Abendglühen – Evening Glow
for solo trumpet and brass choirs (all kinds of brass players, can be performed also with lots of woodwinds incl. saxes)
Composed for the 31st German Protestant Church Convention 2007 in Cologne, Germany
The 31st German Protestant Church Convention began in Cologne on the 6th June 2007. At about 22:15, to mark the end the day, about 1800 brass instruments began playing Abendglühen under the supervision of the composer, who also performed the solo trumpet part.
The brass choirs were placed in six different areas on both sides of the Rhine’s riverbank between the Hohenzollern and Deutzer bridges in Cologne. They were surrounded by crowds of visitors, who formed a sea of lights with around 150,000 candles.
The piece began in the stillness following the evening blessing. Little by little, the tubas were followed by the trombones and trumpets. Together, they laid out a carpet of sound over the Rhine, which was further enriched by the composer’s improvisations on the trumpet.
The composition includes a number of short pauses, during which the sound of each of the individual groups of players has time to reverberate. During these moments the size of the performance space could be felt. Markus Stockhausen, who had established a reputation for “intuitive music” during his concert series “Klangvisionen” (Visions of Sound) in the southern part of Cologne, also had opportunities for solo improvisations.
The individual players in the trombone choirs were also asked to improvise. They created, among other things, a “river of sound” having long notes and tranquil lines to accompany the solo trumpet. Sections of Abendglühen are titled In der Kraft (In Strength), In der Freude (In Joy) and Inneres Gespräch (Internal Conversation). Near the end, each musician eventually sends his or her very own message in morse: “Hello God: Here I am”. The sounds trailed off slowly in the night.
The individual groups of players were coordinated by Tara Bouman, who stood on the balcony of the Lufthansa building with Markus Stockhausen. She was responsible for the timing, and was in radio contact with the conductor of each group.
For the Abendglühen project, a core group of players from each of the brass choirs was given a microphone, and amplified to a radius of about 180 metres. Markus Stockhausen’s solo trumpet was also amplified, and mixed to the sound of all the brass choirs in the performing area. To realise this project, 17 towers, stacked with over 120 speakers, were placed around the Rhine’s riverbank. The towers were supplied with signals from over 100 microphones and seven mixing desks.
Since then ABENDGLÜHEN has ben performed a number of times in Germany and Italy.
ABENDGLÜHEN – Evening Glow
for solo trumpet and brass choirs
Duration: approx. 25’
All kinds of brass instruments:
Aktivraum Musikverlag, Köln 2007
There exists an extended score including woodwinds also. Like this we did a performance in Cividale del Friuli, Italy in July 2015 with 320 players.
This score can be ordered at: music