John Frith
Brass Times: Five Variants for Brass Quintet
Brass quintet: 2 b-flat trumpets; horn in f; trombone; tuba

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018

Score and parts


This composition is a short, exciting ride for brass quintet. The piece is tonal but features significant chromatic material in its melodic lines. Rapid, staccato single-tonguing is required in both trumpet parts and the tuba part. Idiomatic writing features stopped horn indications, muted trumpet passages, and glissandi in the trombone part. Details like dynamics, articulations, rubato, etc., are specifically indicated throughout; it will be easy to put this piece together.

Shifting meters, slightly complex rhythmic figures, i.e. 2 against 3, detailed and varied articulations, and a wide dynamic range make this piece suitable for professional musicians. Pitch range and strong idiomatic writing make this piece playable by an intermediate level ensemble. For instance, the highest note in the first trumpet part is a².

This piece will be at home on a brass quintet recital, or utilized in a professional situation where loud playing might be appropriate. The brevity and Deciso feel of this set of variations might also give ‘Brass Times’ a useful place as a concert opener.

Reviewer: Sean Reed
Review Published July 12, 2019