POEMS for Trumpet and Piano (2006) Op. 85

Opus number: op. 85

Title: Poems for Trumpet and Piano

Instrumentation: trumpet and piano

Commissioned: Colby and Carson Cooman

Dedication: Colby Cooman

Date written: 2006

Length: 15 minutes

Premiere performance: Chris Gekker, trumpet, Larry Bell, pianist. 2006 Boston Conservatory Master Class.

Subsequent performances: June 30, 2007, Nick Hewitt, trumpet, Ying Ho, pianist, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Australia

Program Notes: Poems for Trumpet and Piano, op. 85 (2006), was written for Colby and Carson Cooman. Carson had heard a performance of my song cycle, Dream Within a Dream, op. 79, and asked if I could arrange the songs for his brother Colby, a trumpeter. This cycle of songs is based upon a variety of texts that are included in the score of the instrumental arrangement: “Miracles” by Walt Whitman; “Cradle Song” by William Blake; “Dream Within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe; “There came a wind like a bugle” by Emily Dickinson; and “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold.

Reviews: (recording) “Poems, for trumpet and piano, serves up five melodically inspired pieces that, in their simple eloquence, bring the best of the Beatles to mind. Chris Gekker has made himself known over the years as a superb trumpeter who is able to produce meltingly flute-like tones at one extreme, and to bring the house down at the other. Here he is at one with the composer as pianist. And so it goes for the rest of this offering. Organist Richard Bunbury is fully attuned to the simple poetry of the Liturgical Suite; Chris Gekker once again does himself proud in the Four Lyrics for trumpet and piano, as does the Cambridge Brass Ensemble with Harrylyn Huff at the organ in Unchanging Love.

“The sound on this offering is up to conveying its essences. Some of my friends in the music business will undoubtedly dismiss this music on the grounds that it sounds too good to be good. I hereby lodge my dissenting opinion.”—Fanfare, May-June ’09 William Zagorski

Recording:  Chris Gekker, trumpet, Larry Bell, pianist. Unchanging Love: Brass and Organ Music. Albany Records, Troy 1068