Anton Bruckner
Bruckner Suite : for trombone quartet

N.p., ,
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015

Grade 3/4


This Suite is based on the Missa Brevis WAB 146 in D minor for mixed a cappella choir, known as the Kronstorfer Messe, which Bruckner wrote in 1843, age 18/19, while working as a teaching assistant in the town of Kronstorf. It remained unpublished until 1984. It is derived stylistically from Palestrina, but its harmonic language is far removed from the Renaissance, notable for its ‘audacious modulations’ and frequent use of chromatic chords, often in first inversion. There is none of the precociousness of Mozart or Schubert; Bruckner had to work hard to achieve the mastery that he had in his later years; but it’s clear that his own harmonic ideas were being formed long before he discovered Wagner’s music some 20 years later.

This is a successful transcription, and it’s well-suited to a student ensemble of mixed ability. The Kyrie is in A minor, the other sections are in F major, A minor and C major respectively (original keys B-flat, D minor and F). Ranges are a–c2 for 1st and CC–f for 4th (bass). Overall ranges for 2nd and 3rd parts are A–f; these are significantly easier than 1st. Although the first part is given in tenor clef, I think it would play nicely on alto trombone.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published January 31, 2019