that far outlasts the original melody before and after); and the original material of the toccata takes many new twists and turns before homing in on a triumphal chorale-like ending that clearly couldn't have been possible in either of the previous incarnations.
The music itself remains (I trust) self-explanatory and unproblematic. The purpose is to exploit, first, the trumpet's potential for lyric cantabile lines; then its brilliance, nimbleness, declamatory rhetoric, technical bravura, and sheer power.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer