Jean Sibelius
Two Movements from Karelia Suite, Op. 11: for six trombones and organ

Arranged by Evan Becker

Six trombones and organ

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2014

Score and parts

Primary Genre: Trombone Ensembles

Composer Jean Sibelius often used Finnish folk music in his compositions and is recognized for his contributions toward creating a national Finnish musical identity. Karelia Music, named after one of Sibelius’ favorite parts of Finland, is a fully orchestrated forty-five minute work consisting of an overture, eight tableaux, and two intermezzi. In contrast, Karelia Suite is cast in three movements: Intermezzo, Ballade, and Alla Marcia, and lasts about twelve minutes. Evan Becker’s arrangement of music from the suite for six-part trombone ensemble and organ includes the Intermezzo and Alla Marcia movements. Both movements are marches, with the first marked Allegro and the second marked Moderato. Intermezzo begins softly and gradually grows to a climax before ending quietly. Alla Marcia begins with an introduction in the organ leading to a bold entrance from the trombones and shifts between the keys of F major and A major. The trombone parts are split into two “choirs,” each consisting of two tenors and one bass trombone. The arrangement sounds antiphonal, reminding one of Gabrieli’s works, with the two choirs alternating between call and response and playing together. All six trombone parts are written in bass clef and have a conservative range that never extends past a1 in the tenor parts or below D-flat in the bass parts. This arrangement is appropriate for college students and will work well as a piece to add contrast, with the addition of the organ, to any trombone choir concert.

Reviewer: Russell Ballenger
Review Published January 31, 2019