Review


Anton Slama
66 Etudes in All Major and Minor Keys:
Tuba or bass trombone

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

Etude book

Genre: STUDY MATERIALS

For one of the newest editions to the “Vintage Brass Series” from Cherry Classics, Ralph Sauer has updated Anton Slama’s 66 Etudes for tuba and bass trombone. In the preface Mr. Sauer suggests that these etudes are “perfect for an advanced high school student or first-year college student.”

 

Anton Slama (1803-1881) studied trumpet, trombone, and contrabass as a young man in Prague. He played both brass instruments in the Prague Opera before switching primarily to the contrabass, eventually earning a position in the Vienna Court Opera. In 1833 Slama was appointed professor of trombone and contrabass at the Vienna Conservatory where he taught, with a few interruptions, until his retirement in 1869.

 

Originally subtitled “for the Slide or Valve Trombone, Tuba, Bassoon, or String Bass,” Mr. Sauer has transposed the majority of the etudes down a perfect 4th, with the exception of a few that have been lowered a major 3rd, augmented 4th, or augmented octave, to place them in a more appropriate register for bass trombone and tuba. To coincide with the new keys, the etudes were renumbered to maintain the original progression through the key signatures, i.e. beginning with C Major/A minor, advancing through all of the flats and then all of the sharps. Beyond that, only minor alterations were made, including removing or adding the occasional staccato, changing grace notes in one etude to 32nd notes, and dropping the final note in three etudes down an octave.

This is a good collection of etudes for the suggested skill level. Each key begins with a relatively easy example, introducing the key via scales and arpeggios, before moving on to more challenging exercises. In addition, the exercises get longer and more rhythmically complex as the keys get more difficult further into the book. There is good balance between legato and more articulated playing and the melodic range is not particularly demanding, never exceeding f1, especially on bass trombone. This book is recommended for any aspiring student, especially those who feel less comfortable playing in more challenging key signatures.

Reviewer: Eric High
Review Published January 31, 2019