A couple of weeks ago I performed a solo recital which I entitled “A Hindemith-ey Sort of Evening.” Having been invited to perform both the trombone and tuba sonatas by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) at the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors conference back in October, I decided to build a full recital program of works by Hindemith and his students, with those two surprisingly contrasting sonatas as the bookends. Canto II by Samuel Adler (b. 1928) is a classic work for solo bass trombone, and appropriating the horn sonata by Bernhard Heiden (1910-2000) as an alto trombone solo was a particular challenge. In many ways my favorite work on the program was Musical Flower Garden with Leyptziger Assortment, a rather comical work that Hindemith originally wrote for clarinet and double bass duo. The lower part works rather well on euphonium and the resulting ensemble sound was very pleasing—enough so that I am going to apply to bring that piece to next year’s NACWPI conference.
As with all live and unedited performance recordings, this program is not without its minor blemishes. I experienced a bit of dry mouth during the first two movements of the opening piece and negotiating the change from larger instruments to the alto trombone was surprisingly difficult. My usual practice has been to place alto trombone pieces at the beginning of programs where I have used it, and I underestimated just how much I would struggle with having it in the middle. Of course, performing a recital of five large works on five instruments—with five mouthpieces—is challenging in any case, and despite the imperfections on the whole I am pleased with the overall musical result.
I would be remiss if I did not again publicly thank my collaborators Stacy Rodgers and Michael Rowlett, who made this big program possible. Multimedia Specialist Charlie Miles always does a great job with recording and mastering, as well as stage management. Also, our music department’s new Program Coordinator, Anna Herd, did a fantastic job with the programs, flyers, and online publicity. We are so glad to have her here!
With that, on to the (pre-recorded) show!
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Sonata for Trombone and Piano
Samuel Adler (b. 1928): Canto II (unaccompanied bass trombone)
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Musical Flower Garden with Leyptziger Assortment (clarinet and euphonium duo)
Bernhard Heiden (1910-2000): Sonata for Horn (or Alto Trombone!) and Piano
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Sonata for Tuba and Piano