Three 4 Five was written in 1996 during a slow period in the studios--mostly just to write an energetic piece for brass quintet. It was premiered by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. The quintet repertoire is full of old transcriptions and aleatoric modern pieces but not enough good solid, new concert pieces. I thought about those favorite pieces that I enjoyed playing and using with students- the Arnold, Reynolds, Bozza, Jones, Cheetam Haines- and found them all to be melodic, tonal/modal in harmony, rhythmically interesting, and technically challenging. Three 4 Five (Suite for Brass Quintet) is my attempt to add to that "kind" or repertoire. Capriccio begins with a rather dissonant fanfare followed by the acrobatic main theme in the horn. The form is a modified rondo with many rhythmic permutations. Cantilena was written for my wife, Jamie, and is a ballad featuring the solo tuba. The trumpets and trombone change to flugel horns and euphonium giving a lush conical sound to the movement. Modal and jazz harmonies are prevalent. The final Caccia (chase) begins with a fast 6/8 intro that leads into a lop-sided first movement. The piece ends in a flurry of lines and final octave low G's (pedal G off the piano in the tuba). Three 4 Five was recorded on The Big Stretch CD, Basset Hound records BHR 106-2, by studio greats Malcom McNab and Jon Lewis, trumpets/flugel horns; David Duke, horn; William Booth, trombone/euphonium; Jim Self, tuba. For the musical and technical challenges of this piece, these guys are my "Dream Team" brass quintet. The Big Stretch CD is available from www.bassethoundmusic.com.
- Jim Self
Solo parts included: trumpet in C 1+2, flugel horn, horn in F, trombone/euphonium, tuba