By Eben Petr

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Eben Windows (Trumpet & Organ)
Four movements for trumpet and organ after Marc Chagall

Fine art has always been a prominent source of inspiration for Petr Eben (1929-2007).  Chagall’s stained-glass windows for the synagogue in Jerusalem gave an impulse for the four movements for trumpet and organ commissioned by the city gallery in the West Bohemian town of Cheb.

The author commented on his choice of instruments: “The solemnity of the large panes of stained glass made me imagine the sound of the organ, and the intensity and brilliance of the sheaves of bright colours called for the shrill tone of the trumpet.”

Eben combines the two instruments in an original manner: both parts retain a great deal of independence, progressing in their own rhythmic patterns, intersecting in places.  The modal composition typical of Eben’s method is confronted here with atonality, enabling the final unison of the two instruments to sound with a monumental effect.

Since its origin in 1976 Windows has been one of the most frequently performed pieces by the composer.  The individual movements of the cycle are named after colours: The Blue Window, The Green Window, The Red Window and The Golden Window.  The organ part was revised by Milan Slechta, the trumpet part by Ladislav Kozderka.

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Eben P.