Arguments & Agreements (Brass Quintet)

Brass Quintet (Two Trumpets, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba) (1996, rev. 2006), Three Movements, ca. 10’
Premiered by The St. Anthony Brass Quintet at the University of Minnesota, 1996.

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Listen to excerpts from a live performance by the St. Anthony Brass Quintet (Movement I, middle to the end; Movement III, retransition to recapitualtion to the end):

Arguments and Agreements - Excerpts

Program Note:

The piece was originally scored for Brass Quintet with Bass Trombone instead of Tuba, written for Ron Larson, a bass trombonist and student of mine at the University of Minnesota. Ten years later, I rearranged it for the traditional brass quintet formulation (two Trumpets, French Horn, Trombone and Tuba) and wrote a new, chorale-style second movement. Below the surface I was interested in exploring the dynamics of argument as it relates to the unique dynamic of being in a chamber ensemble — the kinds of subtle and not-so-subtle negotiations that take place between musicians that are working together so intimately and so intensely. For example, in the first movement, the French Horn’s role is to set the tone for the movement at the beginning and to insist on restoring a kind of uneasy order at the end of it, an isolated appeal to reason in response to the other four members taking angrier and angrier detours that result in a kind of shouting match.

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CBG2_WPRKOriginally from New York, Charles Griffin returned to the U.S. in 2010 to take a position at Florida's Full Sail University as course director of Advanced Music Composition in their MPBS program, after spending 5 years living and working in Latvia. His compositions and arrangements have been performed at festivals and concert halls throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Brazil, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.

He is also a radio show host on 91.5 WPRK FM. His show Zero Crossings incorporates live interviews with composers, conductors and performers with a focus on the local contemporary art music scene.

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