Bozza: Rustiques

Composed in the 1950s for the Concours de prix, Bozza’s Rustiques can be considered one of the most significant works written for trumpet in the 20th century (one piece of supporting evidence for this opinion is Wynton Marsalis’ inclusion of this on his solo album “On the Twentieth Century,” which also includes the pivotal Hindemith Sonata and Honegger Intrada.

Rustiques ventures into the idea of coloring the sound perhaps more than most “trumpet solos.” While the piano part is often minimal, both voices are crucial to the overall effect of the work; dense chords rolled on the piano often provide a harmonic backdrop for cadenza-like lines in the trumpet.

A very vital element to the execution of the solo part is taking time between phrases. Allowing the music to breathe, especially at marked phrase points, can create a much more convincing product for the listener.

Bozza offers a beautiful melodic line at the Andantino; be sure to sing through with a sound that is distinctly “you.” The contrasting Allegro (quarter note = 132) is really like an Irish reel, not unlike we see in Bozza’s Caprice (which also shares melodic material with Rustiques).

In my opinion, success in performing this work relies on making the technique sound easy and free. Many sections should sound almost improvised. Pay careful attention to directions on pushing and pulling time, and leave the listener with a curt smile at the conclusion of the last chromatic scale upwards.

 

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