JAMES MACMILLAN (b.1959): Trombone Concerto (Iván Fischer [conductor]), THEO VERBEY (b.1959): LIED for Trombone and Orchestra Markus Stenz [conductor]), LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): SOLO for Trombone and Orchestra (Ed Spanjaard [conductor).
Catalogue Number: 10V055
Format: CD reissue
Description: These recordings previously appeared on separate volumes of the “RCO Horizon” series, and are usefully gathered together here. MacMillan's single-span, half-hour concerto is a major addition to the trombone repertoire. A recurring motif heard at the beginning is presented in combination with a huge variety of counter-material, leading to episodes of violent conflict (crowned by a wailing siren!), dancing scherzi and a magnificent, almost Brucknerian hymn-like treatment of the main theme, extensively developed and varied, which relates the concerto to MacMillan's explicitly religious works. An incongruously lively, pulsating version of the hymn ushers in a cacophonous climax and a monumental conclusion. Verbey's work is an imaginary 'song' cycle, with the solo trombone in the role of a 'singer' of superhuman range. The solo part remains continuously melodious throughout, however virtuosic its requirements; the idiom is a contemporary take on neo-romanticism, harking back to Mahler via Shostakovich and Stravinsky. In Berio's aptly named SOLO the soloist plays a continuous stream-of-consciousness soliloquy ('absurdly difficult' in the composer's own estimation) involving complex extended techniques, while the orchestra weaves an independent tapestry of exotic sound around the solo line, framing and punctuating it without interacting with it in the usual concertante sense. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.