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Concerto for Trumpet, Percussion and Keyboard

Dalibor Vackar (1906 - 1984)

Concerto for Trumpet, Percussion and Keyboard

1. The School
2. Blues
3. Finale

Czechoslovakian born Dalibor Vackar was largely intent on finding a new way to compose music that reflected his time. Whilst the Parisian avant-garde was an influence to Vackar during the 1930s, from 1945 his style became simpler, and this may be demonstrated by the Trumpet Concerto, completed in 1963.

Whilst loosely maintaining the traditional form of a concerto - three movements, fast - slow - fast, it has an undeniably twentieth century feel, with unusual instrumentation, striking harmonies, unpredictable rhythms and spiky melodies. The work is scored for xylophone, vibraphone, double bass, piano, celesta and a variety of other percussion instruments, most being chosen for their unique and contrasting tone colors.

The first movement, 'The School' has a playful feel that one might associate with schoolyard banter, the trumpet interacting with the ensemble in a youthfully exuberant manner. As suggested by its title 'Blues', the second movement has a distinctly jazz feel, the piano particularly prominent with blues style motifs. In the Finale, Vackar opens with a lively discourse between percussion and keyboard, the trumpet joining shortly after. The movement continues in a jaunty manner, gaining in momentum, until the very end, when the forward motion unexpectedly comes to a jarring and abrupt halt.

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