Quintet No. 1 for Brass
Instrumentation: Brass Quintet Instruments: 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone and Tuba
The Quintet No. 1 for Brass (2004) was composed for the American Brass Quintet to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the New York Brass Quintet. The composition was premiered by the American Brass Quintet on October 23, 2004 during the Brass Chamber Music Forum at Appalachian State University. The work demands technical skill and expressive playing from each of the five players. Changing meters, multiple tonguing and harmonic mediant relationships are revealed in the opening Vivace passage. These techniques form the structural basis for the composition. A menacing theme is presented by the trombones and then stated in inversion by the trumpets followed by the horn and bass trombone. A return of the opening material leads to an abrupt halt of the quick tempo. A Larhetto passage follows, characterized by slowly evolving harmonies and long melodic lines. The principal melody, a lyrical version of the theme from the opening section, is first stated by the trumpet and then by the trombone, bass trombone and horn. A slightly faster imitative passage follows during which the opening motive of the theme is passed from player to player in canonic fashion. The slower tempo returns as the middle section fades to a quiet close. A development section marked by the return of the opening tempo, rhythmic intensity and melodic materials leads to a varied recapitulation of the initial section. The entire opening section is restated with significant variation in the assignment of the materials and key centers. The furious tempo is maintained beneath the rhythmically augmented restatement of the lyrical theme. A final return of the opening material leads to a brief but dramatic coda that concludes the composition.