Giacomo Puccini
Che gelida manina from La Bohème: arranged for 4-part trombone choir

Arranged by Jeremy Niles Kempton

4-part trombone choir

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

Grade 4/5


This is an imaginative arrangement of this famous aria from one of the greatest romantic scenes in opera, and despite the obvious compression of texture, I think it’s conceptually a successful one. Following a short introduction, the main melody begins in measure 8 and is shared between 1st and 2nd parts. It’s in the original key of D-flat, which gives the famous high C on ‘la speranza.’ Here, it appears twice in first part, in measures 53 and 62. Range for 1st is f-c2, 2nd tops out at a-flat1. Both have opportunity for some warmly romantic playing. Range for bass is C to d-flat1, optional AA-flat.

Unfortunately, there are some wrong notes. In measure 15, B-flat in the bass should be A-flat; in measure 54, the c in 3rd part should be b-flat; and in measure 62, D-flat in 3rd part should be E-flat. In measure 66, F and B-flat in 4th part should be 8th notes, the F not continuing against E-flat in 1st and 3rd nor the B-flat against F-sharp. The score is less tidy than has been usual from this publisher; there is overcrowding and at least one collision. First and second parts are given in bass clef, resulting in a large number of ledger lines; in my opinion, tenor clef would have been a better choice. Jeremy Kempton is a trombonist and conductor in the New York metropolitan area, and a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Eastman School.


Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published January 31, 2019