Review


Reinhold Glière
Six Album Leaves (from Opus 51):

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Tuba or bass trombone and piano

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

Score and solo part

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

The Russian composer Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) composed his 12 Albumblätter (Album Leaves) in 1910 while living in Berlin. Originally for cello and piano, Ralph Sauer has arranged six for tuba/bass trombone with piano which are now available through Cherry Classics Music.

 

As expected, Mr. Sauer has made numerous octave adjustments to the original cello part to ensure that the tuba maintains a comfortable melodic range, AA to d1, sometimes switching between the original pitch to 8vb and even 16vb in the same movement. However, the sense of melody is not interrupted by these changes and a listener unfamiliar with the cello version would not likely recognize anything unusual. Before beginning work on the piece, it is highly recommended that a student find a copy of the cello part and make any changes if they wish to do so. For bass trombonists in particular, many of the passages that Mr. Sauer has transposed down could be played in their original octave if so desired. Other changes are limited to the removal or reworking of a few short cello passages to allow for a brief rest, the addition of one fermata and the occasional staccato. Two of the pieces have been transposed into new keys – E-flat Major up to F Major in no.4 (no.9 in the Glière original) and B minor down to A minor in no.5 (originally no.10).

 

These are lovely pieces that give trombonists the opportunity to focus on melodic playing and making good music. Mr. Sauer has done an excellent job arranging the solo part and keeping it well within the range of a capable undergraduate level tuba or bass trombone player. As always, when performing arrangements, listen to the original version performed on the instrument for which it was composed and try to follow through with the composer’s intent when performing the piece.

Reviewer: Eric High
Review Published January 31, 2019