About Triangles

The show Triangles, pays homage to trumpet and new-music legend Thomas Stevens. The whole concert is centered around Stevens’s composition for three trumpets with the same title. When asked about the piece Stevens sent Bejarano the following explanation:

Many years ago, Pierre Boulez wrote an article, Aprés Dix Ans, and in the body of the essay, he suggested that many critics of his music were comparable to people who had played the trumpet for so many years that they sounded like gobbling turkeys.

So, I thought, you want gobbling turkeys, Pierre? I'll give you some; hence, "Triangles".

The musical material is based on the theme song (trumpet lead) ("Melancholy Serenade") from the old Jackie Gleason Show (CBS) from the 1960s, which was one of the most watched TV shows of its time. I established a nine pitch set and interjected "fa" as the 3rd pitch (ti do fa mi, et al).


The concert takes the listener through a aural that heavily plays with the antiphonal and directional nature of the trumpet. Stevens’s piece is placed into a unique context accompanied by variations on the Jackie Gleason Show, as well as music by Tallis, Gubaidulina and Smolka. The Carillon Quartet members had the distinct pleasure of working with Thomas Stevens many summers at the Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, and are proud to have this show in its roster, Thomas Stevens was a special figure for the members of the ensemble and is deeply missed.

About Thomas Stevens

No one person is more single-handedly responsible for setting the wheels in motion for the current wondrous state of the trumpet repertoire than Thomas Stevens. The american trumpet virtuoso was well known for his qualities as a soloist, which won him international acclaim; especially for his excellence as a performing and recording artist of avant-garde works of extreme difficulty. He has been responsible for championing contemporary music  and for important commissions such as Luciano Berio's Sequenza X; he also played a significant role in the education of the some of the trumpet's biggest revolutionaries such as are Håkan Hardenberger and Markus Stockhausen.   

Stevens studied composition at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He learned composition early in his career with jazz arrangements for big band and dance orchestras. After 1970 he again took up composition. In 1987 Stevens wrote Triangles I for the Dallas Symphony trumpets, which is one of three works with that title.