Max Warnecke
Concertpiece, Op. 28:

Arranged by Ron Babcock

trombone and piano or orchestra

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015


The Warnecke Concertpiece was originally published at the dawn of the 20th Century. Warnecke is an obscure composer who apparently composed other works for trombone, now lost to us. This was originally published for trombone and orchestra or piano and both options are available through Cherry Classics. It is typical of Romantic Era trombone compositions--similar to Guilmant’s Morceau Symphonique in length and difficulty, and similar in style to the David Concertino or Reiche Concerto. 

Concertpiece commences with a dramatic quasi-cadenza marked Allegro recitative. It proceeds within a large ternary form. The A section, much like David, begins with a martial declamation followed immediately by a more lyrical answer. The B section is expansively lyrical, with one phrase spinning out of the previous. The A section returns, identical to the first. The final phrase of this return leads immediately into an extensive coda filled with modulation and contrast—a musical moment marked sehr ruhig leads to a sprightly leggiero and finally to a bombastic, fortissimo finale.

After spending time working through the Concertpiece for this review I ordered a copy for one of my students. It works beautifully for an advanced high school or early collegiate player. The range is reasonable, b-flat1; its key is familiar, B-flat major, and yet it allows for a wide range of expression. Many of the expressive markings are in German, which will no doubt provide teachable moments. It need not be relegated to student repertoire. It is a good length and musically diverse enough to fit nicely into many recital programs.


Reviewer: Paul Overly
Review Published January 31, 2019