Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Arranged by Philip Brink

Trombone and woodwind trio (oboe, English horn/clarinet, bassoon)

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2017

Score and parts


Originally written for cello and continuo, the Sinfonia by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi became a standard work in the trombone solo repertoire when Ralph Sauer first transcribed it for trombone and piano several decades ago. Philip Brink has since arranged the accompaniment for a trio of oboe, bassoon, and either English horn or clarinet; both parts are included. The option to use clarinet instead of English horn will certainly expand the number of opportunities to perform this piece.

Most orchestral trombonists will recognize the similarity of the fourth movement to the famous trombone excerpt from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella. Aside from few performance indications in the score, the solo part is nearly identical to the original cello version. It contains an abundance of ornaments, trills, and other Baroque figures which demand a great deal of flexibility, refined sense of slide technique, and perhaps even a smaller bore instrument to best facilitate. While it spans a typical tonal range, from e to c2, it does tend to stay in the upper part of that range for the majority of the work with few breaks.

The Pergolesi Sinfonia is probably best suited to advanced trombonists. However, the woodwind parts to this version are not especially demanding and should be manageable by a wide range of players. There are not many opportunities for trombone soloists to collaborate with woodwind instruments in a chamber setting, so this transcription is a welcome addition to our repertoire. It is available from Cherry Classics Music as either a physical copy or digital download.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published January 31, 2019