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CD143   Daniel Pinkham: Music for Brass and Brass & Organ



Daniel Pinkham:
Music for Brass and Brass & Organ

Huntington Brass Quintet
Abbey Hallberg Siegfried, organist

  • Notes by the composer
  • Bios of the performers
  • 70'04" total playing time

CD143    $15.95

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Trumpets: Mark Emery & Tom Cupples
Horn: Alberto Suarez
Trombone: Bron Wright
Tuba: Randall Montgomery

ORGAN: Abbey Hallberg Siegfried


Inaugural Marches for Brass Quintet (1983, 1985)
1.      No. 1   Crisp
2.      No. 2   Jolly
3.      No. 3   Festive
Psalms for Trumpet and Organ (1983, 1984)
4.        I.   Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered
5.       II.  He leads me beside the still waters
6.     III.  Out of the depths have I called to Thee, O Lord
7.      IV.  The Lord has gone up with a trumpet fanfare
8. The Salutation of Gabriel for Horn and Organ (2000)
           I.   Gabriel delivers the message
          II.  Mary Replies
        III.  Gabriel Departs
Brass Quintet (1983)
9.       I.  Lirico e sostenuto
10.   II.  Presto alla burlo
11.  III.  Adagietto
12.   IV.  Allegro giocoso
Solemnities for Trombone and Organ (2000)
13.     I.  Dramatic
14.    II.  Lyrical
15.   III.  Joyous
16. Dragons and Deeps for Bass Tuba in F and Organ (2001)
         "Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all deeps;
           fire and hail, snow and ice, gales of wind obeying his voice!"

                                                                                               Ps. 148, 7 & 8
        Andante - Più mosso - Con moto - Tempo primo
Morning Music (1995)
17.      I.   Reveille
18.     II.  Song
19.   III.   Sports
20.   IV.   Reflection
21.    V.   March

Listen Listen:

Morning Music, V. March for Brass Quintet & Organ by Daniel Pinkham


Energy, introspection, harmonic richness and spatial inventiveness mark all of the music on this beautifully engineered disc... Members of the Huntington Brass Quintet and organist Abbey Hallberg Siegfried...play Pinkham's multi-hued and heartfelt music with bountiful refinement, virtuosity and collegial gusto.  --Donald Rosenberg, The Gramophone, May 2005

Arsis Audio ARSIS CD143

Colourful and heartfelt explorations of music that joins brass and organ

Daniel Pinkham’s journey with brass instruments and organ on this disk reveals both his sacred and secular proclivities. The programme has enormous dignity, but also touches of humor and humanity that keep the listener deeply attached to the diverse narratives. What’s more, Pinkham is an equal-opportunity composer of brass music: along with quintets he explores each instrument in a solo capacity with organ, the instrument to which he long has brought distinction as a performer.

The jaunty side of Pinkham the composer is evident in the Inaugural Marches he wrote in tribute to several colleagues. These are smart, economical; pieces for brass quintet stamped with plenty of rhythmic verve and sonic splendor. His Morning Music pays homage to Hindemith’s eponymously titled Morgenmusik in five movements of vibrant stateliness and revelry, and the Brass Quintet (1983) is a keen study of textures colors and sonic gestures that any such ensemble would be happy to embrace.

For his solo brass pieces with organ, the composer drew inspiration from biblical quotes. Each work places the king of instruments in mystical and often flamboyant conversation with trumpet, horn, trombone or tuba. In Dragons and Deeps, the lowest brass instruments slithers in a subterranean voice that sounds like Fafner awakening from his slumber.

Energy, introspection, harmonic richness and spatial inventiveness mark all of the music on this beautifully engineered disk, which was recorded in the majestic Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Mass. The members of the Huntington Brass Quintet and Abbey Hallberg Siegfried (what an apt surname for the encounter with Fafner1) play Pinkham’s multi-hued and heartfelt music with bountiful refinement, virtuosity and collegial gusto.

Daniel Rosenberg
The Gramophone, May 2005


The Composer's Notes

I have always loved the allure of brass instruments. My 1957 Christmas Cantata, for chorus and double-brass choir was in many ways the door which opened the way for numerous commissions to follow for works featuring brass instruments.

The first two of the Inaugural Marches were composed for the ceremony of installation of Laurence Lesser as President of the New England Conservatory. The site was Jordan Hall on 16 October 1983. They were played as processional and recessional. The third was commissioned to celebrate the installation of Margaret A. McKenna as President of Leslie College and was first performed on 4 December 1985 at Saint Paul's Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Psalms was commissioned by Vladimir Flowers for Marshelle Coffman and G. Nicholas Bullat to celebrate the inauguration of the organ at First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois. The work, in four movements, is, quite frankly, a virtuoso display work. The trumpet is called on to play noisy fanfares as well as to project long melodic lines with great tenderness and all of the sonic gradations in between. Each of the movements has a Psalm quotation. In the opening movement, Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered (Psalm 68, 1) the trumpet and organ play an intense and brilliant dialog in irregular meters. In the second movement, He leads me beside the still waters (Psalm 23, 2), a trio, the trumpet employs a straight mute on the top voice, while the organ plays a krummhorn in the right hand and soft 16' and 8' stops in the left. In the third movement, Out of the depths have I called to thee, O Lord (Psalm 130, 1) the unmuted trumpet plays in the low register to the accompaniment of the organ pedals. Much of the fourth movement The Lord has gone up with a trumpet fanfare (Psalm 47, 5) is over a low pedal point on the organ's low D. The work ends with the trumpet sounding forth a ringing high D.

Organist Joan Lippincott commissioned The Salutation of Gabriel in observance of the retirement of Karen MacFarlane from her organists management business. Ms. Lippincott played the world premiere with hornist Larry Williams on 8 September 2000 in Leith Symington Griswold Hall, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. There are three sections to this work:

  1. A brief horn-call announces the arrival of Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. He delivers the message that she is to become the mother of Jesus Christ. There follows a lively dialogue between the two characters in this drama.
  2. Mary humbly accepts the will of God.
  3. As Gabriel is departing his horn-call can be heard in the distance.

Brass Quintet was commissioned by the Boston University School of Music, in consortium with its resident ensembles Alea III and the Empire Brass Quintet. This commission was made possible by an award from the New Works Program of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. When I wrote the work in 1983 the brass quintet literature was primarily a mosaic of short pieces or transcriptions. The worry was of fatigue. I determined to write a serious and long work, but by having a great variety of textures (there are many duets and trios) the players would not have to play all the time and could catch brief respites. This procedure of variety of densities also provides some sonic relief to the listener. The opening movement, marked Lirico e sostenuto, begins quietly but gradually builds in intensity. The second movement, marked Presto alla burla, provides a circus-like atmosphere with the introduction of occasional strains of a waltz and a polka. The third movement, marked, Adagietto, is a sustained and pensive rondo and includes a couplet which calls for surprising virtuosity for the tuba, which is accompanied by the other brass instruments playing with mutes of contrasting timbres. The brilliant finale, marked Allegro giocoso, brings the quintet to a rousing conclusion.

I composed Solemnities for Bron Wright. We premiered the work on 11 February 2001 at Plymouth Congregational Church, Belmont, Massachusetts and have since played the work together many times. In the score there is a quotation from Isaiah 30:29. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel. The opening movement, marked Dramatic, is essentially a fanfare for trombone with four identical and very soft organ interludes. The second movement, marked Lyrical is an extended aria in trio form. The finale, marked Joyous, begins with a rising arpeggio figure in the trombone. There follows a boisterous dance in 5/8 meter. In the concluding two measures the trombone restates the rising arpeggio and brings the work to a fortissimo close.

When the suggestion of a recording with the Huntington Brass Quintet came along, I noticed a great lacuna, namely that there was no work for the tuba and organ. I composed the present work, Dragons and Deeps, for Randall Montgomery (who is heard on this CD). He and organist Andrew Paul Holman played the world premiere in Round Lake, New York, in the summer of 2001. In the score there is an excerpt from Psalm 148, 7 and 8. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and ye deeps; fire and hail, snow and ice, gales of wind obeying his voice! The work opens and closes quietly. In the central panel the music builds to a fortissimo climax, followed by a playful triplet figure in the organ over a "walking bass" which suggests a double-bass pizzicato. You can hear in this brief work the extremes of high and low pitches and the ability of the tuba to behave as an agile instrument.

Morning Music was composed at the request of organist James David Christie and the Paramount Brass Quintet. The specifications called for a light-hearted work about ten minutes long, easy to rehearse, accessible to a wide variety of audiences and ending (in his words) with a "toe-tapper." The work observed the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paul Hindemith in 1895 and acknowledges the enormous influence his compositions and teaching have had on 20th and even 21st century music. I also made a special reference in choosing my title to his 1932 work for brass quartet entitled Morgenmusik. In the present work there are five movements. The first movement, Reveille, opens with a fanfare for two trumpets. The second movement, Sports, is athletic and angular. The fourth movement, Reflection, is a quiet and introspective melody for the horn. The fifth and final movement, March, is exuberant and brings the suite to a dramatic conclusion.

- Daniel Pinkham

The Huntington Brass Quintet
is unparalleled in its diversity of experience and ability. Founded in 1997 by a group of friends with a passion for chamber music, the Huntington Brass Quintet has quickly established itself as one of the country's premiere chamber ensembles. Through numerous grants and special commission and recording projects, they have appeared in countless concert series and universities nation-wide and have performed over three hundred youth programs throughout the country. The Huntington Brass Quintet has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Composers Recording Project, Chamber Music America, and the American Composers Forum Boston.

Huntington Brass Quintet
In 1999, the Huntington Brass Quintet was selected by Chamber Music America to participate in a "Rural Residency" grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant relocated the Huntington Brass for one academic year to the town of Stephenville, Texas. Under the auspices of Chamber Music America and the New England Conservatory, the Huntington Brass Quintet implemented "Learning Through Music," a revolutionary new program that teaches interdisciplinary courses using the principles of music.



Other activities during their residency included performing regularly in the eight surrounding county schools and representing Chamber Music America and The New England Conservatory at Music Educators Conference nationwide. The Huntington Brass is the only chamber ensemble from New England to receive such a grant.

In addition to maintining their current residencies, the HBQ also maintains a heavy performance schedule that includes tours of Florida, California, Indiana, New York, and Texas. While on tour they have conducted master classes and performances at Duquesne University, University of Texas, Howard Paine University, Longy School of Music, Amherst College, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the University of Maryland. Members of HBQ also perform regularly with such orchestras as the Boston Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Pops, the Boston Ballet, the Oregon Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Albany Symphony, and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
For more information see www.ecmartists.com and www.huntingtonbrass.org.

Mark Emery, originally from Oregon, has been a member of the Huntington Brass Quintet since 1998. His orchestral career includes perforamnces with Oregon Symphony, Boston Ballet Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Cecilia Orchestra, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Mark holds a Masters degree from the New England Conservatory. He was a two-time fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center where he was the winner of the Roger Voisin Trumpet Award in 2002. Mark was also a fellow of both the National Repertory Orchestra and the Roundtop Festival Institute. As a chamber musician and soloist, he has performed with the Empire Brass Quintet and the Callithumpian Consort led by Stephen Drury. Mark has given seminars and coachings at the University of Maryland and was a featured panelist at the Chamber Music America National Convention in 2000. He has made several recordings for the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) label and was a featured soloist at the American Guild of Organists regional conference in 2003.

Tom Cupples, trumpet, is presently a freelance trumpet player in the Boston area where he serves as principal trumpet of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and is on the faculty of the Winchester School of Music. In 1998 he interrupted his undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory to perform as principal trumpet with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Haifa, Israel where he remained for two years. While in Haifa, Tom gave a solo performance of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto with the symphony and was a member of the New Haifa Brass Quintet. Tom has spent two years as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA, and has also recently performed with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the New Hampshire Symphony, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the Huntington Brass Quintet and as an individual, Tom has maintained an active role in the education of young musicians in the United States, Brazil, China, and Israel.

Alberto G. Suarez, horn, is a native of South Florida, and a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory. Alberto studied with James Sommerville, Michelle Baker, John Fairfield, Larry Williams, Glenn Janson, and Jean Rife. Alberto is currently a member of the New World Symphony and has performed as Solo Horn in the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and on tour throughout Europe. Alberto has performed with the Albany Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, the Kansas City Symphony, and as a soloist with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and the Florida International University Wind Ensemble. He has performed solo recitals throughout Massachusetts, Illinois, and Florida and was a Semi-Finalist in the American Horn Competition.

Bron Wright, trombone, has performed with many of Boston's top orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Boston Lyric Opera. He has recorded for the Albany, ARSIS, and Centaur labels and has performed regularly withthe New World Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Sapporo, Japan, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Other conductors include performances with Seiji Ozawa, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Valerie Gergiev and Sir Neville Marriner. As a soloist, Bron has commissioned and premiered numerous works for solo trombone and has toured as soloist to over 35 countries including China, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, Russia, and Denmark performing at the Cairo Royal Opera House in Egypt; the Jarash Roman Ampitheater in Amman, Jordan; over forty concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, and in numerous cathedrals throughout the United States and Europe. In 1993, he was selected to perform David's Trombone Concerto for Queen Noor and King Hussein at the Jerash International Music Festival in Amman, Jordan. Bron received his Bachelors degree in 2001 from the New England Conservatory of Music where he studied with both Norman Bolter and Douglas Yeo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Originally from Greenville, Iliinois, Randall Montgomery is currently Principal Tubist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. An active orchestral and solo performer, he has performed hundreds of concerts with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, including the "Evening at Pops" national broadcasts on PBS as well as the pre-game show at Super Bowl XXXVI. Randall has also held the position of Principal Tubist of the New World Symphony where he as a prizewinner in the orchesta's annual concerto competition and was a featured soloist. As a member of Boston Brass for three years, he toured the United States extensively and recorded two CDs. Randall received his Bachelors degree from the Eastman School of Music and his Masters from the New England Conservatory, where he is also currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Abbey Hallberg Siegfried is Director of Music at St. John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and organ instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she taught organ and studied with Carole Terry. Abbey also holds degrees in Organ and German from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Delbert Disselhorst and Delores Bruch. After receiving a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, she attended the Conservatory of Music in Freiburg, Germany and studied with Zsigmond Szathmary. She has also attended the Roskilde International Baroque Festival in Denmark, and was selected for the Particpants Recital and Master Course at the International Summer Academy of Organists in Haarlem, the Netherlands. An active church musician, teacher, chamber musician, and solo concert artist, Abbey served as Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcestor, Massachusetts at the time of this recording. She has performed contemporary chamber music with the Huntington Brass Quintet and the New England Conservatory Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, and early music with Convivium Musicum, the Boston Shawm and Sackbut Society, and Exeter Winds. Abby Siegfried has won prizes in numerous organ performance competitions, including second place in the AGO region VIII Competition for Young Organists. As a solo concert artist she has performed throughout Europe and the USA and gives concert/lectures on contemporary organ music.