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Name of Work

Paulus, Stephen (1949-)
Concerto for Brass Quintet

I. Dramatic
II. Pensive
III. Fiery


Apr 14, 2008

Barbara Butler, Trumpet
Charles Geyer, Trumpet
Gail Williams, Horn
Michael Mulcahy, Trombone
Randall Hawes, Bass trombone

PAULUS-Concerto for Brass Quintet

Composed in 1991

Concerto for Brass Quintet is cast in three concise movements. The musical material treats the ensemble as a virtuosic unit and also features solos, duos, trios, and quartet combination from within the group.

Movement I (Dramatic) opens with a repeated chord which expands immediately in duration and intensity. A rapid eighth-notes section follows in which there is a lively interchange of tense melodic fragments among all of the instruments.

Movement II (Pensive) begins with an extended horn solo—a theme which appears in various guises throughout the movement. The somewhat mournful opening is followed by another main thematic idea—a lighter and more playful fragment in waltz-time.

A pyramid of notes ushers in the third movement (Fiery). This is again followed, as in the first movement, by a rapidly moving eighth-note section. This time, though, the harmonic palette is one of constantly shifting tonalities rather than curt melodic fragments.

The pyramid note motif is woven throughout and often erupts into miniature "explosions" of notes which cascade and propel the work to an effervescent close.

Program Notes by Stephen Paulus

Performance Date: April 14, 2008

Performance Audio

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