Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Romance in F, Op.5:

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Trombone and piano

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2020

Score and solo part


Originally written in 1868 for solo piano, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Romance in F minor Op.5 was first performed by Nikolay Rubinstein, the younger brother of Anton Rubinstein. While Anton had a reputation for an aggressive pianistic style similar to that of Franz Liszt, Nikolay’s approach to the instrument was far more restrained and nuanced—all of which is exemplified in the F minor Romance.

Except for the occasional change of the location or length of a slur to facilitate a likely breath, Ralph Sauer’s transcription for trombone and piano stays faithful to the original version. While this creates space for performers to develop their own interpretation directly from Tchaikovsky’s markings, it also necessitates a good deal of score study and listening to effectively perform this piece. Although not especially technically demanding in some ways, the trombone part spends a fair amount of time hanging above the tenor clef on slow sustained passages, which could become especially taxing on a longer recital program.

Tchaikovsky’s Romance in F minor is a beautiful piece with a lot of sentimentality. It is written in ABA form with a lyrical main theme and march-like contrasting theme. While there is no shortage of short 19th-century character pieces like this in the piano repertoire, Ralph Sauer’s transcription is a welcome addition to the trombone repertoire that will surely be a favorite for many years to come.

Reviewer: Greg Strohman
Review Published November 29, 2020