Richard Rodney Bennett’s first work for wind orchestra was Morning Music, commissioned by BASBWE for the 1987 WASBE Conference in Boston; this was followed by The Four Seasons commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival and premiered in 1991 by the RNCMWO. Both were commissioned with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain.
The Trumpet Concerto was written in New York between April and June 1993 and is dedicated to Timothy Reynish. The work begins with a solemn declamatory 3/2 cadenza for the soloist; s short orchestral interlude leads to a 3/4 allegro, the pulse twice that of the cadenza, with spiky cross-rhythms alternating with the declamatory passage, followed by a faster 6/8.
A further cadenza ends the movement, and links to the second. This has the subtitle, Elegy for Miles Davis, a deeply felt Ballad accompanied by electric bass and bad, with a central section with scope for improvisation. The ensuing vivo, 2/2, starts with a bold statement by the trumpet, its cross rhythms reminiscent of the opening allegro; an extended development of this for the orchestra is interrupted by the declamatory cadenza material, the solo trumpet supported by his colleagues in the orchestra, and the movement ends with a molto vivo coda of tremendous energy. The scoring is for wind ensemble with piano and harp.