George Frideric Handel
No, No, I'll Take No Less: from Semele

Arranged by Evan Sankey

Trombone and piano

, United States
Publisher: C. Sharpe Editions
Date of Publication: 2018

Score and solo part

Primary Genre: Solo Tenor Trombone - with piano

Considered one of Handel’s music dramas, this ‘opera’ is based upon the story of Semele, a mortal woman who is seduced by Jupiter, only to be met with death before giving birth to Bacchus. This aria from Act 3, Scene 2, depicts Semele’s insistence that she see Jupiter in his true form, despite his warning that she will surely die. The full work receives regular performances on stage and in concert. Kathleen Battle’s 1985 Carnegie Hall performance was accessible on YouTube at the time of this review.

This arrangement is a literal copy of the orchestral score. No additions or adjustments have been made, other than bringing the vocal part down an octave and removing the text. Since the solo part will sound in the middle of the piano voicings, dynamic adjustments will have to be made to ensure clarity.

Given the appropriate tempo for correct performance, the technical challenge lies in the melismatic sections – maintaining consistent tone and pitch accuracy. Listening to recordings and consulting the vocal score will help determine articulation and phrasing. Range only reaches g, and rhythms and ensemble are easily accessible.

At the time of publication, Dr. Sankey was on the faculty at Texas Lutheran University. Currently he serves in the Air Force Band of Mid-America.


Reviewer: David Stern
Review Published June 20, 2023