Review


Vladislav Blazhevich
Concert Piece No. 5: for trombone solo and concert band

Arranged by Benjamin Coy

for trombone solo and concert band

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

Exclusive license with the permission of EWMI, Inc. Score, band parts, and solo part. 2fl, 3cl, bass cl, oboe, bassoon, alto sax, tenor sax, bari. sax, 2 trpt, 2 hn, 2 trb, euph., tuba, timpani, marimba, snare drum, and bass drum

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

The Concert Piece No.5 by Russian trombonist and pedagogue, Vladislav Blazhevich, has been part of the standard repertory for trombonists for several generations. It was first published in the United States in 1939, only one year after its initial publication in Russia, and it has become a staple for American trombonists.

Most repertoire lists rate Concert Piece No.5 at a grade 4 level. It has modest technical demands, and it lies in a comfortable range. Its musical value transcends its simpler technical requirements. The modal melodies, chromaticism, and tempo fluctuations allow for a wide range of expression. I remember as a young trombonist “not getting” the piece and consequently not liking it. Revisiting it some years later, it made more sense. With added life experience, I could play the opening con afflizione with much more conviction and understanding.

Benjamin Coy has added yet another performance option by orchestrating the Concert Piece for band. The orchestration is reasonably done and breathes a new life into a standard work. I would make several observations about the orchestration. The opening section orchestration is transparent and requires competent low woodwinds—especially an able bassoon player. The Allegro mosso has a difficult marimba part that bears the brunt of the repeated, alla breve, eighth note accompaniment. This setting is for a smaller band (2fl, 3cl, bass cl, oboe, bassoon, alto sax, tenor sax, bari. sax, 2 trpt, 2 hn, 2 trb, euph., tuba, timpani, marimba, snare drum, and bass drum), which should mitigate balance issues. Opportunities to perform with larger ensembles are relatively rare for the trombonist and Coy’s setting provides another outstanding option.

Reviewer: Paul Overly
Review Published January 31, 2019