…and the seven trumpets… was commissioned by Martyn Brabbins specially for the concert which marked his debut as Music Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society*. The work is “a tribute to Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen” and is dedicated “to Martyn Brabbins, for old times’ sake!”.
The work lasts for about ten minutes and uses large forces, including a full brass section, percussion, cellos, basses, organ and choir. It is based on a quotation from the Book of Revelation:
And I saw the seven Angels which stood before
God: and to them were given seven trumpets.
As the title suggests, the work centres around seven solo trumpets, four on-stage and three off-stage. In addition, four French horns are positioned at the rear of the auditorium and sound the first notes of the piece. As the work develops, each trumpet in turn has a solo cadenza, echoing the text surrounding the seven angels in the Book of Revelation. After the first four trumpets have sounded there is an organ cadenza which prefaces a duet for the off-stage Trumpets 5 and 6, depicting the ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse’. The last trumpet to sound, Trumpet 7, has the longest and most climactic of the cadenzas, as befits the seventh angel announcing that ‘time shall be no more’. It rises to a high held note which heralds the entrance of the choir (Alleluias), and brings the work to a triumphant conclusion.