Review


Jim Pugh
Lost in the Zonules of Zinn: for trombone quartet and tuba quartet
3 tenor trombones; bass trombone; 2 euphoniums; F tuba; bass tuba

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Score and parts

Genre: BRASS ENSEMBLES

With a curious title seeming to refer to the anatomy of the eye, Jim Pugh’s Lost in the Zonules of Zinn was commissioned by Gerry Pagano and the St. Louis Low Brass Collective for an eight-part low brass ensemble consisting of a trombone quartet (three tenors and one bass trombone) and a tuba quartet (two euphoniums and two tubas). This unique composition is a virtuosic showpiece that takes us through many musical textures, introduces and develops a variety of motives and themes, and explores many modal and neo-tonal scales and harmonies.

Lost in the Zonules of Zion requires players who can navigate syncopated rhythms in a variety of changing simple, compound, and asymmetric meters at a variety of tempi. The first trombone part regularly spans up to d2 very loudly, very quietly, in sustained legato passages, and in short articulated ones as well. The euphonium and tuba parts contain a good deal of rapid arpeggiated figures, runs, and repetitive passagework. The bass trombone part plays down to GG-flat and contains an abundance of figures below the staff, which demand extensive fluency with both valves. The high tuba part is conceived for F tuba and is often written in the same range as the euphonium parts. The low tuba part plays down to EE-flat.

While this piece is dramatic, adventurous, beautiful, yet at times mysterious, and always compelling, its difficulty level and 11 minute length might make it challenging for most academic ensembles to perform. However, with the right combination of players Jim Pugh’s Lost In the Zonules of Zinn is sure to be an audience thriller. It is available from Cherry Classics Music as either a physical copy or digital download.


Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published June 15, 2019