Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartet No.22, K.589: arranged for four trombones

Arranged by Charles Vernon

arranged for four trombones

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2016


Quartet No.22, K.589 was composed in 1790, the second of the Prussian quartets, and dedicated to Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia. It is cast in four movements: Allegro, Larghetto, Menuetto, and Allegro assai. This arrangement is true to the original and Mr. Vernon has kept it in the original key of B-flat major. It is a piece for virtuoso trombonists. The first part extends from D to f2, the second part from C to e-flat2, part three from F to e-flat2, and the bass from FF to e-flat1. Maintaining most of the string lines as originally composed, the piece challenges each player with wide leaps, rapid intervallic shifts, and fast sixteenth and triplet passages. Mr. Vernon gives no metronome markings, but even the most accomplished group will probably need to slow the tempi down from those used by string quartets, with the possible exception of movement two. Healthy endurance and thoughtful consideration of breathing places are required. A quartet of trombones will need to give careful attention to facility, lightness, phrasing to keep an appropriate classical style, and to offset the homogeneous sound of three tenors and a bass. Though the range is wide in all parts, the necessity of placing the piece down an octave makes the piece dark, and the use of alto on the first part is not possible due to the passages in the low register. For an ambitious group, this piece provides the satisfaction of lovely lines and the opportunity to work on Mozartian style.


Reviewer: JoDee Davis
Review Published January 31, 2019