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Sonata for Trombone & Piano
Recorded by Ian Bousfield (Principal Trombone, Vienna Philharmonic) & the Yorkshire Building Society Brass Band (David King, Conductor).
This work, composed in 1998, was commissioned by the American trombonist Don Lucas as a work for trombone and piano and first performed by him in Birmingham on 19th May 2000. Subsequently, I arranged the music for both solo trombone and brass band and solo trombone and wind band so that it now exists in three formats. The first movement, in B flat major, is brisk and energetic, and is cast in sonata form. The second subject is gentler and more lyrical.
The second movement, a scherzo in C major, is the most complex of the four. Basically the structure is a rond. For a long time the music remains in the opening 5/8 time until a new theme introduces more broken rhythms in a more jazzy idiom. After a return of the opeing theme the following episode is more tonally ambiguous. Finally, the main theme returns to round off the movement. The third movement, a lyrical adagio, is really one long extended melodic flow. The harmonies are lush and the textures simple and direct. The tonal center is A minor, but the music meanders through so many keys, that this key centre is heavily disguised.
The finale is a fiery affair. G minor is really its home key, but throughout the movement the music moves about a lot and the second subject is first heard in A flat minor. The movement's underlying sonata structure is masked not only by its loose tonality but also by its frequently changing time signatures. Like the first movement the second subject is more lyrical in nature and for a while it seems that the music will end peacefully, but a final flurry heralds a triple forte unison on the home note of the first movement - B flat.
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