Sunday, 19 May 2019 at 7.30 p.m.
Slovenian Philharmonic, Marjan Kozina Hall
Thomas Hugh Poulson, trumpet and artistic director
Franc Kosem, trumpet
Blaž Avbar, trumpet
Jure Gradišnik, trumpet
Mihajlo Bulajić, French horn
Domen Jeraša, trombone
Žan Tkalec, trombone
Žan Kopše, trombone
Wolf Hagen Hoyer, trombone
Jernej Oberžan, tuba
Anthony Plog: OCTET
Nina Šenk: TANGLE for solo trumpet and brass quintet
Tom Hugh Poulson, solo trumpet
Michael Nyman: FOR JOHN CAGE
Jan Koetsier: BRASS SYMPHONY
The Slovenian Philharmonic Brass Ensemble was formed in 2002 upon the initiative of the brass section of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble regularly presents concerts throughout Slovenia and abroad. In the 2015/2016, 2016/2017, and 2017/2018 seasons the ensemble’s work was further enhanced by its first independent cycle of three concerts, staged in the Marjan Kozina Hall of the Slovenian Philharmonic. The ensemble’s repertoire comprises works from various stylistic periods arranged for brass, as well as original brass compositions.
The artistic director at the helm of the first concert organised by SiBRASS will be the trumpeter Thomas Hugh Poulson, a member of the famous Stockholm Chamber Brass ensemble. Tonight’s programme will bring together some extremes as the works on the programme oscillate between traditional and progressive-modern, while throughout they remain astounding and attractive. Tonight the audience at the Slovenian Philharmonic will be able to delight in the grandeur of the works, which are a veritable treasury for any brass player and have been performed in countless places around the world.
Works by the following composers will be performed at the concert:
Anthony Plog is primarily a successful trumpet player who has enjoyed a long international career. He only became established as a composer later in life, yet today his works are performed globally. Plog’s works are characterised by their originality and unusual expressive dimension. One of his first compositions for brass of this kind is Octet, a composition for four trumpets and four trombones, which, marked by tempo indications, transports listeners through an allegro vivace into a calm and slow section, and then further into the theme, followed by fast and bouncy variations (I-IV).
Nina Šenk is known as a composer for various ensembles. Her compositions can be virtuosic or minimalistic, yet always follow a tendency towards perfection. In her exploration, Šenk leads the listener from tradition (which she trusts) to contemporaneity (because she dares), while masterfully interweaving the threads of each. Clearly, one such work is Tangle, a composition that – as suggested by its title – offers a tangle: an entanglement of sounds and tones, as well as of the soloist and the quintet. Disentanglement is achieved with the folk tune Vsi so venci vejli, which, in the words of the composer, “is a short memoir presenting beauty and the power of expression, as well as utter opposition to the fast, short, and winding segments comprising a large part of the composition.”
Michael Nyman is undoubtedly one of the more innovative and famous British composers; his considerable reputation is based on his extensive repertoire of compositions written for the widest variety of ensembles. Alongside composing, Nyman is also a conductor, pianist, author, musicologist, photographer, and film-maker. The first sketches for the composition entitled For John Cage were made in September 1991, in a hotel room. The piece was completed in 1992, yet lacked a title. Nyman had considered the title Canons, Chorales, and Waltzes, but dropped it as the composition comprises only one canon, numerous corals in terms of sequences, and one waltz. The following day after finishing the piece Nyman read in a newspaper that John Cage had died. Also for this reason, but mainly because Cage had been one of the truly revolutionary music theorists of the 20th century and had influenced Nyman’s music as well, Nyman dedicated the composition to him.
Jan Koetsier, like Plog, began composing only after retirement. Prior to that, he had conducted the ‘Concertgebouw Orchestra’ in Amsterdam and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and taught at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. Brass Symphony is one of Koetsier’s masterpieces for brass ensembles. It comprises three movements: Allegro, Larghetto, and Rondo. The composition was commissioned by Philip Jones, a famous British trumpeter and leader of the ‘Philip Jones Brass Ensemble’; it premiered in 1980 and was recorded in 1981.