Trombone Concerto

From Wind Repertory Project
William Bolcom

William Bolcom

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General Info

Year: 2016 / 2017
Duration: c. 21:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Trombone and Orchestra
Publisher: Edward B. Marks
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. Quasi una fantasiabr /> 2. Blues
3. Charade


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto is the composer’s latest contribution to the literature for solo instrument and orchestra. He has previously composed concertos for piano (1976), violin (1984), clarinet (1992), flute (1993), two pianos (1996), alto saxophone (1999), saxophone quartet (2001), and soprano saxophone (2015). The Trombone Concerto, also composed in 2015, was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra with the generous support of Edward Stanford and Barbara Scheulen.

William Bolcom offers the following introduction to the piece:

“When I was informed that Joseph Alessi wanted a concerto from me I was delighted. His recorded performance of Christopher Rouse’s powerful contribution to the form impressed me, and other recordings have shown a consummate musician with perfect intonation, wide stylistic sense, lyrical phrasing, and dazzling technique. I always want to meet the performer I am writing for, and my meetings with Joe gave me a focus. I hoped and intended that Joe’s warmth and geniality will find their way into this concerto, along with his interpretative breadth.”

The concerto explores the trombone’s diverse capabilities through an opening movement that interweaves episodes of mysticism and vivacity, a slow movement with a relaxed rhythm-and-blues swing, and a finale in which the soloist’s rhythmically liberated phrases earn forceful responses from the accompanying ensemble.

- Program Note by James M. Keller for University of Michigan Symphony Band concert program, 21 November 2017

The evening’s centrepiece involved William Bolcom’s wild and somewhat wondrous Trombone Concerto, which the same forces introduced only last June. Now as then, it provided Joseph Alessi with a splendid opportunity to display super-human bravado, also super-human bravura, for 21 minutes nonstop. The score appeals more to the head than the heart, but it fashions that appeal with breathless urgency. The jaunty showpiece may be exhausting for the audience, but Alessi soared over every intricate obstacle as if it were a piffling joke.

- Program Note by Martin Bernheimer for The Financial Times" for orchestral version


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Dallas (Tex.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) – 26 February 2019
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Wind Ensemble (Ricky Brooks, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) - 23 April 2018 (Carnegie Hall, New York)
  • University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Wind Ensemble (Ricky Brooks, conductor; Justin Cook, trombone) – 7 February 2018
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) – 21 November 2017 *Premiere Performance of Wind Arrangement*

Works for Winds by This Composer