About Triangles

When we heard this piece for the first time, we knew it would be added it to our repertoire and shared with our audiences. The piece is also the center piece of our concert "Triangles", which also features music by Tallis, Gubaidulina and Smolka. What can possibly be said about this wonderful special piece, except to say it is an incredible sonic experience. The audience will have the distinct pleasure of hearing the antiphonal and directional possibilities of the trumpet. When asked about the piece Stevens sent 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).


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. The Carillon Quartet members have all had the distinct pleasure of working with Thomas Stevens at the Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, and hold this piece as a tribute to one of the most important figures for the development for the trumpet repertoire.