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Author Topic: Why Not More Trombone Concertos?  (Read 1924 times)
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djdekok

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« Reply #60 on: Jan 03, 2018, 01:34PM »

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

And Jim Pugh recorded it...
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« Reply #61 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:10PM »

And Jim Pugh recorded it...

Yes, as I mentioned on page 3, and a great performance as well IMO.
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« Reply #62 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:18PM »

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

Leif

You mean Romantic? Well the bass trombone as we know it didn't exist then. Those concertos (or concertinos) we do have were written with what was then considered the bass trombone (or tenorbass) at the time - Queisser was considered a bass trombone player (even though the instrument at the time as a Bb instrument with no valve). The first edition of the David is labeled "Concertino pour la trombonne basse"
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« Reply #63 on: Jan 03, 2018, 02:39PM »

I have a piece by Robert Mueller called "Praeludium, Chorale, Variations, and Fugue" for Bass Trombone, written 1839.  I believe there are a couple of low Eb's in it.
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« Reply #64 on: Jan 03, 2018, 04:00PM »

I have a piece by Robert Mueller called "Praeludium, Chorale, Variations, and Fugue" for Bass Trombone, written 1839.  I believe there are a couple of low Eb's in it.

All the editions I find are modern ones, hard to find out anything about the source, aside from the very imprecise "from manuscript dated 1839" - I don't find it under Robert Müller, but rather Johann Immanuel Müller. I wouldn't make any definitive call about the range of the piece or whether or not it's actually written for bass trombone with so little information or without seeing the manuscript. Those low Eb's could very well be editorial, as could the title and instrumentation - "for Bass or Tenor trombone and piano or organ" sounds like an editorial thing; I wouldn't be surprised if the manuscript merely has "Posaune" written, if any instrumentation at all.

But if we want to speculate...
The F attachment was introduced in 1839 - perhaps the Bb/F instrument is what the composer wrote for, but that seems doubtful : he died the same year he wrote the piece (and the same year the F valve was introduced) at age 65. I don't know when in 1839 Sattler came up with the F valve, but Müller died in April, so there was at the very most 4 months for him to hear about (let alone care about) this new invention. More likely is he wrote for the widespread Tenorbass in Bb and those low Ebs are either editorial or meant to be played in the falset register. Possible that he wrote for the "true" F or Eb bass (although that would be somewhat of an anomaly) - he was a kantor and organist at the Kaufmannskirche and other civic/community musical institutions in Erfurt, Germany, so he may have come accross old church-owned trombones, of which it is not unlikely there might have been an F or Eb bass.
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« Reply #65 on: Jan 03, 2018, 04:43PM »

I think several of the Blazhevich concertos are worthy pieces with virtuoso turns and attractive melodic themes but if they have any full-ensemble accompaniments, either for band or orchestra, they don't seem to have made it out of Russia.

It's quite mysterious.
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« Reply #66 on: Jan 03, 2018, 05:26PM »

At the last ITA convention in Redlands I heard several fantastic trombone soloists. Composers need to hear those fantastic players to be inspire. Only when fantastic players are heard will composers write for them.
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« Reply #67 on: Jan 03, 2018, 07:54PM »

I think several of the Blazhevich concertos are worthy pieces with virtuoso turns and attractive melodic themes but if they have any full-ensemble accompaniments, either for band or orchestra, they don't seem to have made it out of Russia.

It's quite mysterious.

That's true, some of them are really nice pieces (actually, I would say all of them are quite nice). I'm not aware of any original orchestra or band accompaniment. There is a video of no.2 with symphony orchestra on Youtube, but no idea if the orchestration is original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-01SyTdXyo&t=68s

I was under the impression that they were really intended as pedagogical pieces, not large-scale serious concert music. It would make sense that he didn't write any orchestration for them. Also, if I recall correctly most of them are dated the same year. They seem to have been put together real fast to fill a lack of solo study repertoire. Again if you had to write a bunch of pieces for your students fast, you probably might not put in the time to orchestrate them, writing more pieces instead. I don't know...

I made my own orchestration of no.1, which has yet to be performed.
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« Reply #68 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:04PM »

There is a video of no.2 with symphony orchestra on Youtube, but no idea if the orchestration is original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-01SyTdXyo&t=68s

Yeah, I've heard that.  I hope that's just something someone whipped up for an occassion and not real Blazhevich.


Quote
I was under the impression that they were really intended as pedagogical pieces, not large-scale serious concert music. It would make sense that he didn't write any orchestration for them. Also, if I recall correctly most of them are dated the same year. They seem to have been put together real fast to fill a lack of solo study repertoire. Again if you had to write a bunch of pieces for your students fast, you probably might not put in the time to orchestrate them, writing more pieces instead. I don't know...

IMSLP, for example, says that concerto #2 was for Trombone and Military Band and that would make sense in view of his position as conductor of the State Concert Band of the USSR. There's a long section in #2 that screams out "harp" and indeed he had two harps in that band.

Somewhere, there's orchestrated versions of these things.

I recall reading some commentary that put them as being written over several years in the 1920s plus a few in the 30s.

I'm sure they were intended for "students" but these were national conservatory level students. Some of them must have had chops.


The thing about these piano accompaniments is that they have all the signs of being reductions from something much, much larger... 


https://youtu.be/DJgs21eMxDI
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/DJgs21eMxDI" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/DJgs21eMxDI</a>



I'm convinced the finale to #2 has cannons in it...

https://youtu.be/_rXsQ2kEpw4
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_rXsQ2kEpw4" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/_rXsQ2kEpw4</a>



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« Reply #69 on: Jan 03, 2018, 09:16PM »

Yeah, I've heard that.  I hope that's just something someone whipped up for an occassion and not real Blazhevich.


IMSLP, for example, says that concerto #2 was for Trombone and Military Band and that would make sense in view of his position as conductor of the State Concert Band of the USSR. There's a long section in #2 that screams out "harp" and indeed he had two harps in that band.

Somewhere, there's orchestrated versions of these things.

I recall reading some commentary that put them as being written over several years in the 1920s plus a few in the 30s.

I'm sure they were intended for "students" but these were national conservatory level students. Some of them must have had chops.


The thing about these piano accompaniments is that they have all the signs of being reductions from something much, much larger... 


https://youtu.be/DJgs21eMxDI
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/DJgs21eMxDI" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/DJgs21eMxDI</a>



I'm convinced the finale to #2 has cannons in it...

https://youtu.be/_rXsQ2kEpw4
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_rXsQ2kEpw4" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/_rXsQ2kEpw4</a>





Indeed, and I must say playing them it was always easy to imagine a potential orchestration, and orchestrating no. 1 was almost like automatic writing. Could just hear obvious orchestration choices for every phrase.

I certainly hope you're right and they exist somewhere, I just wonder if they'll ever surface.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #70 on: Jan 04, 2018, 05:31AM »

Not romantic by any means, but didn't Lindberg have over 60 concertos comissioned for or by him?

The Michael Nyman has gotta be up there. Most trombonists just can't play what is out there.
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« Reply #71 on: Jan 04, 2018, 06:49AM »

Not romantic by any means, but didn't Lindberg have over 60 concertos comissioned for or by him?

The Michael Nyman has gotta be up there. Most trombonists just can't play what is out there.

I think that's a big part of the problem. Many of our concerti are quite recent, and written with the top trombone players of our time. Many are way out of reach of most trombone players' technical abilities. So we end up playing always the same few pieces...
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« Reply #72 on: Jan 04, 2018, 07:35AM »

I think that's a big part of the problem. Many of our concerti are quite recent, and written with the top trombone players of our time. Many are way out of reach of most trombone players' technical abilities. So we end up playing always the same few pieces...
It could also be a lack of motivation to put the time in needed to perform the piece. Most times, a player is including the piece in a recital. Highly taxing pieces can make it difficult to develop a program. There are several bass trombone solos that are very interesting, however, too taxing for most players to add it as part of a recital. The Brubeck comes to mind and the John Williams. When one considers how long pianists will work on something, the amount of time brass players tend spend on solo work is small.
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« Reply #73 on: Jan 04, 2018, 07:46AM »

Most trombonists just can't play what is out there.

When something is difficult you have to ask yourself... is it worth the bother? 

Even if it were played perfectly would an audience be glad they heard it?

A lot of new music doesn't meet that test.  It may impose some strange new technical requirement that takes a bunch of time to get working but to the audience it might be just a few more notes to hear.

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« Reply #74 on: Jan 04, 2018, 08:05AM »

Not romantic by any means, but didn't Lindberg have over 60 concertos comissioned for or by him?

The Michael Nyman has gotta be up there. Most trombonists just can't play what is out there.

Here's Christian Lindberg playing the Micheal Nyman concerto against The BBC Symphony Orch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8vr-x3IuY

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