Canfield: Concerto after Mendelssohn for Trombone and Piano
Code: JP9504 ISMN: 979-0-3019-0530-2
Concerto after Mendelssohn was written between
December 10, 2016 and January 26, 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
The first movement is written in modified sonata allegro
form, with divergence from that form coming as the
development section flows immediately out of the
elaboration of the second theme in the relative major.
Another novelty occurs after a short cadenza, where
there is no coda, but only a reiteration of
Mendelssohn's bridge movement.
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
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 development section of the first movement also
incorporates a good bit of counterpoint to pay homage to
Mendelssohn's rediscovery of the music of Bach.
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 this version of
the work with pianist Kimberly Carballo at Indiana
University on October 1, 2017. Total duration:
approximately 17 minutes.