Review


James Pugh
Triad: for trumpet, horn, and trombone

N.p., ,
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015

Score and parts

Genre: BRASS ENSEMBLES

In addition to being a phenomenal trombonist, James Pugh is also a talented composer. Originally written for the Areopagitica Brass Trio, Triad musically symbolizes the personal search of the composer to find his birth mother. The title of the work and its instrumentation represent the three parties involved in this journey—the child, the adoptive mother, and the birth mother.

The work begins with a lyrical yet angular horn melody punctuated by a short heartbeat gesture from the trombone. Eventually the trombone part becomes more melodic and is joined by muted trumpet. This is followed by a quick and spirited Vivace section where all three parts imitate and accentuate one another. This slowly morphs back into the angular lyrical material of the beginning and eventually resolves to an F major triad to symbolize unity between the three parties.

This work is well suited to most undergraduate brass trios. While there are a variety of ensemble challenges, the individual parts are not unreasonably difficult. The C trumpet part spans from a to b-flat2; the horn part from c to g-sharp2; trombone from AA-flat to a-flat1. A B-flat trumpet part is also included. The trombone part necessitates an F-attachment and might be best performed on bass trombone. James Pugh’s Triad provides us with an excellent opportunity to feature a work by a living composer and is ideally suited for almost any recital program.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published January 31, 2019