Paul Antonin Vidal
Solo de Concert:

Arranged by Benny Sluchin

Trombone and piano

Sion, , Switzerland
Publisher: Editions Bim
Date of Publication: 2020

Score and solo part.

Primary Genre: Solo Materials

Paul Vidal (1863-1931), as with almost all the French composers from the 19th and 20th centuries, graduated from the Paris Conservatoire with first prizes in harmony and counterpoint, and was also awarded the ultimate prize in composition, the Prix de Rome. Most of his career was spent working at the Opera National de Paris, Opera-Comique, in addition to teaching various courses at his alma mater. He was also a prolific composer and orchestrator, and contributed pedagogical material for keyboard harmony. Today his music is largely forgotten; only his contest pieces for horn, cornet, and two for trombone still receive performances. The Solo de Concert was first published in 1890 and was dedicated to his brother Joseph-Bernard. That edition is no longer in print. It was the Conservatoire test piece for 1890. It is interesting to compare the demands of the test pieces from the beginning and middle parts of the 19th century to this piece from the end of the century. There are much greater demands on range, endurance, agility, dynamic control, technique, and expression. It was clearly meant to challenge the level of trombone playing at that time. The piano part is also of greater interest and the harmonic content richer than the earlier ages. The rules of the Conservatoire required not only a performance of the specially composed work, but students also had to sight read a short new work commissioned for that purpose. Also included in this edition is the sight reading piece. In the earlier part of the century a ‘cello accompaniment was composed for the sight reading piece. By the latter part of the century the piano replaced the ‘cello. Again the demands on the trombonist are much greater than earlier in the century. This is good music in a romantic idiom that covers many of the technical and musical challenges still facing trombone players today. Kudos to the esteemed trombonist Benny Sluchin for resurrecting and editing this work. The Bim Edition layout, paper quality, and printing are first class.

Reviewer: Karl Hinterbichler
Review Published February 23, 2022