Review


Various
Book of Arias:

Arranged by Brittany Lasch

Tenor trombone

New York, New York, United States
Publisher: Price Co. Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: 2021
URL: http://www.bookofsolos.com

Book of solo parts. 105 pages.

Genre: STUDY MATERIALS

The 100 pages of this book include 33 opera arias transcribed for tenor trombone. They have been selected and edited by Dr. Brittany Lasch, a noted soloist, and currently Assistant Professor of Trombone at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, as well as Principal Trombone of the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra at the Detroit Opera House.

All the arias are in their original keys with adjustments in octaves to suit the range of the trombone; minor articulation modifications have also been made. Each aria has a text underlay in the original language, as well as an English translation. This is valuable in that it gives the performer great insight into correct phrasing/breathing and most importantly into the moods/emotions conjured up by each aria. To further aid in interpretation, the book also includes opera synopses and full libretti translations. PDF piano scores are accessible via a free web link. Performance notes by Dr. Lasch, in addition to a curated list of recommended orchestral/vocal recordings are noted on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. The choice of recordings is a collaboration between the editor and the Metropolitan Opera’s Principal Bassoonist, William Short. In the introductory notes Dr. Lasch wrote in part: This book was created not only as a celebration of some of the greatest works of classical music, but as a new vessel for your artistic expression, both in practice and performance. I have limited my editorial markings in this book to allow for the performer to make their own informed decisions.

The collection is a veritable hit parade of famous arias from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic styles. Composers include Bellini, Bizet, Delibes, Donizetti, Handel, Humperdinck, Mozart, Puccini, Purcell, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner. There are also contributions by underrepresented composers: Freeman Voodoo, Francesca Caccini, Viardot Cendrillon  and Gomes Salvator Rosa. This is the most recent addition to a number of collections of arias/vocal studies for trombone. It is however unique in the included extras, as noted above. Not to disparage Bordogni/Rochut, which has its place in trombone pedagogy, but this collection contains some of the greatest music ever written for voice, quite an advantage. They range in technical difficulty from fairly easy to virtuosic. Paper quality, layout and printing are high quality and easy to read. The spiral binding aids strategically located page turns and makes the book effortless to maneuver on a music stand.

Reviewer: Karl Hinterbichler
Review Published August 15, 2021