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Rolf Wallin

Publisher: Chester Music

Fisher King (trumpet concerto) (2011)
Chester Music Ltd
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
27 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Programme Note
Rolf Wallin Fisher King (trumpet concerto) (2011)
A horn player once said to me: "The trumpet doesn't have any secrets." I was at first provoked, being myself a trumpeter, but the comment tells a lot about the French horn's wonderful merits of magic in orchestral and chamber music. Not only do the horn players send the sound away from the listener, they also muffle it with their hand, making it sound like emerging from a deep forest.

In contrast, the role of the trumpeter has been confined to depicting festive parades and dramatic battles, and to blaring crude fanfares through its almost obscenely protruding bell. But maybe this is the secret of the trumpet: that it is open. Wide open. And perhaps that openness lends it a vulnerability.

In many ways, since we're dealing with the love/hate instrument of my childhood and youth, this trumpet concerto was bound to be become almost autobiographical. It is about visiting some dark places. Low places. The place inhabited by the mythical wounded Fisher King, his country degenerating into a Wasteland, a place we all have been at least once in our life. But it is even more about the hope of transforming that Wasteland into brightness and abundant, flowing energy.

© Rolf Wallin

Score preview:

  • Ensemble
    Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
    Hakan Hardenberger, trumpet
    John Storgårds
...a weighty piece mystical in content, patiently structured, and assiduously avoiding the military imagery associated with the solo instrument. Hakan Hardenberger was the impeccable soloist, his virtuosity so demurely devoted to the demands of the music...
Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post,18/11/2011
The concerto is a striking, single-movement piece, clearly laid out, yet still mysterious. ...a menacing climax in the orchestra is blown away by the soloist in a flurry of piccolo-trumpet virtuosity. The ideas seem more crisply defined, their trajectory more coherent.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,16/11/2011
There was plenty to keep the ear busy...a Trumpet Concerto by the gifted Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin. ...dizzyingly fast repeated notes and quick-changing colours.
Geoff Brown, The Times,15/11/2011
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