Review


Laurie Matthew Duncan
Elegy :
Trombone and piano

Crapaud, PE, , Canada
Publisher: Pine Grove Music
Date of Publication: 2011

Score and solo part

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

Laurie Duncan was born in Winnipeg in 1956 and now has an extensive and diverse list of compositions to his name. This piece was written in 2011 and is dedicated to me. The premiere was given by Dale Sorenson in Charlottetown, PEI in August 2011. Steve Dyer played the Winnipeg premiere in November 2015 with the composer at the piano.

 

There is no missing the song-like inspiration of this piece. There are repeated indications in both parts for cantabile and molto cantabile. In the first half, melodic movement is step-wise, each step up matched by a downward step. Development of the melody from the mid-point on is accompanied by increasing step-size and expansion of the range. The largest interval played is a 7th, occurring right at the end of the piece. There is a gradual acceleration from quarter=66 to quarter=72. Cup mute is to be used throughout. Trombone range is F-sharp–b-flat1.

 

The piano part is quite difficult. Many chords span a 9th and a pianist with larger hands is needed. The piece ends ambiguously in the upper register of the piano with a single tritone, marked pianissimo. Much of the harmony is bi-tonal. This is a beautiful piece, and there is a lot of musical interest in it; and despite the apparent simplicity of the writing for trombone, achieving a good, musical performance will require careful study.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published January 31, 2019