Commissioned by Gail Williams
First performance by Charles Geyer, Barbara Butler, Michael Mulcahy, and Gail Williams on the Chicago Chamber Musicians series, Chicago, IL, 21 October 2007
Duration: 3 minutes and 30 seconds
Dedicated to present, past and future horn students of Gail Williams, Scherzi Musicali for brass quartet (two trumpets in c, horn and trombone) was commissioned by Gail Williams and premiered by Charles Geyer, Barbara Butler, Michael Mulcahy & Gail Williams on the Chicago Chamber Musicians Concert Series, on October 21 and 22, 2007 in Chicago.
This three-and-a-half minute virtuosic and fun-spirited quartet is fanfare-like — a blend between the perfumes of: Bebop, Stravinsky, Bartok, the florid kind of trumpet writing in Bach, and jazz swing rhythms all mixed into one personal and integrated composition. Toward the end of the composition, there are 2 optional bars, a few bars apart from one another, in which the horn player is allowed to perform one or two 12 -15 second cadenzas which must be in the style and syntax of the compositions' materials. We shall have to wait to hear if the horn player, (NAME), has decided whether or not to play 1 or both of these cadenzas. Aside from these two optional cadenzas, the notation for Scherzi Musicali is extremely precise and nuanced. (It might be worth noting that the composer played trumpet for 13 years in a past life and deeply loves to write for Brass.)
— Augusta Read Thomas, 2007
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