for 2 Trumpets [in D], 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello, & Organ
Full Score & Instrumental Parts
Besides the credential of Master of Arts noted on the title pages of his publications, not much is known about the English composer William Topham. His first two opera, published in 1701 and 1706, are sets of six sonatas for recorder and continuo, while his third opus, published in 1709, is a set of six sonatas for two violins, cello, and organ with viola and two trumpets added to the closing sonata. The tendency to use a distinctive instrumentation in the opening and/or closing of a set of sonatas or concertos is not uncommon for English composers in much of the seventeenth century and eighteenth centuries, with noteworthy examples by William Corbett (bap. 1680–1748)—his first opus of string sonatas offers alternate instrumentation for trumpet and oboe in the last sonata—and Capel Bond (bap. 1730–1790)—in his Six Concertos in Seven Parts, the first concerto adds trumpet and the last adds bassoon.
Topham does not place any extraordinary demands on either trumpeter; the relatively conservative range of both D trumpet parts in the present sonata is identical, spanning from the 4th to 13th partial of the harmonic series (sounding F#4–B5). Unlike many other natural trumpet pieces where the trumpeters are silent in the slower movement(s), Topham chooses to use both players in every movement while still offering them ample opportunity to rest their lips. These factors, combined with the tuneful nature of the piece, make it well suited for recitals and concerts.