Magazine article The Tracker

Friendly Amendments

Magazine article The Tracker

Friendly Amendments

Article excerpt

Friendly Amendments, Grant S. Peters, trumpet, and Charles W. Ore, organ. Available online at TAP Music Sales and Sheet Music Service.

Friendly Amendments, a new release on compact disc of music for trumpet and organ by American composers, represents a compilation of works by a remarkably close group of performers and composers. Throughout the disc, there is a special sense of cohesiveness and collaboration among all forces present. Robert Frank, professor of composition and theory at Southern Methodist University; Charles Ore, professor emeritus at Concordia University; Michael Murray, professor of music at Southwest Missouri State University; and John Prescott, also a professor of music at Southwest Missouri State University, are nationally known composers whose works are aptly essayed through the brilliant work of organist Charles Ore and trumpeter Grant Peters, assisted by fellow trumpeter Rick Bogard. The recording was made at First Plymouth Congregational Church, Lincoln, Nebraska. The featured organ is Schoenstein Opus 126 (1997). Trumpet and organ represent two of the most natural pairings of instruments. These performers continue that tradition with a CD of inspired virtuosity. Yet, one gets the feeling that this is not just a recording that features virtuosity for the sake of virtuosity. There is an unfolding sense of musical community indicative of an ensemble wherein everyone is contributing to the common good. It is a good wake-up call for those who are mired in tradition. Friendly Amendments is a reminder that there has been some strong writing for this combination in more recent times.

The collection begins with Robert Frank's "Liturgical Impressions" (1986). The work is cast in three movements - Introit, Sanctus, and Gloria. The first movement, Introit, is described in the accompanying notes as opening "with a majestic, formal invocation via a 12-tone row in the trumpet, which warms into flowing melodies when joined by the glowing sonorities of the organ's chorale." The quiet second movement, Sanctus, contains powerful images of the holy flames above the Ark of the Covenant with special emphasis given to the word "holy." The third movement, Gloria, presents moments of joyful praise leading into the climactic section where themes from all three movements are combined. Frank's music is permeated with numerous images of sound, all blending into a coherent whole. The technical prowess of both Peters and Ore, as well as their collaborative sense of expression, makes this performance exhilarating.

Ore's "The Seventh Trumpet", inspired by Revelation 11:15-19, is a reworking of an earlier work for solo organ. Described in the liner notes as being cast "in ritornello form," the piece is an effective rendering of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder, earthquakes, and hailstorms. Peters and Ore portray these verses dramatically with virtuosic performances grounded in an understanding of the theological underpinnings of the subject. This work is a natural complement to the previous "Liturgical Impressions." With the blowing of the seventh trumpet, a heavenly chorus is unleashed proclaiming the universal sovereignty of God. Fear gives way to celebration as the setting shifts from earth to the heavenly throne room. …

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