Yuri Mikhailovich Chichkov (1929-1990) wrote his Sonatina for Trumpet and Piano during his studies at the Military Conductors Institute. It was published in 1953 by the State publishing house Muzgiz (the main music publisher in what was the USSR), when Chichkov was only 24 years of age! While Chichkov had a number of large works under his belt – a symphony, two operas, four cantatas, three concertos, and more – his main output and the reason for his popularity were children’s songs. His catchy children’s melodies continue to be performed decades later.
Although just a student when he wrote the Sonatina, Chichkov possessed a promising compositional gift: melodic ingenuity and an ability to integrate all of the themes of his one-movement work into a cohesive whole. The main theme, stated by the piano and then reiterated by the trumpet, is an infectiously energetic march-like tune written in the style of much patriotic music from the Soviet era. The second theme, presented in the relative minor, is lyrical and deeply rooted in Russian folk-music tradition. In the development section, recitative-like material appears in juxtaposition with the lush lyricism of the secondary theme. The piece ends with a sparkling coda. One potential reason for the lack of attention given to Chichkov’s Sonatina was his decision to compose it in G-flat major, an awkward key for the piano and not exactly a friendly one for a trumpet in C or B-flat. The trumpet part, written for the B-flat trumpet, typical of all Soviet/Russian works, has numerous scale and double- tongued arpeggio passages at a rapid tempo, interspersed with smooth, extended vocalise-like lines.
When performing the work today, one might take the liberty to transpose it up a half- step to G major, as it was done for this recording. However, when transposed the resulting higher pitch makes it somewhat more challenging for the trumpet player.
Take a look at sample pages of the solo and score provided to the left and then click above for a complete download of the music. Included in this download is the solo part, piano score, and MP3 recordings of the entire piece as played by Russian trumpeter Iskander Akhmadullin.