“Stephen Paulus’ wonderful Concerto for Two Trumpets is wholly unique in the repertoire.” Trumpet soloist Rex Richardson introduces us to the composer’s work which is featured on the Baton Rouge Symphony’s February 25th American Festival, led by Timothy Muffitt. Trumpeter Brian Shaw joins Richardson for the concert.
Richardson continues, “I love performing this work; I’ve had the great pleasure of having done so more than half a dozen times. The concerto’s scope is so broad, it’s positively cinematic; alternatively grandiose, humorous and achingly beautiful. I always feel like I’m acting in some grand theatre piece rather than playing trumpet – and no other work quite strikes me this way. There are technical challenges for sure, and some physical training to meet the demands of stamina, but the preparation mostly comes down to an immersion in Mr. Paulus’ singularly lyrical, otherworldly language. Any challenge is well worth the rewards of simply being in the same room when this gorgeous music is realized.”
Brian Shaw offers his own insight into the work. “Paulus’ Concerto for Two Trumpets is a wonderful new piece for me, and it’s an important new addition to the repertoire — a new work for two trumpets and orchestra that was written after the Baroque era. It’s really exciting and written with a modern approach. It’s also a challenging work. It explores the trumpet’s character with beautiful, soaring melodies, and offers so much for the soloist by showcasing the instrument’s colors. It’s worth all the work needed to put into it, and the players are rewarded with great music that’s fantastic. It’s a pleasure and honor to play it.”