Christoph Willibald Gluck
Dance of the Blessed Spirits: from Orfeo and Euridice

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Trombone and piano

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2022

Score and solo part.


Once again, Mr. Sauer has given us a beautiful arrangement of a famous and popular melody, in this instance from an opera of the Classic period. In the opera, this music comes in the second act and features the sound of the flute. In replacing the flute solo with trombone he has placed a large responsibility on the soloist to play lightly, smoothly and melodiously, respectfully sharing the focus with the pianist as the solo line is as much obbligato as it is the main melody.

Technically, the demands on the trombonist are not great in the opening section, mm.1-28, with repeats, and in the closing return of that music, mm.66-93, this time without repeats. In the middle section, tempo slows from Andante to Largo, but the agitato accompaniment and the 32nd note ornaments and passagework in the trombone part mandate careful study to carry off the same smooth melodiousness characteristic of the outer sections. Additionally, in the central section the range is extended, generally in an upward direction, with wide intervals increasing the tension.

As stated earlier, this is a fine arrangement, as seems to be Mr. Sauer's usual product. It is welcome for many reasons, not least of which is the constant need for music of quality, musical value and expression for the increasingly gifted and musically well grounded trombonists we find, it seems everywhere! Great work, sir!

Reviewer: Philip Brink
Review Published July 31, 2022