Concert Gallop: ”thunderbolt’s Pursuit” for Trumpet and Piano (2010) is dedicated to David Hickman, Regents Professor of Music at Arizona State University. Perhaps his only true ‘Aussie’ work written for solo trumpet, Collins’ inspiration for the work came while visiting the Australian town of Uralla. The town was the birthplace of Frederick Ward, one of Australia’s infamous bushrangers fiercely known under the alias of Captain Thunderbolt. As an outlaw who had committed many crimes, Ward was famously known for his escape from the Cockatoo Island Prison and as an expert horseman. Concert Gallop gives a highly romanticized account of the life and times of Captain Thunderbolt and presents beautiful moments where the bushranger may be reflecting on lost opportunities and a life that might have been. The galloping of horses is evident throughout all sections of the piece in the continuous eighth-note pulse. Concert Gallop is published by Hickman Music Editions (HME 230).
Serenade for Trumpet and Piano (2013) is a beautiful work arranged in a song setting with long, sustained lyrical melodies and rich harmonies. Upon a successful premiere by Judith Saxton, international trumpet soloist, of his Concerto for Trumpet at the International Trumpet Guild in 2012 in Columbus GA, Collins decided to compose and dedicate Serenade expressly for Saxton. Serenade portrays a character of popular classical appeal, perhaps reminiscent of a Broadway musical. Collins places the trumpet in a musical setting that displays the expressive lyrical virtuosity of the instrument. Collins’ use of the trumpet in this capacity was inspired by the obbligato-style contrapuntal relationship between the trumpet and the voice in the sacred vocal works of the Baroque era. Serenade is published by Kookaburra Music Publishers (KMP 1111).
Stomp for Trumpet and Piano (2015) was commissioned by Richard Stoelzel, Professor of Trumpet and Brass Area Chair at McGill University in Montreal Canada, as a contest piece for the inaugural World Association of Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition in Meppen Germany in 2015. Stomp is a short, approximately 4-minute, work designed to test the many technical and musical aspects of trumpet playing within a short duration. Although the work was intended to explore the capabilities of trumpet playing, it was Collins’ intention for the piece to be able to excite and appeal to all performers and audience members. As an Australian with Irish ancestry, Collins considered it an honor to be commissioned to compose a work for a prestigious European competition and intended to reflect a little of his heritage in his music. Stomp contains many similarities to an Irish jig with its compound meters, constant eighth-note pulse, and ‘stomping’ grace note figures on the downbeats in the bass line of the piano. Stomp is published by Warwick Music Ltd. (TR 098).
Sonata for Trumpet and Piano (2014) was written for and premiered by Phillip Chase Hawkins. After a short collaboration, the project culminated in the completion of a work in one of the most significant genres of instrumental music. Throughout the composition, Collins employs a fundamental harmonic device of stacked intervals of perfect fifths and fourths, a direct influence of the music of Paul Hindemith as well as from American jazz music. Movement I, “Chorale and Presto,” is the most substantial and dramatic of the movements. The opening chorale features a broad, slow, sonorous single-phrase melody in the trumpet with an ever-changing tonal center. The chorale then moves into a rapid presto section characterized by sundry metric changes, often every measure. Movement II, “Romp”, is quite unlike the others. It is light, frivolous, and very short in duration – at slightly less than one minute. It presents a return of a theme from Movement I. Movement III, “Ethereal,” is presented as the slow movement of the composition in a through-composed musical form. It begins with an extended 12-measure piano introduction that leads into a flowing, elegant melody sounded on the trumpet in the low register. As a way for Collins to cleverly provide closure to the work, you will find hints of the melody from Movement I expertly disguised in the piano, which rounds out the composition and helps give it closure in a somewhat cyclical fashion. The work is published by Warwick Music Ltd. (TR 097).
Pastorale for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano (2018) was originally composed as a work for string orchestra commissioned by the Sydney Youth Orchestra in 2005. Over time it has undergone a few transformations, most notably as a solo trombone feature. For a work that features an additional instrument on the album, Phillip Chase Hawkins requested that the work be re-orchestrated for both trumpet and trombone solo. Pastorale features two distinct musical themes. A pastorale is typically characterized in 16th and 17th Century opera in a slow tempo with drones in the bass and portrays a rural setting. Although Collins’ composition is a bit quicker in tempo with more active movement, the work is a true pastorale in that it seeks to portray a rural country setting through music that is tuneful and full of rich, lush harmonies. The sonorous tones of the trumpet and trombone help to convey the image of a wide-open landscape of serenity.
Pastorale features Tyler Simms on trombone. The work is available through Brendan Collins - www.brendancollins.com.au.
Concerto for Two Trumpets (2017) was commissioned by Spanish international trumpet soloist, Jose Chafer and was written for both Chafer and Polish trumpeter Sławomir Cichor. It was originally composed with wind ensemble accompaniment. The inspiration for the work came during the composer’s reflection on the bygone era of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries – at a time when banding was meant for the people, and communities took great pride in their local bands and musicians. Movements II and III pay particular homage to these time-honored band traditions. Movement I, “Lively,” serves as a showcase for both soloists and accompaniment. It is a highly charged rhythmic movement that borrows elements of jazz, including an underlying staccato rhythmic syncopation around extended harmonies. Movement II, “Largo,” is cast in a slow movement with long, extended melodies shared equally among soloists and accompaniment. Every component is featured in a solo capacity, and there are times when all come together to produce a passionate, romantically lush sonic atmosphere. Movement III, “Presto,” is a technical showcase that reflects the lighthearted styles of the early Italian composers of opera buffa by Rossini and Donizetti. It features the trumpets in call-and-response throughout the majority of the movement with an extended cadenza. The work also features Andy Lott as the second trumpet soloist. The work is published by Brendan Collins (S0.294063).
Scherzo for Trumpet, Violin, and Piano (2013) was commissioned by international trumpet soloist, Richard Stoelzel, and the Aries Trio. The composer’s first source of inspiration for the work came from popular, modern dance style influences, including compound meters with rhythmic hits in the piano combined with the off-beats in the violin. These rhythms characterize much of early European folk music. Many of the melodies throughout the work have a constant rhythmic flow, but the changing meters and unpredictable pulse provide a deeper level of rhythmic complexity. A number of the themes presented themselves to the composer during a snorkeling trip to Manly Beach in Australia. The composer’s intentions were to create a short, memorable work that could be used as an encore piece – a work that on the surface appears unassuming yet contains an underlying sophistication. Scherzo features Gabriel Lefkowitz on violin. Scherzo is available through Brendan Collins - www.brendancollins.com.au.
Concerto for Trumpet (2011) was written and dedicated to international trumpet soloist, Rex Richardson. The inspiration for the composition stemmed from Collins’ desire to write a concerto that contained elements influenced by the famous Classical era brass concerti; however, Collins presents it in a modern setting. Collins was personally inspired by the works of Viennese and other Austrian-based composers, such as Mozart, Albrechtsberger, and Haydn. Movement I, “Allegro Moderato”, is presented in a traditional sonata-allegro form with a double exposition with quasi-tonal, yet modulatory themes – often reversing the roles between the trumpet and accompaniment in imitative counterpoint. Movement II, “Slow and Dramatic,” features the trumpet in a largo tempo with beautiful vocal melodies that soar throughout the full range of the instrument. Movement III, “Allegro Vivace”, contains many elements and techniques that can be found throughout many of Collins’ works, which he calls ‘tricks’ – including double and triple tonguing, slurs across octaves, trills, and wide intervallic leaps. The piece contains an extended cadenza and closes in rapid fury to the very end. The concerto is published by Warwick Music Ltd. (TR 099).
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