Suite for Solo Trumpet

Zachary Buechner (b. 1995)

Biographical Info

This Suite was conceived as much out of boredom as well as it was a desire to help expand the repertoire of solo trumpet music. Most of the music was written during my final semester at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville while waiting for my laundry to finish whatever wash or dry cycle it was on, hence the boredom. The format is Baroque, with a Prelude and a collection of dances that, besides the jig, probably don’t get danced much anymore. Stylistically, though, the piece is much more varied.

The Prelude is a modern approach to the traditional purpose of warming up and getting a feel for the instrument, essentially noodling. A nod to Mahler’s earlier style, the Minuet is both very tuneful, but also very chromatic. The two Gavottes are directly influenced by Bach’s Suites for Solo ’Cello, as well as Dave Cooper’s transcriptions of said Suites, and, being the longest and central movement, provide stylistic center of gravity for the whole piece. Despite its brevity, the Saraband is perhaps the most symphonic of the movements, providing the emotional center of the piece. The final, and lightest, of the movements is the Gigue, which mimics the Late-Baroque/Early-Rococo period’s development of binary form into sonata allegro form.  -Z. Buechner

Suggested Equipment

I asked Zac about whether to play this on a C or Bb trumpet.  I also asked him which was more important to him, playing this on a C but transposing it to Bb, or not transposing.  He feels strongly about playing this on a Bb in Bb, so that’s what I did on the recital you can here below.  (Bach Artisan Bb)

There are no mutes needed.

Practice/Performance Tips

This is a very strongly written suite in that if conforms to the conventions of the traditional Baroque dance suites.  If you have familiarity with the Bach Suites for Cello then you will be able to relate to how this work is constructed and have even more appreciation for it.  The Prelude sets the stage for what is to come and all of the following dances derive motivic information from the Prelude.  There are a few passages where we are asked to use alternate fingering.  These are in conjunction with the overtone series and perhaps Zac’s nod to “just temperament” but it gets too out of tune for me so I played regular fingerings.

The two Da Capo minuets in the middle of the suite are what I consider the “meat” of the piece.  It is definitely the most challenging from an endurance standpoint.  Luckily for us, Zac did not specify tempi so I took the minor minuet “at a brisk tempo” so I could have a fighting chance of making it through the suite!

The recording below is from a recital I played at UW-Platteville in 2017.  (No editing or enhancing.)

Suggested Recordings

As of this writing, there are no professionally produced recordings of Zac’s Suite.