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Daniel Pinkham: Music for Brass and Brass & Organ

Huntington Brass Quintet
Abbey Hallberg Siegfried, organist

  • Notes by the composer
  • Bios of the performers
  • 70'04" total playing time

CD143    $15.95

CONTENTS:

Inaugural Marches
Psalms
The Salutation of Gabriel
Brass Quintet
Solemnities
Dragons and Deeps
Morning Music

Listen: Morning Music, V. March

The Huntington Brass Quintet includes:
Trumpets: Mark Emery & Tom Cupples
Horn: Alberto Suarez
Trombone: Bron Wright
Tuba: Randall Montgomery

Organ: Abbey Hallberg Siegfried

From the Program Notes:

I have always loved the allure of brass instruments. My 1957 Christmas Cantata, for chorus and double-brass choir was in many ways the door which opened the way for numerous commissions to follow for works featuring brass instruments.

The first two of the Inaugural Marches were composed for the ceremony of installation of Laurence Lesser as President of the New England Conservatory. The site was Jordan Hall on 16 October 1983. They were played as processional and recessional. The third was commissioned to celebrate the installation of Margaret A. McKenna as President of Leslie College and was first performed on 4 December 1985 at Saint Paul's Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Psalms was commissioned by Vladimir Flowers for Marshelle Coffman and G. Nicholas Bullat to celebrate the inauguration of the organ at First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois.

Organist Joan Lippincott commissioned The Salutation of Gabriel in observance of the retirement of Karen MacFarlane from her organists managment business. Ms.Lippincott played the world premiere with hornist Larry Williams on 8 September 2000 in Leith Symington Griswold Hall, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Brass Quintet was commissioned by the Boston University School of Music, in consortium with its resident ensembles Alea III and the Empire Brass Quintet. This commission was made possible by an award from the New Works Program of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. When I wrote the work in 1983 the brass quintet literature was primarily a mosaic of short pieces or transcriptions. The worry was of fatigue. I determined to write a serious and long work, but by having a great variety of textures (there are many duets and trios) the players would not have to play all the time and could catch brief respites. This procedure of variety of densities also provides some sonic relief to the listener.

I composed Solemnities for Bron Wright. We premiered the work on 11 February 2001 at Plymouth Congregational Church, Belmont, Massachusetts and have since played the work together many times. In the score there is a quotation from Isaiah 30:29. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel.

When the suggestion of a recording with the Huntington Brass Quintet came along, I noticed a great lacuna, namely that there was no work for the tuba and organ (I still have not found another original work for this combination). The present work, Dragons and Deeps, was composed for Randall Montgomery. He and organist Andrew Paul Holman played the premiere in Round Lake, New York, in the summer of 2001. In the score there is an excerpt from Psalm 148, 7 and 8. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and ye deeps; fire and hail, snow and ice, gales of wind obeying his voice!

Morning Music was composed at the request of organist James David Christie and the Paramount Brass Quintet. The specifications called for a light-hearted work about ten minutes long, easy to rehearse, accessible to a wide variety of audiences and ending (in his words) with a "toe-tapper". The work observed the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paul Hindemith in 1895 and acknowledges the enormous influence his compositions and teaching have had on 20th and even 21st century music. I also made a special reference in choosing my title to his 1932 work for brass quartet entitled Morgenmusik.

Dan Pinkham

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