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for two trumpets and organ
Commissioned by Millicent Marshall, in loving memory of her husband, Charles Marshall
In 2011, I was approached by David Dash, 2nd/assistant trumpet of the Naples Philharmonic, to write a new work for him and his wife, Mary Bowden, as a feature for the two of them to play with organ. This was an especially fun situation, because Dave was my successor in the orchestra, where I had performed for 17 seasons. In addition to that, Mary has performed many of my works, and she currently holds a position as 2nd trumpet in the Des Moines Metro Opera, a position I also once held! “Awakenings” is a study in different timbres and sounds utilizing the trumpets and organ. The first movement is in a toccata style, while employing the common bravura associated with trumpets and organ. The 2nd movement uses flugelhorns (as well as trumpet) to expose the lyrical possibilities.
The 3rd movement is unique, in that it explores a jazzier side of the organ (walking bass line) while the trumpets perform with cup mutes. And lastly, the 4th movement is a flourish of piccolo trumpets in technical virtuosic lines, passing from one to another – almost as a modern tribute to Vivaldi, who composed perhaps the most famous of duo concertos for trumpets/organ.
Many thanks go to Millicent Marshall, who commissioned the work in memory of her husband, Charles. I am forever grateful to her for her support of the trumpet and for works written for the instrument. Also, my appreciation to longtime friend Jim Cochran, who premiered the work with Mary and Dave. And of course, thank you Dave, for the idea, and to Mary as well, for your brilliant playing and efforts in the creation of this work.
Jim Stephenson, 2012