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Steven Mackey’s New Trumpet Concerto, Triceros

(October 2015)

MackeyMnemosyneJaneRichey.jpg Steven Mackey’s new work written for Håkan Hardenberger picks up where J.S. Bach left off.

Composed as a companion piece to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Steven Mackey’s new trumpet concerto fits perfectly on a program pairing new and older works. Commissioned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and written for renowned trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, Mackey’s Triceros (after Triceros jacksonii­ — Jackson’s three-horned chameleon) applies the same instrumentation as the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, using the trumpet’s final high C in the Bach as its point of departure. The work will receive its world premiere 10 December at the Örebro Konserthus in Örebro, Sweden.

employs three trumpets (three "horns") — flugelhorn, trumpet in C, and piccolo trumpet — used by a soloist to capitalize on the diversity of sonic possibilities. Says Mackey: "Over a glass of wine, Håkan and I agreed that no instrument depicted solitary melancholy better than the trumpet. This led me to focus on exploring the variety of unusual colors in addition to the bright clarion call of Bach’s Piccolo Trumpet. Like the Triceros jacksonii — aka, three-horned chameleon — Håkan moves fluidly from light to dark, vivid to muted, smooth to rough. Unlike Bach’s modular movement structure, Triceros is in one unbroken movement but with clear delineations between sections that are dense and action packed versus sections that are spacey and spacious."

For concert information, click here.

was commissioned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and was written for renowned trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger. It is approximately 18 minutes in duration. Performances continue this April, again in Örebro, and in Potsdam and Cologne.

Steven Mackey’s recent large-scale symphonic work, Mnemosyne’s Pool, won high praise after its premiere by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in May. Hailed as "the first great American symphony of the 21st century" by Musical America, the work, named after the Greek goddess of remembrance, explores the role of memory in the musical experience of listening and recall. Click here for more information and to view a selection of reviews.

>  Further information on Work: Triceros

Photo: Jane Richey

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