Sunday, April 20, 2014

How X1 by Eric Morales follows and develops the form - UMASS Trumpet Ensemble - X1 - Eric Morales

I made a stab in an earlier post about the form of a lot of original modern trumpet ensembles: Rhythmic fanfare - soft solo section - rhythmic fanfare. X1 follows this form very closely and I shouldn't judge that form too much, fast - slow - fast has been a consistent broad form throughout music history. I am, however, very impressed with the smaller formal functions of this piece. A lot of modern trumpet ensemble literature makes use of rapid ostinati, hocceted melodic lines, quick scalar flourishes, extended techniques, and stacked arpeggios. All of these a good effects, but in the grand scheme of the homogenous trumpet ensemble they all sound like different individual components pieced together in various combinations rather than contrivances on their own.

X1 does all of the above, but with excellent complexity and heart. Anyone who has listened to a lot of Morales will notice some familiar sounds, but in the larger realm of trumpet ensemble literature this piece really shines as one that manipulates those most reliable components of the modern trumpet ensemble arrangement in new and cool ways. I especially appreciated the harmonic shift during the slow section that drifted nearly into the realm of octatonic tonality.

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