My Trumpets of Light (A Suite in Four Movements for Trumpet & Organ) was composed between 26 March and 4 June 2011. It is dedicated to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Mark J. Welshimer, who funded the commission from The Reformed Church of Bronxville New York (Matthew Phelps, Minister of Music and Eugene Lavery, Associate Director of Music) for the Autumn 2011 dedication of the church’s new David Harris organ console. Approximately fourteen minutes in length, each movement of Trumpets of Light is extra-musically inspired by a biblical scripture. The common thread of these scriptures is light, an understandable link given the fact that the beautiful Reformed Church’s natural light sources are the 1944-1945 windows by Boston stain-glass artist, Charles J. Connick. Linking the movements together musically is one melodic idea, first heard in Proclamation, which is transformed in each movement. Economical harmonic movement is also a trait of each movement.
(“And he shall be as the light of the morning…” II Samuel 23:4)
This short fanfare-like movement begins softly, but builds throughout. Along with its four primary tonal centers, Proclamation abounds with dialogues between the trumpet and organ.
(“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11)
In this lyrical aria, an organ solo reed and solo Diapason are heard early in the movement. As the movement progresses, the organ is often heard in dialogue and/or in canon with the solo trumpet, which begins the movement muted.
(“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.” Psalm 89:15)
This majestic movement’s main melodic material is heard separately in both the organ and in the trumpet. Afterwards, both instruments repeat the melody backwards. A quiet, dialoguing middle section eventually emerges and leads to a return of the opening material with a canon between the trumpet and organ trumpet.
(“…and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” St. Matthew 17:2)
As with the other movements, this exuberant finale utilizes the melodic material that links all movements of the suite. After an opening crescendo in the organ, the primary melody is first heard in the trumpet and soon mirrored in the organ. With a change in tonality, the melodic material is again heard in similar fashion, leading to a lyrical and playful middle section with reduced organ registration. Eventually the opening material returns with the power of full organ and in canon between the full organ pedal and trumpet.
9 June 2011
1.Proclamation = ca. 2’ 00”
2.Illumination = ca. 3’ 30”
3.Procession = ca. 5’ 00”
4.Exultation = ca. 3’ 30”
Total timing = ca. 14’ 00”