Brass Quintet



Although this work is not programmatic, there are extramusical ideas that might be interesting to some performers and listeners. The first of the four contrasting movements begins with a short fanfare-like section that is followed by a macabre haunted carnival or circus march. The music is quite contrapuntal but several distinctive motives tie things together in this movement. The second movement is a slow, inevitable canzona that builds to an intense, almost violent and snarling furioso climax. The music is lyrical but impersonal and mechanical until it breaks free near the end of the movement. The third movement is a scherzo in five, with a droll trio cast as a waltz. Precision and staccatissimo playing make this seem miniature in nature. The final movement begins with a galloping repeated-note figure that is used in imitation throughout this brisk rondo finale that ends with an unbridled chase to the finish.

Selected Performances

Nov. 3, 2008: Brass Quintet was presented at Lincoln Center in New York City by students from Juilliard in a master class taught by the American Brass Quintet. The class included a short lecture I presented about the work.

June 19, 2010: Premiere of Brass Quintet by New School Brass (Temple University), at Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA. (Final concert in a week-long brass quintet seminar led by Matthew Brown and the other members of the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass Quintet.

June 18, 2010: Master class with New School Brass Quintet (open rehearsal discussing and performing my Brass Quintet). Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass Quintet Brass Conference at Curtis Institute, Philadelphia, PA

© John Carbon 2015