Review


Todd Goodman
Trombone Concerto No.2:
Trombone and piano reduction

Midland, PA, United States
Publisher: Wrong Note Media Inc.
Date of Publication: 2017
URL: http://www.wrongnotemedia.com

Score and solo part

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Todd Goodman earned his Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Masters degree in composition from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and Ph.D. ABD in theory and composition from Kent State University. He has also studied at L’ecole normale de musique in Paris, France, with the European American Musical Alliance and at the Aspen Music Festival. He is the founder and artistic director of the innovative contemporary art ensemble, Ensemble Immersion, a group that combines music, dance, literature, film, visual arts, drama, set design, and creative audience interaction to create artistic experiences unlike any other. His music has been played by principal members of the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Singapore, Iceland, and Seattle Symphonies, as well as by ensembles and performers from all over the world. Holder of numerous awards, commissions and honors, he has also been a four-time winner of the ASCAPlus award for his contributions to new music. Described as one of America’s promising young composers he is in constant demand, working on numerous projects, including a grand opera based on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. 

The Trombone Concerto No.2 was commissioned by Bruce Tychinski for a recording project of new works for trombone and winds and was recorded in the spring of 2017 with the University of Delaware Wind Ensemble. The titles of the three movements are: Luminious, Letter to Gretchen, and Perpetuum mobile. The composer states: This piece is a continuation of the saga that I started in the first Trombone Concerto, which explored the wide range and the many beautiful aspects of the trombone and its timbre.

Bruce Tychinsky added the following: In the collaboration to create Trombone Concerto No.2, Todd and I spoke about his compositional style as being impressionistic. Lines are blurry and sections morph into one another. Themes return, but never quite exactly the same. It is organic and always changing. The first movement’s primary theme is based around a recurring note that expands as it develops throughout the movement. Todd also came to our home in winter 2016 and he decided to make the second movement a lullaby to our daughter. As sketches of the movement took shape, we spoke about the fact that the movement had more depth than a simple lullaby and was more like me offering her advice many years from now and the title Letter to Gretchen came to be. The final movement is titled Perpetuum mobile and it is an energetic, high-spirited adventure for the soloist, band, and listener.                                                                            

The original version is for trombone and wind ensemble and there are also versions for trombone with piano, and trombone with orchestra. There is a terrific recording of the trombone/wind ensemble version available on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/todd-goodman-1/sets/todd-goodmans-trombone-concerto-no-2-wind-ensemble.                                                                                                   

This is an interesting, well-crafted, expertly scored work, in a tonally, melodically, rhythmically and texturally conservative musical language. The trombone part is idiomatic, often exhibiting the lyrical and tonal qualities of the instrument. The part, while challenging, is playable by a performer with good control of the upper register, superior sense of dynamics, and excellent musical intuition. The Trombone Concerto No.2 is an outstanding addition to the solo trombone and wind ensemble repertoire.

Reviewer: Karl Hinterbichler
Review Published November 9, 2019