Robert C. Ehle
Sonata Op.82b: for Trombone and Piano

Winter Park, Florida, United States
Publisher: Wehr's Music House
Date of Publication: 2012


Robert Ehle’s compositional output is extensive and frequently experimental in nature, including many partial or wholly electronic compositions. This sonata, however, is more traditional in nature and written for trombone or bassoon and piano. It is composed in three movements, each drawing influence from an ancient city in Turkey: Zonguldak, Usküdar, and Izmir, respectively. The first movement features driving eighth-note rhythms at a moderately fast tempo, with a variety of dynamics. It alternates between accented and legato styles, and has nearly perpetual steady motion. The second movement is slower and primarily legato, yet still maintains nearly constant motion. It is soft throughout and has almost no rests. The final movement has great rhythmic variety compared to the first two, and features a full three-octave range, reaching from BB-flat to b-flat1, which is lower and higher than anything found in the first two movements. All three movements extensively utilize tenor clef. Neither the tempi nor the music itself are prohibitively challenging. Fairly straight-forward rhythms and melodic lines are given. The work is quite suitable for collegiate level and advanced high school level trombonists.

The engraving is clean and well-spaced making the music easy to read. The piano part in each movement is largely comprised of a repeated, arpeggiated rhythmic pattern and never has a break, adding to the feeling of perpetual motion prevalent in much of the solo parts. This is a unique work with non-standard harmonies and a general lack of harmonic progression, valuable to expand the sound palette beyond the traditional western-sounding solo repertoire.


Reviewer: James Adams
Review Published January 31, 2019