Review


Edvard Grieg
Album Leaves Op. 28: arranged for tuba or bass trombone and piano

N.p., ,
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2014

Intermediate/Advanced level

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Four movements comprise this work.

Leaf one: A-flat major, 2/4, Allegro con moto, 1:48. After a short introduction, a somewhat agitato melody in the solo instrument follows, with sixteenth note triplets keeping the energy level high. On tuba, the triplets will cause little difficulty; on bass trombone some alternate slide/trigger positions might facilitate smooth playing. This work sounds characteristically Grieg.

 

Leaf two: F major, 3/4, Allegretto espressivo, 3:07. The general level of difficulty is lower than the first, with the exception of a chromatic “swoop” in bar 23 in 32nd notes. Again, not particularly difficult on tuba, but requiring fast and smooth double tonguing on bass trombone or perhaps a temporary relaxation of the tempo. The ending presents a challenge for the tuba as it climbs to f1, indicated piano; an ossia is given an octave lower. This piece has a gentle sort of rocking motion that feels like it wants to speed up a bit and go into one in a bar.

 

Leaf three: A major, 3/4, Vivace, 2:20. The hint from the second leaf of a tendency to speed up into one in the bar is realized here in essentially a lively waltz rhythm. Many measures indicate specific expressive markings: poco stretto, poco rit., and so forth. After four lines of the “waltz” there is a shift into minor and it slows down a bit with a new rhythm of dotted eighths and sixteenths. It then returns to the rhythm of the opening and a literal repeat, ending slowly and pianissimo.

 

Leaf four: D minor, 3/4, Andantino serioso, 3:33. The only leaf in a minor key, it has been transposed to D minor from the original C-sharp minor. It is in ternary form, the repeat of the opening almost exactly the same yet with a more energetic close and one extra note to finish. The contrasting middle section is in D major, 2/4, and tempo indication of Allegro giocoso. The piano carries much of the musical load here.

 

This set of four album leaves is quite a nice choice for recital performance on either tuba or bass trombone and another worthy addition to the repertoire of these instruments. Congratulations and thanks to Mr. Sauer!

Reviewer: Philip Brink
Review Published January 31, 2019