Review


Giacomo Puccini
Three Arias from the Opera The Girl of the Golden West:

Arranged by Christopher Espy

Trombone and piano

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2021
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Score and solo part

Genre: SOLO MATERIALS

The opera was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1910 with Arturo Toscanini conducting. This set is comprised of three emotional arias: 1. Minnie, Dalla mia casa son Partito, in which the Sheriff tells Minnie that he loves her (E major): 2. Chella Mi Creda, a tenor aria sung by Dick Johnson, a former bandit about to be executed by a lynch mob on suspicion of a murder that he may not have committed. He asks them to tell Minnie that he has gone away (G-flat): 3. E anche to (tu) lo vorrai, Joe, a highly chromatic aria in which Minnie pleads for Dick’s life (E minor, closing in E major). With a wide range of dynamics and flexibility in tempo, this music obviously calls for a highly expressive playing style.

The trombone part is given in bass clef, b–b-flat¹, with an optional b¹, and is of moderate difficulty. The piano part is not easy, with some awkward fingering in the right hand and many left hand chords spanning a ninth or tenth. I think this is quite an inspired addition to the trombone solo repertoire from a somewhat less than obvious source. Yes, the opera does have a happy ending.

Christopher Espy holds the doctorate of musical arts degree from Rutgers University. He currently serves on the music faculties of Christopher Newport University in Virginia and Chowan University in North Carolina.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published November 26, 2021