May 17, 2024

Pre-Order: Storyteller: Contemporary Concertos for Trumpet

Mary Elizabeth Bowden, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” artistry (Gramophone), celebrates the narrative power of the trumpet with Storyteller: Contemporary Concertos for Trumpet. Bowden is joined by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Allen Tinkham in a collection of new concertos that redefine the trumpet’s voice in modern classical music.

This recording, a testament to Bowden’s commitment to expanding the trumpet repertoire, features world premiere recordings of works by James M. Stephenson, Clarice V. Assad, Vivian Fung, Tyson Gholston Davis, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Reena Esmail, showcasing the richness and versatility of contemporary classical trumpet music.

Two works by James M. Stephenson bookend the program: The Storyteller, which pays homage to legendary trumpeter, Adolph Herseth, and Scram!, a spirited display of musical virtuosity.

Clarice Assad’s Bohemian Queen draws its inspiration from the life and visual art of Gertrude Abercrombie, known as “the queen of the bohemian artists” and active in Chicago’s jazz circles. Assad’s concerto integrates the classical form with the spontaneity of jazz.

Vivian Fung’s Trumpet Concerto is written for and inspired by Bowden’s pioneering journey as a female trumpeter in a male-dominated field. This continuous, episodic work traverses a spectrum of emotions — from struggle to triumph — culminating in a celebratory frenzy that challenges and expands the instruments’ traditional boundaries.

Tyson Davis’s Veiled Light is a musical interpretation of a James Abbott McNeill Whistler painting, Nocturne in Black and Red, conveyed through an exploration of light and shadow. The piece captures the artwork’s serene yet dynamic reflection of urban nightscapes.

Sarah Kirkland Snider originally scored her Caritas as a song for mezzo-soprano, based on texts by Hildegard von Bingen. The piece, which Snider arranged for trumpet specially for this recording, celebrates the power of the Female Divine and Bowden’s own presence in the brass music world as a symbol of strength, power, and creative force.

Reena Esmail’s Rosa de Sal, inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII, is based on the Hindustani raag of Puriya Dhanashree. The composition delves into the depths of desire and intimacy, capturing the poem’s essence through a fusion of Western and Eastern musical traditions.

Storyteller: Contemporary Concertos for Trumpet is produced and engineered by the Grammy-winning team of James Ginsburg and Bill Maylone. It was recorded November 15, 2021 at Kennedy King College, Chicago, IL; December 9–10, 2023 at Sasha and Eugene Jarvis Opera Hall, DePaul University; and January 14–15, 2024 at Gannon Concert Hall, DePaul University.