Jules Massanet
Meditation: from Thaïs

Arranged by Chris M. Sharpe

Bass trombone and piano

, United States
Publisher: C. Sharpe Editions
Date of Publication: 2017

Score and solo part


The original Meditation was written in 1894 for solo violin with orchestra and chorus accompaniment and played between scenes in Act II of the opera Thaïs. It has been transcribed for many instruments. This arrangement is the second for bass trombone, the first being Doug Yeo’s arrangement in D major.

Sharpe's version makes excellent use of the bass trombone’s register. It is transposed down almost two octaves from the original violin part, which is in D major. This arrangement is in E-flat major. It preserves the original range of the solo part, except for two notes displaced down an octave at the conclusion of the piece. Otherwise, the bass trombone part utilizes more than a three-octave tessitura of EE-flat to g-sharp1. The soloist must have facility throughout this entire range, as significant material lies in all parts of the register, except for EE through AA, which do not appear in the piece.

This arrangement presents an excellent opportunity for the bass trombonist to showcase musical expression. The constant eighth-note accompaniment in the piano, originally the harp part, is extremely flexible; the bass trombonist can use ample rubato throughout most of the piece. Most college-level bass trombonists should be able to play this piece at some time during their undergraduate studies.


Reviewer: Sarah Paradis
Review Published January 31, 2019