Hidden Traces/Ancient Places is a four movement sinfonia, originally written for 7 piece brass ensemble  comprising the symphonic heavy brass section. It was written with the natural sonority of the brass group Septura in mind and as such mainly uses the unadulterated sound of brass – something I feel is lacking in much contemporary brass music.

The material for the whole piece is derived from a resonant chorale stated at the beginning of the first movement – the Ancient Places of the title – and many of the fast contrapuntal lines are formed by Tracing paths through this chorale, although this may not be obvious to the listener.

The first and last movement use the full ensemble and form a pair, bookending the piece and providing  a conspicuous arch shape. The middle two movements use smaller combinations of instruments to provide contrast  – the 2nd movement features pairs of trumpets, and the 3rd contains a virtuosic tuba solo accompanied by pairs of trumpets and trombones.

Excerpts of the quintet version were performed by members of the South Bank Sinfonia at the Royal Opera House.

Parts included:

  • Score in C
  • Trumpet in E-flat
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Trumpet 2 in B-flat
  • Trombone 1
  • Trombone 2
  • Trombone 3 (Bass)
  • Tuba

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