Fantasie for Trumpet
For trumpet and piano (includes two versions: F Major, and Eb Major)
for trumpet and piano (includes two versions: F Major, and Eb Major)
Commissioned by Paul Merkelo. Premiered by Paul Merkelo at Mahidol University, ITG Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 2005
In the Spring of 2005, while Paul was visiting me in Florida, we finally solidified a long- discussed idea of a new composition for him to premiere. Paul and I have known one another since our childhood days in the Chicago area, and so the opportunity to compose something for him is nothing less than a true joy and true honor.
He initiated the idea that the piece should pay homage to one of the long-time greats in the trumpet world, Timofei Dokshizer, who had recently passed. Growing up as a trumpeter myself, Dokshizer had a great impact on my musical development, and, in fact I was given several of his albums by one of my first trumpet teachers, Peter Labella, who had died several years before, and much too young.
The piece, then, is a tribute on many levels. First to my friend, Paul, who is a constant source of inspiration and character. It is, of course, dedicated to Mr. Dokshizer, whose impact on the trumpet and music world, and my early love of the trumpet, is immeasurable. It also is written with remembrance to Mr. Labella, who had the insight to recognize my love of music, and gave me his depth of knowledge that has stayed with me to this day.
When Paul first mentioned the idea of writing the tribute piece, I was immediately struck with ideas on how to construct the piece. I wanted to write a piece that would be reminiscent of the old recordings: the concert waltzes, scherzos and dances that he played so touchingly and delicately, yet with his inimitable Russian flair. I wanted to step back, and not try to produce sounds no one has ever heard before, but yet to create something that sounded as if it has always been there; something where the audience could just sit back, relax, enjoy, and give thanks to the legacy of the great musical mastery of Timofei Dokshizer.
James Stephenson June, 2005