Allegro poco moderato
This work was composed in 1963 and first performed at the Camden Festival in March 1965 by Philip Jones and the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer. It is a light-hearted piece intended to demonstrate the agility and brilliance of the trumpet, though its lyrical possibilities are also explored in the popular-song style of the middle movement.
The first movement is in sonata form, with martial and melodic elements in equal proportions. The slow second movement is based on a swaying gentle melody introduced by low strings, followed by the soloist and developed in song-fashion A-B-A. The middle section is somewhat disturbed by a threatening horn motif, which leads to a short cadenza by the soloist, who restores the calm atmosphere of the main theme. The finale is introduced by two bassoons which merge with a horn and drum group to form a samba accompaniment to a cheeky rondo tune from the soloist. After several quotations from soloist and orchestra, a new theme is introduced in Latin-American rhythm on Cuban-muted trumpet solo. The orchestra elaborates this new tune, while the soloist plays virtuoso counterpoint. The final section combine all previously heard themes of this movement, and a brilliant flourish from the soloist completes the work.
© 1991 Joseph Horovitz