Overture to the Bartered Bride

Overture to the Bartered Bride

arranged for trumpet ensemble

professional | 6’15”

performed by the West Texas A&M University Trumpet Ensemble

Program Notes

I can remember my first encounter with the music of Bedřich Smetana. I was still in high school and was making frequent visits with my junior high band director Bryan Cheney, who inspired me to become a composer. One late summer afternoon, we were looking over the piece I was working on at the time and I was stuck trying to describe the idea of a river using sound. Being a young composer, I was not yet very familiar with orchestral repertoire and at that point, Bryan asked me, “Have you ever heard the Moldau?” When I said no, Bryan played it for me and I immediately was taken away by the beauty of the music.

To me, the Overture to the Bartered Bride is in many ways just as lyrical and moving as Smetana’s famous symphonic poem even though it is much more well known for the virtuosic demands it requires of the orchestra. To arrange such a piece for trumpet ensemble presented a unique challenge to me because, obviously, brass instruments are very different than string instruments. I was forced to think out of the box in order to achieve the same effect as the original despite scoring for a vastly different medium.

Austin Brake
January 2014
Dover, Delaware