Since its inception, Duo Trompiano has been committed to making great music that is accessible to audiences of all ages. Judy Cole and Doug Lindsey met in the Fall of 2012 and upon first collaboration knew that they had something special. Their repertoire spans many genres, from jazz standards to modern trumpet repertoire. Since 2012, Duo Trompiano has performed dozens of concerts all over Georgia and the Southeast.
Please take a moment to listen to a few of our collaborations:
Schedule of Events: Fall 2016
Example repertoire from our most recent tour.
Douglas Lindsey, trumpet
Judy Cole, piano
Concerto for Trumpet (2003) – James Stephenson, III
The Concerto for Trumpet, James Stephenson’s second major work written for the trumpet, is a product of a long-time friendship between Jeffrey Work, for whom the concerto is written, and the composer. As a trumpeter himself, Stephenson had spent many years admiring the abilities of Work, first as a fellow student at Interlochen’s summer music festival (the two sat next to each other as high school students in the camp’s orchestra), and later at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. After Work’s performance of Stephenson’s Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, the idea of a piece composed especially for the soloist began to germinate, but lacked a host to commission and perform a new piece. The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, of which Work is a member, provided the final piece of the puzzle, and the Concerto for Trumpet was born.
The two movement piece opens almost ominously, and in no definitive key, with a solo bassoon stating a two note figure, F-D. (Those looking for a composed reference to the soloist to the soloist may find it here, though it requires a stretch: F-D, if changed somewhat using solfege syllables, could be pronounced F-Re, almost sounding like “Jeffrey”.) This F-D figure is repeated and developed throughout the entire piece, though probably more evident to the score-studying student than to the first-time listener. In this opening Adagio, the soloist enters plaintively on top of an established ostinato, almost searching for a home key. The soloist ends this opening trying to rise up triumphantly in the key of E-flat, only to get dissolved into a vague state once again, as the music is then transported into the scherzo-esque main body of the first movement. Again the solo trumpet tries to establish the main key of E-flat only to land on the non-diatonic raised 4th degree, or A natural. The orchestra and soloist trade capricious phrases, finally culminating in a grand re-statement of the main theme, this time in B-flat, or what would seem to be the dominant of E-flat. The music again takes a quick turn, and the orchestra lands on a pedal F-sharp, whereupon the soloist begins winding through various forms of music already heard. This Cadenza-like material returns us back to E-flat, but only briefly, as we are quickly transported to a frenzied jazz-like section, forecasting music to be heard in the second movement.. A grandiose section follows, incorporating the F-D motif one more time, and the movement ends almost as mysteriously as it started, but decidedly in A Major. This resolution in A Major, though perhaps a surprise, explains the use of the raised 4th degree explored extensively while in E-flat major.
The second movement is written to display what almost every audience member is seeking when first hearing a concerto: technical virtuosity. Knowing the technical and musical abilities of Mr. Work, as well as his love for the cornet solos of the early 20th century, the movement is composed to highlight what is available to the modern trumpet, though often not exposed. After a few minutes of pure energy, the music finally relaxes, drawing upon various motifs already heard. Again the piece builds up to a climax in the dominant key of E Major, only to settle again to a false coda. A demanding cadenza follows, highlighting some musical effects written especially for the dedicatee. Now beginning the true coda, the virtuosic music returns, and many motifs are again tossed into the mix to bring us to our denouement, again decidedly in our true home key of A Major.
As a side note, it might be interesting to learn that while growing up both Work and Stephenson enjoyed stretching the outer limits of “punmanship,” as well as the fine art of trumpet playing. Many a day were spent manipulating the English language to satisfy their absurd sense of humor. The composer is happy to add another to the abused 20 year-old melting pot of puns: If one considers the key of the piece, and the name of the dedicatee, he is proud to contribute “A Major Work” to the trumpet repertoire. One could even stretch to include “A Major F-Re Work”, as discussed earlier.
Jim Stephenson – 2003
Richard Peaslee (b. 1930) lives in Seattle, Washington, but he was born in New York City, and he has written music for numerous theatrical productions in his hometown, as well as in London and Paris. In addition to receiving degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School, he also studied in Paris with the afore-mentioned Nadia Boulanger. His concert music has been performed by a number of major orchestras throughout the United States, and Lincoln Center’s Composers’ Showcase presented a career retrospective at Alice Tully Hall. Peaslee has composed for film (e.g., Marat/Sade, 1967) and television, and he received an Emmy nomination for his music to the PBS series, The Power of Myth (1988). Nightsongs, for flugelhorn and/or
trumpet, was written in 1973 to fulfill a commission from trumpeter Harold Lieberman.
This colourful collection of pieces for trumpet and piano draws its inspirations from a variety of art works. They range from the gentle Parisian waltz, Ball at the Moulin de la Galette inspired by the artist Renoir; an atmospheric night piece, Nocturne in Blue and Gold by Whistler; a bright, dazzling Winter Landscape with Skaters by the Dutch painter Avercamp; the Baroque brilliance of A Choir of Angels by the 15th Century painter, Marmion; and one cool jazzy work, Walking Man (a powerful elongated sculpture by Giacometti) which is in five time. Something for all tastes and abilities.
Ball at the moulin de la galette
Nocturne in blue and gold
Winter landscape with skaters
A choir of angels
The best Fourth of July celebration I could give myself would be to play through (even sloppily) Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s dazzling display of fireworks, “The Union: Concert Paraphrase on National Airs.” It’s a terrific concoction of approximately eight minutes of American patriotic tunes, where Gottschalk weaves together “Yankee Doodle,” “Hail, Columbia” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the last not yet the official anthem of the United States. Composed in 1862, Gottschalk (1829-1869) dedicated “The Union” to his favorite Union general, George B. McClellan.
“The Union” traveled with the pianist through the Civil War years. Its measures captivated his northern audiences in small villages and large cities. It was often received with a tear and always with wild applause, yells and whistles; the last disdained by the aristocratic Gottschalk.
Playing his “Union” attested to New Orleans-born Gottschalk’s northern sympathies. Born May 8, 1829, Moreau, as he was known, spent his first 13 years in a lush exotic New Orleans, where his musical roots were deeply embedded. When allowed out, the city’s huge slave population congregated at the Congo Square (now Louis Armstrong Park). It was there that the young Gottschalk heard uninhibited cries along with the singing and dancing of Afro-Caribbean tunes, rhythms and Creole melodies.
Gottschalk loved his native city, but could not abide the hell of slavery. Years later he wrote, “When you have observed its horrors as I have, when you have seen thousands of victims die through unimaginable tortures, then you would condemn without forgiveness the greatest of the inequities which the ages of barbarity bequeathed to us.”
In his early teens the already formidable pianist traveled to Paris, where he hoped to be accepted at the celebrated Paris Conservatoire. But Pierre Zimmerman, its director, had an aversion to Americans. With typical French condescension he exclaimed that, “America was a land of steam engines…the country of railroads but not musicians,” not deigning even to listen to the prodigy. So instead Gottschalk studied piano privately with Camille Stamaty, who prepared him for a concert in 1845 that both Hector Berlioz and Frédéric Chopinattended. The concert’s high point was Gottschalk’s performance of the latter’s E-minor Concerto. Afterward the Pole warmly embraced the 16-year-old and supposedly told him that one day he would be a king among pianists.
By that point the teenager was already composing such exotic works as “La Savane,” “Le Bananier (Chanson nègre)” and “Bamboula (Dance de nègres).” These pieces created a sensation when he introduced them in the Paris salons.
By age 20 Gottschalk was performing throughout France, Switzerland and especially Spain, where he was idolized. Audiences were instantly beguiled by the slim, pale and handsome youth who spoke Greek and Latin, was an excellent fencer and a master horseman, besides being charming and witty. Always the consummate showman, Gottschalk entered the stage looking full of ennui and disdain at the prospect of performing, while at the piano peeling off his white gloves as his languid eyes surveyed the auditorium.
After P.T. Barnum made a fortune by bringing Jenny Lind, also known as “The Swedish Nightingale,” to the U.S. in 1850, the sweet smell of U.S. dollars brought Gottschalk home three years later. Traveling with his tuner and two specially built 10-foot Chickering Grands that he called his mastodons (a concert grand is usually 9 feet long), he drew great attention in little towns where people had never even seen a concert grand piano before.
After four years of success in the U.S. and Canada, he grew bored of American Victorian prudery and yearned for more sultry climes. The next several years he wandered through Cuba, Puerto Rico and the West Indies. In Puerto Rico he wrote his masterly “Souvenir de Porto Rico” and “The Last Hope,” the latter being one of the most popular piano pieces of the 19th century. Around this time he also began his incomparable diary, much later published as “Notes of a Pianist,” the finest musical reportage ever written by a pianist. (It was reissued by Princeton University Press in 2006.)
Returning home in time for the Civil War, he crisscrossed the country and by his own account traveled 80,000 miles from coast to coast.
On March 24, 1864, the pianist played a concert in Washington with President and Mrs. Lincoln in the front row. The program naturally included “The Union.” Gottschalk noted that “the President’s eyes have an expression of goodness and mildness.” Coincidentally, just a year before in Cleveland, Gottschalk had seen John Wilkes Boothacting, and had remarked in his diary that “he had something deadly in his look.” The day after Lincoln’s assassination Gottschalk performed “The Union” at a memorial service on the steamship Constitution, a private boat returning from Mexico.
Gottschalk’s amatory career was legendary—he was always swamped with young women begging him to play his tear-jerker “The Last Hope.” After a dalliance with a teenager caused a scandal in 1865, Gottschalk left for South America, where for the rest of his life he played, loved and composed in almost every country of the continent. He gave his last concert in Rio de Janeiro where, while playing his newly composed “Morte,” he collapsed, dying a few weeks later on Dec. 18, 1869 at the age of 40.
Gottschalk is buried next to his brother Edward in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y. His grave, which had been vandalized in the 1950s, was in a wretched state until October, when a contemporary replacement for the original allegorical statue, “The Angel of Music,” situated on the original marble base, was unveiled.
Gottschalk’s music is sadly underperformed, although there are fine recordings of “The Union” by Lambert Orkis on an 1865 Chickering Grand as well as by Cecile Licad. But his place in American music is secure. As a composer, he glorifies the piano with dashing boldness. In his best music one may hear circus bands, banjos, Sunday horse races, Caribbean melodies, an insouciant humor and drollery, hints of an emerging ragtime, and at times unabashed sentimentally. It is the most important pianistic output by an American of the mid-19th century.
—Mr. Dubal, a professor at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, is the author of “The Art of the Piano.” His radio program, “The Piano Matters,” can be heard on wwfm, the classical network.