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Taking Sides

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Matthew Tommasini

Matthew Tommasini

Subtitle: For Solo Trombone, Woodwind Octet, Percussion, Piano, and Contrabass

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 13:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Matthew Tommasini
Cost: Score and Parts - rental

Movements (played without pause)

1. Dysfunction
2. Reflection
3. Consensus


Oboe (2)
Bb Clarinet (2)
Bassoon (2)
F Horn (2)
Solo trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone
  • Slapstick
  • Guiro
  • Whistle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work uses the format of a political debate as its foundation. In the frenzied, cartoonish first movement, the solo trombonist plays the role of moderator, trying to ask a musical question. The woodwind octet, divided into two complementary quartets, plays dueling variations of the question, ignoring, and eventually mocking, the trombonist. In the jazz-influenced second movement, the ensemble reflects on a lyrical theme from the first movement, leading to the reconciliation of the third movement. The trombone soloist brings the ensemble to consensus through variations of the original musical question, which morph through various jazz and popular musical styles. The ensemble begins to imitate the trombonist. Ultimately, the complementary quartets discover the irony of a conflict in which both sides have more in common than they realize.

- Program note by composer

Commissioned by the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings/Oberlin Conservatory/University of Michigan Consortium in memory of Lydia Silvani Foley. The work was premiered by the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings on April 13, 2008.


Sample download; ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer