In the spring of 2004, I was commissioned by Marc Reese (trumpeter, Empire Brass) to arrange and compose several works for a recording project. These were to include music from Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures at An Exhibition (Il Vecchio Castello), Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (2nd movement), Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (2nd movement), and a new piece, entitled Sound and Fury, (though I liked to call it “Reese’s Piece”).
However, at the completion of all the above, I felt there needed to be another piece: a short recital opener or encore. The Bagatelle is just that. It is brief, brisk and to the point, meant to highlight Marc’s ease at getting around the instrument. The accompaniment is most of the time short and quirky, though sometimes suggesting Bach. The piece ends almost before it starts, with a harmonic question mark intended to surprise all who are listening.