Composers of organ music have tended to highlight the instrument’s more colourful stops, and the trumpet has naturally enough been much favoured ever since the Basse de Trompette
movements of French organ masses and those movements from the voluntaries of John Stanley and his contemporaries that make a feature of it. By the twentieth century, the mildly voiced trumpets of the eighteenth-century organ had to a large extent been brushed aside by heavy-pressure examples, and Norman Cocker and C S Lang were among those British organist-composers who wrote ‘tuba tunes’ – that is, movements exploiting the commanding sonority of the most powerful voice in the organ’s family of trumpets. David N Johnson (1922–1988), an American composer who wrote prolifically for the organ, is nowadays best remembered for his own contributions to this repertoire, of which the present work, Trumpet Tune in G
, is a fine example. The swagger and stateliness of this music, its framework of eight-bar phrases, and the occasional ornament all owe something to the ceremonial music of the Baroque period, which was obviously Johnson’s starting point; but the added-note harmony proclaims immediately the hand of a twentieth-century composer. In this recording, a cornet registration is used for the C major central section, making the re-introduction of the fine trumpet stop all the more telling.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2004