Four Movements for Unaccompanied Trumpet (1975)

Stan Friedman (1951 – )

Biographical Info

STANLEY FRIEDMAN’S music has been premiered by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, l’Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, the Memphis Symphony, the Northwestern University Orchestra and by major soloists in festivals around the world. His opera HYPATIA (premiered in concert at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts) earned praise as orchestrally impressive and lyrically quite rich” [(NZ) Opera News]. The (NZ) Dominion identified Friedman as “…a significant new opera composer.”

Widely known for his music for brass, Friedman has received awards and commissions from the International Trumpet Guild, the International Horn Society, the International Trombone Association and many leading soloists and ensembles. His SOLUS for unaccompanied trumpet is a world success and has been designated required contemporary repertoire” for major international solo competitions. Friedman’s works are published by EDITIONS BIM (Switzerland), SUBITO MUSIC and ASHER ROSE MUSIC (USA), ANTES EDITION (Germany)and are recorded on multiple labels.

Suggested Equipment

This is written for C trumpet.  (The composer specifies Bach C trumpet!  See below.)  The fourth movement requires we remove the 2nd valve slide and the designated pitches and fingerings work on C and NOT on Bb.

Straight and Harmon mute with stem.

Practice/Performance Tips

Below are two links to a fantastic doctoral dissertation that is extremely thorough in it’s exploration of Solus by Scott Merideth.

Solus Dissertation pdf  Solus Dissertation website

I have the great fortune of working regularly with John Aley who performed the premier of this piece.  He let me have the original manuscript to study when I was working on this piece.  It’s a shame that the published version that we all have pales in comparison.  The original not only has much larger, clearer font and spacing but there are a lot of Stan’s verbal instruction that does not appear in the published version.  I will include Stan’s opening notes below:

Solus may be performed with the four movements in the designated order or in any combination of the individual movements.  Each movement may also be played separately.  If a Bach C trumpet is unavailable, the fourth movement should be omitted.  In this event, the order of the movements should be I, III, II.

Technical problems in Sulus should pose no great difficulties to the advanced student or professional who has some previous experience with contemporary trumpet literature.  A brief explanation of some of the more unusual features follows.

Slide glissani are produced by a manipulation of the first and third valve tuning slides, often in combination with alternate fingerings.  the marking (slide) indicates that the third valve slide is drawn out or is drawn in from an extended position as the context demands.  The semi-tone glissandi occur the most frequently and can easily be produced without “lipping” the designated fingerings must always be used.  The performer should experiment with slide extensions so that the pitches can be accurately produced.  the valve slides should be well lubricated.

All the pedal tones in Solus are possible and (with practice) not difficult to produce.  The F below middle C is played 123 with the third valve slide fully extended.  The performer may wish to use fingerings other than those indicated in the second movement.  This is permissible as long as the pitch is recognizable and the tone quality fairly close to that of the muted normal low register.

Tremelos are rapid oscillations on the same pitch produced by alternating fingering combinations.  Care should be taken that the change in fingerings does not produce a noticeable change in pitch.  The performer is advised to acquaint himself/herself with the available alternate fingerings for all pitches.  Some manipulation of the valve slides may be necessary for certain notes.

The open-tubing technique in the last movement is designed to produce an immediate “offstage” effect.  The technique itself is explained in the score.  The dynamic marking for the open-tubing notes represent the actual relative dynamic level over the level of blowing power (volume) necessary to produce the desired intensity.  mp/ff meeans that to produce a mezzo-piano through the open tubing, the performer must blow fortissimo.

The performer should not take the tempo and rhythmic markings too literally.  Great freedom is allowed and, in fact, desired.  Above all, Solus must not be approached as though it were a virtuoso’s technical showpiece.  It is hoped that the technical innovations and other “unfamiliar” aspects of Solus will be taken for their musical worth and will eventually become standard features of the trumpeter’s and brass composer’s art.

-Stan Friedman (1975)

The following clip is from a recital I gave at UW-Platteville


Suggested Recordings

Ole Edvard Antonsen