Enrique Granados
Two Spanish Dances:

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

tenor trombone and piano

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2012


Ralph Sauer’s arrangement of two movements of Enrique Granados’ 12 danzas espanolas comes to us in the form of Two Spanish Dances for trombone and piano. The first movement entitled Oriental, is an Andante in B minor. The music, originally for piano, features a continuously running left hand that outlines the harmony with a simple melodic right hand. For this arrangement, Sauer has divided the melody between the trombone and right hand of the piano. The trombone line remains in tenor clef for nearly all of the movement. Range is moderate spanning from F to g-sharp1.

The second movement entitled Fandango, has much the same structure but commands a range up to c2. Like the first movement there is a lyrical, dolce section near the middle. The main theme, evoking the fandango dance itself, is in a spirited three. Keeping with the same arrangement philosophy, the melody carrying right hand of the original is split between trombone and piano.

The concern with this arrangement is that it could sound hollow. Sharing of the melody between piano and trombone gives the impression that there is often only a single line accompanying the melody. A light touch is required to not overpower the right-hand piano, and hobble the work. Another concern involves the timbral difference between piano and trombone that often fractures the unity of the original. Great care must be taken to play within the piano sound if fidelity to Granados is to be taken seriously. Being geared toward the advanced level player, perhaps these challenges will prove to be opportunities for growth and instigate a conversation about the challenges inherent in performing trombone arrangements of piano music.

Reviewer: Joe Murrell
Review Published January 31, 2019