Despite having every intention of posting at least a couple of articles here since my last post on November 11, various responsibilities have kept me from doing so. I’d like to share a couple of things between now and the end of the year before taking a short break and resuming writing in the spring. Both this post and the one that follows will consist primarily of recordings. While it might seem odd to share performance recordings in the context of a blog post, since this blog primarily concerns brass playing and teaching it is helpful to know that its author can indeed play these instruments competently! Sharing these recordings here also allows me to put them “out into the world” without clogging my faculty page at Ole Miss or relying solely upon the vicissitudes of Facebook and YouTube algorithms to get them to interested listeners.
Today’s recording is from November 18 of this year, when I played the Suite for Trombone and Orchestra by Axel Jørgensen (1881-1947) with the Lafayette-Oxford-University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Selim Giray. As you might gather from the name, the L-O-U Orchestra is a “town and gown” orchestra, in which our university students are joined by players from the community, mostly music teachers and other local professionals. This was my first time appearing as soloist with the orchestra since 2012, and I was honored to have the opportunity. While the performance had the minor imperfections one expects with live music, these were very few, and overall the piece was very well received.
Jørgensen’s piece shares some similarities with the better-known Concerto by his contemporary and fellow Danish composer Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960). Both works are decidedly neoromantic in character, a quality shared by a number of other Scandinavian trombone works of the time. When he first asked me to perform with the orchestra Dr. Giray suggested the very well-known Concerto by Jørgensen’s younger Swedish contemporary Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986). Because I had already performed the Larsson with orchestra I wanted to use this opportunity to play something I had not yet performed with orchestral accompaniment, but I thought something similar out of that neoromantic Scandinavian repertoire would be a good choice, being enjoyable to the audience and not too taxing for the orchestra. Having already performed at least one movement of Grøndahl with orchestra, I chose Jørgensen. Incidentally, Jørgensen lies right about in the middle of these three works in difficulty, and since I performed a very challenging solo recital only a month before this performance not overdoing it seemed like a good idea, as well.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the performance!