New Music for Trumpet and Piano

Anthony Plog, Charles Reskin, Martin Rokeach

PAUL FUTER, trumpet

World Premiere Recordings



“Both performers deliver an elegant and flawless rendition of the three works presented here... The performance venue provides excellent acoustics, and the engineering quality of the work is excellent... The CD contains interesting notes on the performers, the composers, and each of the three works.”
Kim McCormick, Pan Pipes [January 2017]
“[Charles Reskin’s Sonata] has a lyrical I with changing meters, a colorful yet tonal harmonic language, and a lively piano part... Paul Futer’s tone is beautiful: a sort of light-warm rather than dark-warm... a very attractive piece, and Futer’s full, unforced tone makes it even more so... I continue to be impressed by the music of Anthony Plog.... [Martin Rokeach’s Running at the Top of the World has a] perpetual-motion and almost otherworldly feeling in all three movements... it is fascinating. I very much enjoy these pieces, Paul Futer’s terrific trumpet tone and playing skills, and pianist Susan Nowicki’s expert collaboration.”
Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [January/February 2017]
“Plog's Sonata is a masterwork... Adding to Futer's commanding, virtuoso playing, Susan Nowicki rises to challenges which are scarcely less formidable, and together they make a persuasive casefor rarely heard music of rare quality. Equally complicit is the [recorded] sound. Both the gleam and textures of Futer's sound are almost tangible...”
Laurence Vittes, Gramophone [December 2016]
“Futer's agile and glowingly heroic trumpet blends beautifully with Nowicki's gracefully athletic piano in three winning new music works. The music has the sort of stately logic and muscular dramatics that goes back to Hindemith and forward to today. All three composers have a vividly idiomatic grasp of the trumpet and its dramatic potential... The performances are gorgeous, with Futer and Nowicki keenly attuned to the music at hand and to each other. Anyone who responds to state-of-the-art contemporary brass music will find this highly enjoyable and rewarding. A stunner!”
Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review [September 2016]
“The Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Charles Reskin is a fairly standard-for-our-time combination of classical and jazz elements, distinguished by the way it pays homage to composers of the mid-20th century and by its substitution of a flugelhorn for the trumpet in the second of its three movements... Both trumpeter Paul Futer and pianist Susan Nowicki seem to have a good time with the music – and, indeed, with the other works on this CD as well.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [August 2016]
C Trumpet: Bach Stradivarius - Model 239
Flugelhorn: Yamaha YFH-8315G - Custom Series

Anthony Plog’s TRUMPET SONATA was composed in 2003, and was commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin School of Music for Ray Sasaki. After its premier performance by Ray and Jeanne Sasaki, the composer waited approximately seven years to revise the Sonata for trumpet and piano. The basic structure of the piece remains as it was heard at the first performance.

Charles Reskin’s music is known for its diversity, including an extremely wide range of musical styles and idioms. The TRUMPET SONATA is a perfect example of how Reskin artfully combines these elements in a way that creates a new, unique sound that is very much of the 21st century. The piece is inspired by the American music — both classical and jazz — of the mid-20th century, and is an homage to the composers of that era. The first movement contrasts a lyrical first theme with an agitated, almost barbaric second theme group. The second movement is written for flugelhorn, and is in the form of a very simple lullaby which evolves into a kind of “dream episode” in a lively jazz-fusion style, before gradually returning to the tranquil mood of the opening. The energetic and light-hearted finale has influences of jazz and allusions to the Old West.

I first heard about Martin Rokeach's RUNNING AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD from my trumpet teacher, David Bilger, who served as a judge for the International Trumpet Guild’s Ellsworth Smith competition in 2012. At the event, Rokeach’s new work was required repertoire for contestants. Full of complex sonorities, the piece is an exciting addition to the trumpet repertoire. Rokeach explores unique ways to write for both the trumpet and piano that are innovative and accessible. Running at the Top of the World was commissioned by a consortium of musicians, namely James Ackley, Michael Anderson, Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Stephen Burns, Jack Burt, Vincent DiMartino, Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski, Robert Skoniczin and Mark Wilcox. In May 2015, my accompanist and I had the privilege of flying out to California to spend a few days with Martin Rokeach. He graciously allowed us to stay in his home, and we spent many hours discussing Running at the Top of the World. The whole process was incredibly gratifying, and I will be forever thankful for his hospitality. [- Paul Futer]

American trumpeter Paul Futer maintains an active career as a performer and educator throughout the United States. A highly regarded musician, he received critical acclaim for his performances with the Yale Philharmonia at Carnegie Hall, under the direction of William Christie, and can be heard playing Principal Trumpet with Symphony in C in Collingswood, New Jersey. Futer has recorded and performed with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Brass Quintet, Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Quintet, Vince DiMartino and Yale Brass Trio, and has frequently been presented on WRTI radio. A dedicated teacher, Futer has given master classes at numerous institutions, including the University of Georgia, Hopkins School, and Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School in New Haven. In 2013, he joined the music faculty at Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and was also appointed Brass Coordinator, Brass Choir Director and head of trumpet faculty at the Luzerne Music Center in New York. In 2014, Futer joined the administrative staff of the Philadelphia International Music Festival, and received a Presser Foundation Graduate Music Award. Dr. Futer received his Bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance fromthe University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he studied with Philip Collins and Alan Siebert. Futer later received his Master’s degree from Yale University, where he studied with Allan Dean. He holds a DMA degree from Temple University, where he studied with David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra. [ ]

Susan Nowicki has appeared throughout the United States as soloist and as collaborative pianist, and frequently performs with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra. A strong advocate for contemporary music, Nowicki has premiered and performed works with the ensemble Network for New Music, and has recorded numerous works for the Albany, Capstone, De Haske and North-South labels. She has also produced and performed on a release of chamber works by Jan Krzywicki for Albany Records. Nowicki is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician for music festivals, conferences and competitions. She maintains a private piano studio in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, and is an instructor for The Well Balanced Pianist programs, intensive courses for pianists which combine the study of coordinate technique with performance mindset strategies and learning styles awareness. She is also a faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music where she coaches for the Vocal Studies Department. [ ]

Andante semplice

Lento and with freedom
Molto vivace

Running at the Top of the World

MSR Classics