Fractured Elements

Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

Clint Needham

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Fractured Elements" takes inspiration from the classical elements (wind, water, fire, & earth) that fundamentally makeup all things on our planet. Incidentally, this idea of using elements for the inspiration for the work was given to me by the person for whom the work is written, Cleveland Orchestra trumpet section member Jack Sutte. After researching the elements and discovering how different civilizations have viewed these elements in the past, I settled on the ancient Greek model. The Greeks classified and linked the elements in terms of how hot, cold, wet, or dry each are. They also added a fifth element, Aether, which they believed made up the heavens and stars.

The soloist acts as orchestrator of the elements in the first four movements. In "Awaken the Winds", the soloist sets into motion each section of the movement and propels the music forward while the wind ensemble fights to keep up. Among the bright and brittle sounds of "Vanishing Ice", the solo trumpet enters the texture in an effort to supply a sense of stability to the ovement only to be transformed into a dance-like character as the ice vanishes and turns into water. The solo trumpet line brightens the smoldering harmony of Harmonious Fires and leads the movement to a peaceful rest. "Earth Music" is my 21st century riff on the concerto grosso formal design where several soloists (trumpet, soprano saxophone, & trombone) pass around musical material against the backdrop of the wind ensemble accompaniment. Instead of finding inspiration in the literal element of earth (soil), I decided to depict the chaos and beauty of the people who walk the earth on a daily basis. After the unyielding energy and commotion that ends "Earth Music", "Aether" is the transcendent moment for the soloist. The delicate sounds in "Aether" float at the highest end of the ensemble register, while the sound of the trumpet is transformed into a melancholy echo of itself played by the flugelhorn.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Fractured Elements was commissioned and premiered by Jack Sutte and the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Dwight Oltman, conductor.
Composition Date 2012
Duration 00:22:00
Orchestration Solo Tpt/Flugel..; 4(Fl. 1 and 2 dbl. Picc.) 3 4 3, S.Sax., A.Sax., T.Sax., Bar.Sax. - 4 4 4 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Hp.
Premiere March 14th, 2012. Jack Sutte, trumpet, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dwight Oltman; Fanny Nast Auditorium, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Berea, OH.


I. Awaken the Winds m II. Vanishing Ice
III. Harmonious Fires
IV. Earth Music
V. Aether