Something for Thursday

I don’t recall if I’ve posted this before, but it’s an interesting piece nonetheless: the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by Alexandra Pakhmutova.

The repertoire for solo trumpet is pretty rich prior to, say, 1750, and then aside from the concertos of Haydn and Hummel it dries up spectacularly until the 20th century, when suddenly composers left and right were featuring the instrument. That’s a shame, because it would have been wonderful to hear what some of the Romantic masters might have done with the instrument as a soloist. How great would a Dvorak Trumpet Concerto be! Alas.

Pakhmutova is a former Soviet composer whose work was well enough known in the USSR that she became Leonid Brezhnev’s favorite composer, which is interesting enough. Her trumpet concerto is a complex work with some folk-like rhythms that put me in mind of the more famous Trumpet Concerto by Armenian composer Alexander Arutunian, although Pakhmutova’s effort is more martial in nature and its melodies don’t linger in the ear like Artunian’s. Nevertheless, the Pakhmutova concerto is a fascinating piece, especially for the soloist, making a number of interesting technical demands and at times requiring tremendous skill.

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