Suite for Horn, Trombone and Piano
by Bruce Stark
With the four movements of Suite for Horn, Trombone and Piano I wanted to compose a piece that sings and dances, while offering the players music that lays well with their instrument and provides a forum in which the expressive range, lyricism, and vitality of this trio have a chance to shine. The first movement (Simple Truth), true to its title, paints with primary colors, using simple harmonies and straightforward melodies to tell its story. Movement two (Groove) is jazz-influenced and syncopated, at one point featuring each instrument in a solo, inspired by jam sessions where various players take turns improvising. Movement three (Lullaby) consists of two passes through a quiet, sustained melody over piano accompaniment, one in horn and one in trombone with horn embellishments. The final movement (Rondo) concludes the work with a fast, rhythmically driven piece of syncopation and interwoven rhythmic tapestries. Appearances of the theme are separated by episodes, creating an overall form of A-B-A-C-A.
I composed the suite with the intention that individual movements could also stand on their own as short recital pieces for this unique combination of instruments.
Suite for Horn, Trombone and Piano was composed for a commission by trombonist Megumi Kanda and horn player Dietrich Hemann in the spring of 2015. A special thanks goes to them for their friendship, encouragement and helpful advice.
— Bruce Stark