Johannes Brahms
Three Lieder:

Arranged by Evan Sankey

Trombone and piano

, United States
Publisher: C. Sharpe Editions
Date of Publication: 2019

Score and solo part


Transcribed for tenor trombone solo with piano accompaniment, Evan Sankey’s Three Lieder combines some of the most well-known songs of Johannes Brahms into a single set. Originally from his Opus 48, 97, and 58 collections respectively, Der Gang zum Liebchen, Nachtigall, and Blinde Kuh each express common themes of night, darkness, and loss. Aside from the first being transposed a minor third higher in pitch, Sankey’s arrangements closely follow the original vocal versions.

Accessible by most college and many high school level trombonists, these transcriptions encompass a playing range from d to a¹, an abundance of beautiful phrases, and many opportunities for interpretive nuance. The piano accompaniments contain sweeping arpeggios, expansive chords, and a few awkward runs in the third song. While not prohibitively difficult, most student pianists will need a bit of time to prepare these parts before a first rehearsal.

Perhaps this music would be best suited to the student looking for opportunities to work on romantic era phrasing and interpretation or for the recitalist looking for beautiful vocal transcriptions to contrast larger scale works on a program. The parts and score are generally legible with plenty of visual space in which to write notes and markings. However, there are editorial mistakes in this edition, including two unattached triplet markings at the bottom of the first page of the score and a ritardando marking which overlaps the copyright text at the bottom of the first page of the solo part. Most importantly, Evan Sankey’s Three Lieder provides us with good tenor trombone transcriptions of some of the great vocal repertoire of Johannes Brahms.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published November 11, 2019