Review


Claude T. Smith
Concert Suite for Low Brass:
Four trombones, euphonium and tuba

Exton, Pennsylvania, United States
Publisher: Wingert Jones Publications
Date of Publication: 2016
URL: http://www.wjpublications.com

Score and parts

Genre: BRASS ENSEMBLES

Concert Suite for Low Brass is written for four trombones, euphonium and tuba. The work hearkens back to Smith’s days on the faculty at Central Missouri State in the 1970’s. It is typical of his well-known style—a colorful, tonal harmonic language with much rhythmic interest.

The work is given in two movements. The first movement is brief, serving like an introduction to the more extensive second movement. It begins with a forceful, Maestoso introduction which diminishes into a slower, sustained Andante. The euphonium carries the melody initially but then gives way to first trombone. The movement closes quietly. The ensuing Allegro begins with accented, syncopated writing. The opening measures provide the melodic material for the movement—at times sustained and melodious and then transformed to marked and bombastic. This movement also contains rhythmic ostinatos and meter changes that often characterize Smith’s compositions. After a brief reminiscence of the serenity of the opening movement, the work closes in a blaze of glory.

Concert Suite will be an enjoyable accomplishment for your low brass ensemble. Its tessitura is reasonable—never higher than b-flat2. The fourth trombone part is not a bass trombone part—an f attachment is helpful but not necessary. The euphonium part is quite low at times, doubling the tuba. It will require a compensating instrument or some octave adjustments. Overall the work is challenging but accessible to an advanced high school level group.

Reviewer: Paul Overly
Review Published January 31, 2019