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Author Topic: Why Not More Trombone Concertos?  (Read 1897 times)
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Pre59

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« Reply #40 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:12AM »

And some more..  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IE6_K_dlyI


NATHANIEL SHILKRET: Trombone Concerto James Pugh

No takers on this? A great performance as well.

I think that Heitor VillaL lobos could have written a great concerto, and a more popular one with the public as well.
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« Reply #41 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:14AM »


No takers on this? A great performance as well.

I often think that Heitor Villa Lobos could have written a great concerto.
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« Reply #42 on: Jan 03, 2018, 03:57AM »

I'm not a big fan of the Shilkret
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« Reply #43 on: Jan 03, 2018, 06:21AM »

I've been thinking about this, and there are actually quite a few trombone concertos that fit the bill. Some, like the David, are not so great, but others are truly inspired compositions!

The Grondahl, R. Korsakov, Larsson, Nesterov, Bourgeois, Guilmant, Rota and Tomasi concertos come to mind. There are many more. Maybe you just didn't know about some of these works?


Depends. If we're just asking about trombone concerti, sure there are many. But if the question is Romantic concertos (preferably by major composers) like the OP asked... How many of the composers you named are actually Romantic (let alone major)?

Aside from Rimsky-Korsakov, none, REALLY. Bourgeois died (very sadly) less than 4 months ago.

There is a trombone concerto by Guilmant?

No, at least not that we know of. His Morceau Symphonique is not a concerto, unless you want to also count the pieces by Barat, Ropartz, Bozza, Stojowski et al. as concerti (which I see no reason to do).


The Rimsky-Korsakov concerto is honorable but it certainly falls short what we remember him for.

I thought so too until I heard one recording where the mixing had the band not too soft - just under the soloist, not like background music like most recordings do, and where the band wasnt just plowing through the piece like a high school marching band but actually bringing out the subtleties of the piece. And the soloist was taking the 2nd movement at a reasonable tempo instead of making it into a death crawl (andante in 2 like it should be not Adagio or even Lento in 6...). Then I heard all these nice things and these very typical Rimnsky-Korsakov gestures and moments in the accompaniment that are indeed in the score (and mostly absent from the piano reductions).

Sure it's still a bombastic and pompous piece (of course, it IS a military band piece, not a serious concert symphonic concerto), but it deserves more appreciation than trombonists usually give it, and more care to actually get it to sound good.
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« Reply #44 on: Jan 03, 2018, 06:41AM »

If we're honest, even the David barely fits the bill really as a "Romantic concerto". David's violin concerti are significantly longer than his trombone concertino and in 3 movements, with the first in modified/concerto sonata form and the third in either rondo form or another modified sonata form. They fit the very codified structure that was still typical for concerti in his time.

The trombone piece however is really one big non-modified sonata form, and it's one single movement, not three. It's not called concertino merely because it's shorter (which it is), but more importantly because it is not, per mid-19th century standards of form, a full-scale concerto. It's missing 2 movements, and the form is simpler.
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« Reply #45 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:17AM »

No takers on this? A great performance as well.

I think that Heitor VillaL lobos could have written a great concerto, and a more popular one with the public as well.

Forum Member MacBone played one of the Bachianas Brazilieras as a solo.  Sounded really nice.
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« Reply #46 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:45AM »

No takers on this? A great performance as well.


I think the Shilkret could be a successful crowd-pleaser.  It seems to lack the bravura elements of a great concerto, however.

But, it's not published? That will slow it down.
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« Reply #47 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:29AM »

There certainly is a problem on the demand side.


I did a count of concertos (and major solo works like "Rhapsody in Blue") programmed in the most recently available League of American Orchestras repertoire report

This included 57 orchestras from A-list to youth orchestras

There were as many concertos for birds programmed as for trombone.  :D

For all instruments, excluding piano and violin, there were only 93 programs



Piano     132

   
Violin     99
Viola       6
Cello      17
Bass        4
   
Flute       6
Cl.         9
Oboe        3
Bassoon     4
Sax         8
   
Horn        9
Trumpet     3
Trombone    2
Tuba        1
   
Percussion  2
tap dancer  2
   
Guitar      3
Harp        9
Harmonica   1

Organ       2
   
   
Birds*      2




*Rautavaara, Einojuhani CONCERTO FOR BIRDS AND ORCHESTRA, "CANTUS ARCTICUS", OP. 6
 
(I'm going to guess that this involves a goose-squeezing.)


Only two trombone concertos? Let me guess--Grondahl and David... Don't know
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« Reply #48 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:35AM »

Only two trombone concertos? Let me guess--Grondahl and David... Don't know

David and... Michael Haydn, Concertino for Horn and Trombone.

I counted that for both horn and trombone.  :D
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« Reply #49 on: Jan 03, 2018, 10:41AM »

Composers I wish HAD written a trombone concerto:
Hindemith
Holst
Vaughan Williams

Composers I wish WOULD write a trombone concerto:
Scott Boerma (he's a trombonist)
John Williams (but I wonder if it would be a rehash of the Tuba Concerto)
Jennifer Higdon (Wrote one, withdrew it)


Composers I wish would make their piece(s) more accessible:
Nathaniel Shilkret
James P. Johnson (he didn't write a trombone concerto, but I have a story too long to repeat here. PM me if you want details)

Maybe the problem isn't that we don't HAVE concertos to play. We do.
Maybe the real problem is our reluctance to promote them through performance in our recitals.  

Nitzan Haroz is giving a recital on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series (https://www.pcmsconcerts.org/concerts/nitzan-haroz-trombone-gloria-kim-piano/)
in May, and he's programmed Arrows of Time. I realize that this is more the exception than the rule in many communities, but we have to step up and promote the best of ourselves and our instrument.

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« Reply #50 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:05AM »

Are we purposely ignoring Ellen Taafe Zwilich?  I know that's not Romantic, but she wrote both a tenor and a bass concerto.
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« Reply #51 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:07AM »

Maybe the better question is, how many trombone concertos exist that an average audience would want to sit through?
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« Reply #52 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:18AM »

Are we purposely ignoring Ellen Taafe Zwilich?  I know that's not Romantic, but she wrote both a tenor and a bass concerto.


Yes!

Also Elizabeth Raum who wrote both a (cheesy but very fun) concerto for bass trombone, strings and percussions, as well as pre-classical style concerto based on manuscript fragments of solo trombone pieces (possibly concerti or solo movements from larger works) found in the Olomouc archives.
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« Reply #53 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:23AM »


Maybe the problem isn't that we don't HAVE concertos to play. We do.
Maybe the real problem is our reluctance to promote them through performance in our recitals.  


I suspect trombone concertos are getting appropriately flogged at recitals

What it will really take is conductors and symphony CEOs who think such works are worth programming at concerts.
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« Reply #54 on: Jan 03, 2018, 11:54AM »

I suspect trombone concertos are getting appropriately flogged at recitals

What it will really take is conductors and symphony CEOs who think such works are worth programming at concerts.

Recital with piano .... the worst venue to perform a brass concerto.
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« Reply #55 on: Jan 03, 2018, 12:18PM »

Recital with piano .... the worst venue to perform a brass concerto.
I can think of a few that would definitely fit that category--Martin Ballade, Larsson Concertino, Walker Concerto for starters. Maybe you're right.
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« Reply #56 on: Jan 03, 2018, 12:21PM »

I suspect trombone concertos are getting appropriately flogged at recitals

What it will really take is conductors and symphony CEOs who think such works are worth programming at concerts.

Programming has to put bums in seats and also woo donors.

Violin and piano concerti do that much better than horn, flute, or trombone.  We've done some of the latter to allow our players to shine once in a while, but they don't sell tickets.
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« Reply #57 on: Jan 03, 2018, 12:58PM »

And what about bass trombone concertos?  Don't know Is there any from that time? Not many later in time either?

Leif
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« Reply #58 on: Jan 03, 2018, 01:09PM »

Are we purposely ignoring Ellen Taafe Zwilich? 

I thought the same about the Nathaniel Shilkret concerto, even though some bloke called Tommy Dorsey had a stab at it..
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« Reply #59 on: Jan 03, 2018, 01:13PM »

I thought the same about the Nathaniel Shilkret concerto, even though some bloke called Tommy Dorsey had a stab at it..

Not only Tommy Dorsey, but Murray MacEachern and Will Bradley.
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