Sonata for Tr. & Piano op. 1031
Wolfgang Plagge (b. 1960)
Sonata for Trumpet & Piano is dedicated to Ole Edvard Antonsen who premiered it during the 2001 Oslo Chamber Music Festival.
In the Sonata for Trumpet & Piano op. 1031 I wanted to explore the Gregorian principles of alternative song as they can be found in sequences, antiphons, and responsorials: Trumpet and piano do not begin the piece together, they alternate as in a responsorial, and later on long obstinate piano sections allude medieval bourdon techniques. The work is in one movement, jointed like a sequence.
Tonal expression is modernistic, with modal, polytonal, and polyrhythmic elements. Formal progress is concentrated as well as episodic, and is concluded by a choral quotation. Ringing church bells form a central programmatic element - bells often appear ringing simultaneously at different speeds. Studying time flow is the essential idea of this work: Time is a dimension, as a standard of measurement, as a history teller, and as our Nemesis: This is also the reason why a quote from the song "Insbrugk ich muss dich lassen" by Heinrich Isaac (*1450, +1517) appears at the end - being one of Isaac's most beautiful tenor songs it was written as the composer was about to leave his home town and go into Italian service. This he obviously did in a very depressed mood, as the text of the song clearly shows. Isaac also earned himself a name of as a gifted prolific composer of liturgical music, among others Masses in the German style where plain songs alternates with choral polyphony in a kind of responsorial technique.
The sonata features sections of extended melody as well as
virtuosity and presents the performers with considerable
challenges. It is dedicated to Ole Edvard Antonsen who premiered it
during the 2001 Oslo Chamber Music Festival.