Hope Told A Flattering Tale
for E-flat Cornet Solo with Brass Quintet and Percussion
arranged by Joel Treybig
This work comes from a manuscript of music composed for the 4th New Hampshire Regiment Band. It does not bear a specific date, but several of the pieces in the Dignam manuscript bear dates from 1863 and 1864, so one can date this around that time. The theme is actually titled “Nel cor piu non mi sento,” an arietta by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816). While the other pieces in Dignam’s manuscripts are typical of Civil War service music, the work presented here is a truly remarkable example of a virtuoso theme-and variations piece for E-flat cornet. It is an original solo cornet work from an American composer during the Civil War, and adds another quality piece for the Eb instrument. The piece begins with a majestic and flowing introduction, followed by a lyric theme. Three variations follow: the first variation is light and articulated, the second is more active with occasional slurred 32nd notes, and the third variation is largely comprised of running 32nd notes that are both double-tongued and slurred, requiring an agile tongue and fingers of the soloist. There are tutti interludes between each secion of the piece, allowing the soloist ample rest before the start of the next solo section. After the three variations, there is a beautiful slow interlude, after which the piece comes to an exciting close with a light, upbeat finale.
This edition presents the solo Eb cornet part in its original state, with the accompanimental band parts reduced for performance by brass quintet. It is very close to the original version for full band; omitted are doublings and octaves from the accompaniment, and re-scoring some lines to improve voice leading. The articulations are Dignam’s own, and only minor adjustments were made where inconsistencies existed in the score. The piece can be performed with or without percussion, although the percussion parts are original.
A review of this edition in the International Trumpet Guild Journal reads “This reduction works superbly well for brass quintet, is recommended to anyone looking for early American repertoire.”
• Duration 8 minutes