Poème héroïque Réduction pour trompette en ut et piano
DateMarch 8, 1948
InstrumentationPiano, Trumpet, Trumpet
Alain Decruck collection [BOX 1]
- Andante espressivo
Written in 1946, Poême Héroïque is a double concerto for solo trumpet, solo horn and orchestra. The work often features the two solo instruments in imitation and is a fantastic example of Decruck’s mature style. This work is much different than many of Decruck's "French" sounding works like her Sonate for saxophone and Harp Concerto. Poême Héroïque has a Neo-Romantic, American, cinematic quality. Triumphant, incessant battle calls are contrasted with lush string melodies. Divided into 3 contrasting movements, the work is notable for its use of contrasting time signatures like 24/16 and 2/4. It is unknown whether the work was ever performed or who it was written for. Decruck moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts the following year and in 1948 created a reduction of the work for solo trumpet and piano for Roger Voisin, the famous, French principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Decruck scratched out her last name Decruck and replaced it with her maiden name Breilh, a mark of her recent separation (later divorce) from her husband Maurice. In addition, she notably drops the "e" from her first name as well. In French, Fernand is the male version of Fernande so it's possible that she was trying to rebrand herself as a male composer, Fernand Breilh, to avoid any prejudice that she may have faced as a woman working in the United States. This work was recorded in January of 2022 with Amy McCabe-trumpet, Leelanee Sterrett-horn, Matthew Aubin-conductor and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra (MI). It will be released in the summer of 2022 on Claves Records.
The manuscript collection contains a full score, solo horn part, solo trumpet part, 3rd version for trumpet and piano (both piano and trumpet parts), 4th definitive version for trumpet and piano (both piano and trumpet parts) and a first version of the piano score.
- Letter to Michel (son): Marblehead, March 19, 1948
"Sunday the 21st I am going to play at the Rushfords my Poême Héroïque, trumpet version alone, with dear Roger Voisin, who is the friendliest and also the most perfect trumpet player I have met during my career. He picks me up and drives me home in his superb car. He will soon play my suite for trumpet and organ with Power Biggs."