Several of my high school seniors are currently preparing for college auditions, and many of them are working on the Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Kent Kennan. This has always been one of my favorite trumpet sonatas, and this particular recording by Ray Mase (trumpet) and David Pearl (piano) is one of my all-time favorites.
Ray Mase currently teaches trumpet at the Julliard School, and he was a member of the American Brass Quintet for 40 years! He’s always been one of my favorite classical trumpet players because of the variety of colors he can create with his sound and the excitement of his musical interpretations.
As you listen to this recording, notice the musical interplay between the trumpet and piano. Both instruments play an exciting and interesting role in this piece.
A note to younger trumpet players: This piece was written in the atonal composition style, which means it doesn’t use traditional scales and chords. It might sound a little different to new listeners (almost like hearing a new language for the first time). I urge you to give the piece a chance! Your ears will get used to it and understand the music better each time you listen to it.