Richard Lambert Music'd with concord of sweet sounds (Op.41)

A virtuosic piece for brass septet (three trumpets, horn and three trombones), with a variety of moods cast in a single movement

This work takes its title from the famous speech by Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice (Vi): "The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."

It is a tour de force for all the players – a single movement in several contrasting sections, with tightly-knit development of the various motifs. To reinforce the highly rhythmic nature of this piece, the time signature changes constantly. Whilst ostensibly tonal overall, several passages leave the key deliberately unclear, and edges are sometimes 'blurred' by phasing doubled notes to produce new timbres. As might be expected with a brass ensemble, there are hints of fanfares but these are sparingly used – quieter, expressive passages are equally dominant. Muted effects add to the range of colour created – sometimes, as at the end, with a mixture of open and muted playing.

The final section substantially reworks a withdrawn a cappella part-song, When the Spring comes, dating from 1973, which serves here as a coda, concluding with a quiet air of resignation and wry humour.



The first recording of'd with concord of sweet sounds was produced using computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.

The second recording is from the performance on 10 March 2017.


You can view and purchase the score of'd with concord of sweet sounds from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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