Alan Pierce
Romanza and Scherzo:
Bass trombone and piano

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2008 / 2019

Score and solo part


This work, for bass trombone and piano and dedicated to George Curran, is an interesting take on the solo with piano genre. It is valuable due to the relatively small number of pieces for bass trombone in this style. The set begins with an exposition of the Romanza music in the piano, alternating with arpeggios in the bass trombone. This section is relatively brief and leads directly into the Romanza proper. This section consists of a smooth, Romantic melody in the trombone with a speed of quarter and half notes, accompanied by eighth and sixteenth note arpeggios in the piano. The range for the trombone does move rather high, including b1. A short interlude in the piano follows, leading to an embellished restatement of the Romanza melody in the trombone. The music becomes more active and energetic and increases in velocity and volume, finally settling down to pedal FF-flat in the trombone.

The Scherzo is fast, ¾ meter at quarter=160. The trombone moves along rapidly, primarily in eighth notes; the melody contains several grace note pairs, which might require practice in the use of the second [G or G flat] valve to make smooth. There are extreme leaps in the trombone part, culminating in a high note of c2 and a descent to pedal CC. There follows a cadenza, which begins at the same tempo as the Scherzo proper. The cadenza ends quietly and the piano takes over at a fast moving [mostly] 12/8 tempo, leading to the final “blowout” of the trombone, with extremely fast scales and arpeggios in and out of the trigger and pedal ranges. A “notated accelerando” follows, sixteenth notes at quarter=120, ending strongly on pedal FF. This is an exciting piece that makes virtuosic demands on the trombonist – I recommend it highly for well-trained, strong players.

Reviewer: Philip Brink
Review Published June 14, 2019