Review


Igor Stravinsky
Berceuse from Firebird:
8 trombones

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2014
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Grade 3/4. Score and parts.

Genre: TROMBONE ENSEMBLES

Here is an ethereal arrangement for trombone octet of the Berceuse from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird. In performance, this arrangement should precede Malmstrom's Finale from Firebird which I reviewed in 2016; see ITA Journal Volume 44, Number 4. As with that version of the Finale, this version of the Berceuse is faithful to Stravinsky's score. Range extends from BB-flat in the bass trombone 2 part up to c2 in the trombone 1 part. It is primarily in the key of e-flat minor, which is a trombone-friendly key. Knowledge of tenor clef is important because the top four parts are presented in tenor clef. The two lowest voices are bass trombone parts. The first two parts contain most of the melodic material, including the well-known bassoon solo, while the other six parts are primarily accompanimental in nature, providing most of the chordal framework of the piece. The slow and somber nature of the Berceuse makes it essential to use a conductor in performance. It is also a bona fide study in soft playing and presents the usual challenges of playing soft in the upper register of the instrument. I recommend students familiarize themselves with the complete ballet score because The Firebird is one of most well-known and loved pieces in the literature. This is an arrangement you will definitely want to have in your collection.

Reviewer: Thomas Pylinski
Review Published January 31, 2019