Review


Gioachino Rossini
Largo al Factotum: from the Barber of Seville

Arranged by Evan Sankey

Trombone and piano

, United States
Publisher: C. Sharpe Editions
Date of Publication: 2018
URL: http://www.CSharpeEditions.com

Score and solo part

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Perhaps one of the most famous baritone arias in the history of Italian Opera, Largo al Factotum is proudly sung upon the first entrance of the character Figaro at the beginning of Gioachino Rossini’s beloved opera The Barber of Seville. Evan Sankey’s transcription of this classic for solo trombone and piano mostly follows the operatic version.

While the aria is well known for its difficulty due to the complexity of the text and wide vocal range, the trombone transcription is not nearly so difficult due to the absence of text. However, it still spans a relatively wide playing range, d to a¹, in most of the aria with an added c² at the  end. Furthermore, the absence of text in the trombone version tends to highlight the boring and repetitive nature of the harmonic progressions and melodic lines in this work. Great care must be taken so that the interpretation maintains as much of the joy and bravura of the original as possible.

The piano accompaniment seems to have been adopted directly from the orchestral reduction and contains  interludes which may be difficult for many pianists to execute at tempo. The score is well edited and easy to read, but the trombone solo part is formatted a bit too small for a normal viewing distance. In the right hands, Evan Sankey’s arrangement of Rossini’s Largo al Factotum will surely be an exciting showpiece on any recital program.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published November 11, 2019