These are a few of my favorite trillz!

F. Joseph Haydn, Sinfonia Concertante, 1st movement.
This trill shows the kind of super-extended harmony one can make at the end of a cadenza for a chamber group.

Erkki-Sven Tüür, Architectonics 4.
Clearly an homage to/parody of the above trill by Haydn, this one pushes the tonal-cadential trill to the max.  Only a man with two consecutive umlauts in his name could do a thing like this!!  [Ed. note to himself: begin amassing list of favorite umlauts…]

Alfred Schnittke, String Quartet No. 3, 1st movement.
An entire trilling texture with an amazing climax of the top instruments trilling together, this is Schnittke at his creepy best.  Interestingly, this excerpt also contains one of my very favorite suspensions.  The most astute of listeners will recognize the motive from Beethoven’s Große Fuge being morphed.

Maurice Ravel, Daphnis et Chloé, troisième partie.
This is the gesture that would go on to be used in every Disney cartoon whenever two deer fell in love.  I give Ravel enormously high points for his immense originality, despite the fact that it became such a cliché.

George Bruns, The Jungle Book, Overture.
Speaking of Disney movies, “The Jungle Book” is definitely my favorite Disney score of all time, and the overture ends with a truly searing extended trill.  I also love the harp bisbigliando that circles it.

William White, Thy King Cometh, Overture.
I sort of half-tried not to include any of my own music on this list, but when you write a trill as great as this, it’s just got to be included.  Listeners are invited to ignore the poor ensemble of the second pizzicato.

So, what are some of your favorite trills?


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