Review


Ludwig van Beethoven
Allegro con brio: from Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op.67

Arranged by Tom Senff

16 part trombone choir and optional timpani

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

four choirs of four parts each (total 16 parts) 2 parts indicated in alto clef 4 parts indicated in tenor clef 4 bass trombones indicated Optional timpani

Genre: TROMBONE ENSEMBLES

This transcription is crafted for two alto, ten tenor and four bass trombones, arranged in four groups of four, in the original key of C minor. The original score has 18 parts, including timpani. As far as I can see, all of the notes are included in this arrangement, many of course in octave transposition. The exposition repeat has been omitted. Two extra measures of F-sharp minor have been added before the unison D at m.230, extending the whole movement to 504 measures. Is there some significance here? 504÷9 (symphonies)=56; Beethoven’s age at death.

 

The first five measures are tutti, all parts marked ff. The contrast available in the ensemble is immediately obvious and is fully exploited in the following section scored for eight parts and marked piano. Alto 1a is a challenging part with 43 high e-flat2s and 12 high e2s. Both alto parts top out at e2, tenor 1d at d2 and 2a at c2. First and second tenor trombones are in tenor clef, third and fourth in bass. Bass trombone 4c tops out at f-sharp1 and 4a at c1. Bass 4d goes down to GG. Optional timpani are in C and G.

 

This is quite a tour de force, well laid out for the trombone choir, challenging, but with adequate rest measures in all parts, and should be really enjoyable to play. Parts are printed with admirable clarity. Tom Senff worked with Stan Kenton in the 1960’s as a trombonist and arranger. More recently he has been active with the University of North Texas Neophonic Orchestra. He was the editor of a collection of transcribed solos by J.J. Johnson published in 1989.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published April 2, 2019