Review


Daniel Kessner
Four Scenes: for Trombone and Piano

New York, New York, United States
Publisher: Daniel Kessner
Date of Publication: 2015

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Daniel Kessner, Emeritus Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge, is an active composer, flutist, and conductor. Four Scenes for Trombone and Piano begins freely with the pianist playing repeated figures while the trombonist is instructed to play independently of the piano. When the trombonist completes the first written measure, the pianist moves to the next repeated figure and this process repeats. This creates a free and spontaneous setting for the first Scene, requiring both performers to listen to one another and react to what they hear. Eventually, the piano and trombone parts synchronize to close the first Scene. The second Scene is quite active rhythmically, with the combined parts creating polyrhythms. The third Scene provides the soloist with moments of rubato and tempo changes, allowing for some personalization. The final Scene starts metrically and gradually moves back toward the free sounds heard in the beginning of the first Scene. The trombone part covers a wide range from FF to f-flat2. Kessner provides both performers with clear instructions throughout the piece, leaving no room for confusion. Each Scene has its own unique character and each seamlessly transitions to the next. Written for advanced performers, this piece is accessible to college graduate students looking for a challenge. If you seek an interesting, little-known, 21st century work under 10 minutes long for your next recital, look no further!

Reviewer: Russell Ballenger
Review Published January 31, 2019