Richard Wagner
Overture to Rienzi: arranged for four trombones

Arranged by Jeremy Niles Kempton

arranged for four trombones

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


Wagner’s opera Rienzi was composed from 1838-1840 and first premiered October of 1842 in Dresden. Since this overture was composed for large orchestra there are obviously some things missing, but Jeremy Niles Kempton has done a wonderful job keeping the tonality and framework intact while reducing the large orchestration to trombone quartet. Kempton has made a diligent effort to include phrasing, articulation, and dynamic markings from the original score. Even though the bass section is left out from the opening chorale to the first solo in the violin section, Kempton was able to connect the phrase to create one seamless musical line. In fact, most, if not all of his transitions are quite smooth and help players keep momentum of the musical lines moving forward without the use of snare drum or any other percussion. The Trombone 1 and Trombone 2 parts are written in tenor clef. Trombone 1 contains the highest note, b1; the Bass Trombone part contains the lowest note, BB, indicating that this work is intended for a higher level quartet. The arrangement’s difficulty lies in its requirement to play all of the musical details on the page that were intended for an orchestra, and to play with a German, romantic sound. Perhaps this goal would be more easily achievable if all the parts are at least doubled in a trombone choir. Overall, this is a good transcription of a masterpiece. I recommend it for a college or professional trombone quartet/ensemble.


Reviewer: Matthew Visconti
Review Published January 31, 2019