Jolivet: Trumpet Concerto No. 2
The first movement begins with a coordinated trumpet sound, a voice that seems to be trying to make itself heard from the backstage of an old theater. The impact is immediate, as is the music that follows. Soon the soundscape is filled with percussion, pianos and brass. A rhythmically intense surge takes hold, only to soon recede again. A lone trumpet again. Like a call. The analogy may seem trite, but it works well in the case of the French composer André Jolivet. A self-taught and headstrong 20th-century composer who refused to be labeled according to one school or the other. His guiding light was humanism, he wanted to make music that served humanity. And therefore his music is primarily communicative, it is directed outwards. The trumpet concerto, which has become one of his most famous works for posterity, is a typical example. The second movement is undulating, almost hypnotic with elements of its time, jazzy, bluesy and yet firmly rooted in a French Impressionist tradition. The concluding third movement is back in the shovel-like, high-intensity flow that manifested itself in the first movement, but here without being interrupted by the mournful search of the trumpet. Instead, the percussion and strings take their place. Excerpts from something similar to a jazz suite find their way into the composition. It is done with a light hand, as only someone who knows what he or she wants to achieve can do. The concert is ramped up, and so is the tension. In the last measure, both the trumpet and the orchestra get the last word. In true humanist spirit.