PROGRAMME NOTES

Fanfares & Elegies

For Organ And Brass (1967)

Fanfares and Elegies for three trumpets, three trombones and organ is a substantial twenty-minute piece written for performance in a large building producing reverberation. It was first performed at the Pershore Festival on 24 June 1967 by Rodney Baldwyn and the Birmingham University Brass under David Greer: more recent performances include Gillian Weir at the Bad Homburg Festival in Germany; Christopher Bowers-Broadbent at the St Albans Festival; and Edmund Aldhouse and Prime Brass under Paul Trepte in Ely Cathedral on 7 November 2015.

Much of the writing is simple and broad in effect with built-in echoes and resonances. The first section announces the brass fanfares with echoes and commentary from the organ. It reaches some loud chords alternating organ and brass but diminishing on a long held bass note. This is followed by a lyrical trumpet theme. Organ and brass answer each other, building up to a climax with a rapid syncopated organ pedal solo. The second section follows without a break and the organ has an oboe melody over an imperturbable passacaglia (the trumpet theme in the bass) against which the brass react increasingly disruptively until the ending on a quiet organ chord.

© 2008-17 Peter Dickinson

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