The fanfare is scored for three trumpets. The parts are notated for modern trumpets in C; however, they are actually written using only the notes of three different harmonic series based on F, C and D and could thus be performed on three natural trumpets in those three keys. The natural trumpets were not specified by the composer; indeed it may have been a bit early in the rediscovery of natural trumpet playing for it to be safe to do so. This technique had been used by the classical composers in horn section writing, to enable lines to be played outside the natural scale e.
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Despite his prodigious ability to orchestrate for brass, it remains something of a mystery that Britten did not write pieces of even medium length for any instruments in the brass family Russian Funeral is by far the longest, but even that, at seven minutes in length, is hardly gargantuan. The Fanfare for St Edmundsbury was written for the Pageant of Magna Carta held at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral in , and the three trumpeters in the piece heralded each performance over the course of ten days in June of that year.
The score specifies the trumpets be placed far apart. Each fanfare is in a different key and played alone, before all three come together at the end. A clever operation, this one, which ends up with three fanfares performed for the price of one. The first trumpet begins loosely on a base of F, a pentatonic melody that quickly cuts to a perky second fanfare in C, then a more traditional one in D that harks back to Baroque trumpet writing.
This is Britten the clever, resourceful writer — but never does he take his eyes off the resultant effect on the listener, nor the sense of theatre created before the pageant.
As you would expect from such a highly regarded ensemble, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble give a flawless performance, the acoustic ideal to capture the echoes Britten would surely have considered when writing the piece. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.
Good Morning Britten. Skip to content. Home Welcome to team BB! WIth thanks to Decca. Recordings used Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Decca As you would expect from such a highly regarded ensemble, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble give a flawless performance, the acoustic ideal to capture the echoes Britten would surely have considered when writing the piece. Share this: Tweet.
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3 Tpts - Britten - Fanfare for St Edmundsbury
Fanfare for St Edmundsbury