This Trumpet Concerto was commissioned by the Ford Foundation for Gerard Schwarz. It is a unique work; a delightful palette of succulent and colourful scoring for both soloist and orchestra. The piece has attractive melodies and harmonies, uses several types of mutes for colour and is written in Schuller’s personal pan-stylistic musical language.
The first movement opens with a mysterious, exotic-sounding Introduction marked calmo, leading to a masculine yet jaunty Allegro comodo, the trumpet being assigned characteristic semiquaver passage work. The movement also includes some beautiful lyrical and rhythmically simple passages. The second movement is a Scherzo-Trio-Scherzo at a vivace tempo. A short, drawn out, slow third movement concludes with a challenging full-page cadenza. Here, the trumpet is required to play very rapid double-tonguing patterns on semiquaver passages over a repeated quaver ostinato, reminiscent of the first movement. The final movement is virtually a pyrotechnical fireworks display of musically interesting, idiomatic, thrilling passage work. This movement demonstrates once again Schuller's extraordinary understanding and exploitation of the capabilities of the instruments.
This edition contains a Piano reduction (by Robert Waddell) of the Concerto for rehearsal purposes only.