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Modal Reeds


Organ and Trumpet in C


Premiered by Alison Balsom and Anna Lapwood at Tonbridge School in October 2022, Modal Reeds is a fine addition to the repertoire of works for trumpet and organ. It is a study in both stillness and intense activity, in the suggestion of distant vistas and times, with mysterious origins evoked by its title. There is a rare simplicity to the slow music, rapt and liturgical in spirit – at the introduction and conclusion inspired by the Kyrie eleison, and expressing utmost calm. The span of the piece thereafter is one of gradual acceleration. Via more urgent organ solos and trumpet and organ duets the composer skilfully leads the argument to a resounding climax, a panorama of contrasting yet compelling rhythms, with the chant transfigured into a plangent chorale. A brief yet profound silence heralds a last encounter with the opening idea, but emotionally charged and transformed too by our experience of what has gone before.

Modal Reeds will be enjoyed by all capable trumpet players and organists who might relish the challenge of cutting-edge contemporary music, written to reflect the artistry of two of today’s outstanding instrumentalists.

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