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sheet music reviews

Pictures at an Exhibition - Modeste Mussorgsky arr. Robert Holliday
for 12 trombones

Reviewed by Amos Miller,
Onyx Brass, Principal Trombone Royal Ballet Sinfonia

I was privileged to hear the première performance of this at the Royal Academy of Music: this is a transcription on an epic scale, which demonstrates virtuosic skills by Robert Holliday. To be able to convey pretty much ALL the detail of the original whilst remaining eminently playable is a remarkable achievement. I can't recommend it highly enough.

18 Canons and Chorales - Franz Schubert arr. Helen Vollam
for trombone trio or trombone choir

Reviewed by Robb Tooley,
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

BTS Magazine Winter 2014

These eighteen short pieces are originally for three part male voice choir, so it is not that surprising that they work beautifully for three trombones. Musically they are really rewarding, but, crucially, they will be within the technical abilities of many players.

Not only have we enjoyed playing through them as a section at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, but I have also used them in a workshop with attendees at the recent Wessex BTS Day. Despite being sight-reading, we were able to talk about musical issues straight away, which is a great testament to their accessibility. 

It is a sensible practical consideration that the clearly printed and separately bound parts are available in any clef at the point of order. A complete score is provided with the set too. They make excellent practise material for any trombone section. In her introduction, Helen describes the arrangements as a "good exercise in phrasing, intonation, blending sounds and matching articulations". I would wholeheartedly endorse that, whilst adding that they could fit very successfully into a chamber concert programme.