Review


Jan Freidlin
Romantic Concerto for Trombone, Piano and Strings:
Trombone, piano and strings

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2016
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Score and parts.

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Trombonists may be familiar with Jan Freidlin from his piece, Towards the Light, beautifully recorded by Nitzan Haroz on a CD of the same name. This three-movement concerto, features slow outer movements, which surround the soloist’s soaring legato lines with captivating string harmonies. Freidlin’s writing in the first movement is reminiscent Arvo Pärt. To achieve a richer sound, the string orchestra has no less than sixteen separate parts with nine parts devoted just to the violins. While this technique helps to generate beautiful sonorities, it also precludes a chamber music performance.  The vivace energico middle movement features a syncopated solo part over a driving accompaniment of repeated string flurries and stabbing piano chords. Freidlin’s third movement takes on the feel of a lush ballad, walking right up to that boundary line of overt sentimentality without quite crossing it. This movement’s beginning and ending moments are particularly striking.

 

For the performer, endurance may be an issue. The long legato lines of the outer movements provide almost no rest while gradually ascending from the middle register up to peaks in the B-flat1 to c2 range. Another mild criticism: the solo part does seem to wander at times.

As with many other offerings from Cherry Classics Music, the review copy I received was digital but the piece also appears to be available for purchase in physical format.   The computer typeset score seems well laid out and raises no significant concerns. To my knowledge a piano reduction is not available and would probably not be advisable. I would recommend the creation of a chamber version of this piece which should increase the likelihood of future performances. Trombonists don’t often get the chance to perform with a string orchestra but this is a heartfelt and worthy addition to a category which includes Larsson’s Concertino and Milhaud’s Concertino d’Hiver.

Reviewer: Bradley Edwards
Review Published January 31, 2019