Review


Harold A. Popp
Quintalogue and Dance:
Trombone and four percussion

Bloomington, Indiana, United States
Publisher: H.A. Publishing
Date of Publication: 2018

Score

Genre: CHAMBER MUSIC

Trombonist, composer, and educator Harold A. Popp —currently an adjunct lecturer in music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University—has been an administrator at six universities over more than 50 years; this is an impressive track record by any measure. His Quintalogue and Dance for trombone and four percussionists is in two movements and takes about five minutes to perform. The first movement, Quintalogue, is rather free, described by the composer as “a sensitive dialog between the five players.” Bells help define a pitch center, an instrument that is lacking in the Dance where all percussion instruments are untuned. The trombone part spans the range from A to c2 and could be played by either a tenor or bass trombonist.

Only a score was provided for review, so it is unclear if parts for each player are included when the piece is purchased. One hopes parts are provided since the page turns in the score are simply not practical at the fast tempo of the Dance. The score has the look of a home-made production with its letter sized paper and coil binding; each page has the same small printing defect which points to a scratch on a photocopier’s platen. There is no dynamic given at the beginning of the piece—clearly an oversight—but all in all, despite a lot of equipment that must be collected and transported to a performance venue for such a short work (the list of needed percussion includes two suspended cymbals, bells, gong, two timpani, wood block, triangle, three temple blocks, snare drum, and floor toms), the contrast of atmospheric and energetic movements wins the day and makes all of the effort needed to assemble the needed forces happily worthwhile.

Reviewer: Douglas Yeo
Review Published June 14, 2019