Concerto after Mendelssohn for Trombone and Orchestra was written between December 10, 2016 and January 26, 2017, and orchestrated from February 20th to March 8th of 2017. Not many people know that Mendelssohn was actually intending to write a concerto for Carl Traugott Queisser, the principal trombonist in his Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Unfortunately for trombonists and music lovers, the project was never realized, and consequently David DeBoor Canfield thought that it might be worthwhile to attempt to write a trombone concerto that might have borne some similarity to the one that Mendelssohn could have written. Realizing the dearth of works in 19th-century Romantic styles for bassoon and tenor saxophone as solo instruments, he prepared versions of this piece as well for these instruments. All three versions may be considered "originals," since they have been tailored to the solo instruments they employ. The bassoon and saxophone versions are in fact a bit longer than the trombone version, since the trombonists have endurance issues that have to be taken into consideration.
The first movement is written in modified sonata allegro form. The second movement is in A-B-A song form, with an opening that features long lines in the solo instrument. The work concludes with a driving finale in modified rondo form. The movement is fast with a lot of notes, and the spirit of the movement is inspired by that found in the Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.
As in other "After" works in Canfield's output, the composer didn't concern himself too much with the places in this work that sound more like Canfield writing in a 19th-century style than Mendelssohn, but he did make an effort to incorporate the melodic gestures and harmonic sequences normally associated with this great composer.
The concerto is dedicated to trombonist Carl Lenthe. Canfield also sought to personalize this work for its dedicatee, and did so through the inclusion of phrases from one of the latter's favorite Bach Chorales, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme in the second movement. In the finale, there are also a couple of phrases from the famous "Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream woven in at Lenthe's request as a wink to his wife Martha. The solo part of this work was edited by its dedicatee, who premiered it with the New World Symphony, Adam Bodony, conductor, on February 11, 2018. Total duration is approximately 17 minutes.
The version on this web page is for trombone and orchestra. The work is scored for solo trombone, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings (4-4-3-2-1). Adobe Reader software or similar PDF viewer is needed to view page samples. Click here for PDF samples from the full score.
Until a recording of this music is available, we have included digitally produced audio samples for your reference. Click on the "Music Player" icon.
Concerto after Mendelssohn for trombone and orchestra is also available separately for trombone and wind ensemble (JP6048) and in a piano reduction of the accompaniment (JP9504).
Click here for more information on David DeBoor Canfield