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Trombone in chamber music - quintets and sextets (includes brass quintets & choirs)
AMERICAN PHOENIX (2001) for solo
bass trombone (or tuba) and four percussion by Howard
J. Buss was written for Stefan Sanders and the 30th Anniversary of the International Trombone Assn.
It was composed following
the world events of September 11, 2001 and premiered by
Mr. Sanders and members of the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble
at the 2002 International Trombone Festival. The 3 movements are: In Remembrance 9/11/01, Repercussions,
and Renewal. Percussion Distribution
- Percussion 1: Xylophone, tubular bells (chimes), suspended cymbal,
snare drum, police whistle, and bell tree; Percussion 2:
Vibes, 2 suspended cymbals, 4 tom toms, bongos, and wood block; Percussion
3: Marimba, tam-tam, lion roar, ratchet, slapstick, wind chimes, and
suspended cymbal; Percussion 4: Marimba (to low A), timpani (4),
tambourine, 2 cowbells, and suspended cymbal."Buss
melodies vary. They are mystic, poignant, heroic, often modal, and at
times reminiscent of folk songs. He writes for the percussion ensemble
with mastery and features a wide range of instruments. The sound landscape
is rich with many moods and timbres. American Phoenix is
an powerful addition to a solo program or as a feature piece for a percussion
recital. It is rewarding for both performer and audience.- The
ITA Journal, January 2005 (15) Grade V.
BRASS MINIATURES for brass quintet by Howard J. Buss is in 4 short movements inspired by light and images reflected on polished brass: On the Edge, Refractions, Facets, and Illuminated Reflections. In November of 2018 the composer found a box labeled “1974” in a storage closet. It contained a collection of long-lost scores he had composed 4½ decades earlier. Upon examining the music it was apparent that in these works was a trove of youthful musical ideas that could be developed, polished, and edited into exciting “new” compositions. The musical content of first 3 movements of is close to that in the 1974 brass quintet. The final movement was rewritten to include elements of the original score, but updated to be closer to the composer’s current musical language. While On the Edge, Refractions, and Facets, have a decided edginess to them; Illuminated Reflections is more consonant and lyrical. It includes subtle references to material in the previous movements as well a buffed rendition of the opening melody of the first movement in its coda.Score and 5 parts are included. (7’22”)
Grade V. Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpts.pdf
BROM BONES for 10-part brass choir by Howard J. Buss musically depicts the character and exploits of Washington Irving’s dashing prankster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The musical ensemble consists of 4 Bb trumpets (an optional Eb part is included for trumpet 1), one horn, 3 tenor trombones, one bass trombone, and tuba. This entertaining composition is in 5 movements, the first 2 are interconnected:
I. Overture (2:00)
II. The Smoke Out (2.40)
III. The Schoolhouse Caper (2:00)
IV. Ichabod’s Romance (3:40)
V. Night Encounter (3:10)
Following the energetic and heroic Overture, in The Smoke Out tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabod’s singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his small band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The third movement, The Schoolhouse Caper, combines very aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. Ichabod’s Romance begins as a beautiful unaccompanied ballad which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of muted brass, suggesting the whining of Brom’s mocking dog. Beautiful hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Brom’s annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful solo. The intense final movement, Night Encounter, depicts Ichabod’s frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones in disguise. (14’30”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpts.pdf
CASCADES for brass quintet by Roger C. Vogel. Musical “cascades” rush forth from one another throughout. The work is in 3 main sections. A fast energetic opening eventually gives way to a slower section before the opening mood returns in increasing intensity to the rousing conclusion. This accessible composition makes an outstanding contest piece, feature number, or because of its character, a dashing encore. (4’) Grade IV-V.
Sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
CHROMATIC FANTASY (1997) for brass
quintet by Howard
J. Buss was composed for the United States Air Force Brass Quintet.
This exciting and engagingtour de force is a riveting excursion
through driving ostinati and sparkling chromatic flourishes. Chromatic
Fantasy was premiered by the U.S.A.F. Brass Quintet at the Eastern
Trombone Workshop hosted by the U.S. Army Band in Ft. Meyer, VA. (8) Grade
CONCORD (1990) for
brass quintet by Howard
J. Buss teems with the vitality of youth. Lyrical passages are juxtaposed
with fanfare-like sections to create a dramatic and festive atmosphere.
Written for the opening of a performing arts high school in Florida, this
exciting composition was winner of the 1991 Erik Satie Award
of New York City. This makes a
great contest piece or rousing feature number. (6) Grade V.
DREAM SEQUENCE (1987) for trombone or euphonium and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss was inspired by Carl Sagans poetic observation about dreams: Late at night, when it is very still and the obligatory dreams have been dreamt, the gazelles and dragons begin to stir. Subdued, mystical sections contrast with energetic and rhythmic episodes in a manner resembling a progression of dreams. Percussion distribution: Percussion 1: Marimba, celesta (muted orchestra bells may be substituted), suspended cymbal, claves, and 2 cow bells; Percussion 2: Vibes, maracas, bass drum and temple blocks; Percussion 3: Orchestra bells, guiro, and 2 suspended cymbals; Percussion 4: Chimes (tubular bells), bongos, wind chimes, tam-tam, triangle, and lion roar. Worth programming and highly recommended. - Percussive Notes. (10)
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 View on YouTube
PLANE DANCING (1984) for flute, trumpet, bass clarinet, bass trombone, and two percussion by Erik Lund is music with thrust and is intensely alive. Percussion distribution - Percussion 1: Three cymbals, tom toms (5), vibraphone, temple blocks, iron frying pan, cow bell, and brake drum; Percussion 2: Maracas. An excellent addition to the chamber music program. - Percussive Notes (5) Grade V.
Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2 (the ending).mp3
SONATA K. 380 by Scarlatti, Domenico for brass quintet, transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This delightful work was originally composed for keyboard by Domenico Scarlatti around the year 1754 and was titled Sonata in E Major K. 380 (Longo 23). This transcription for brass quintet preserves the essential traits of the composers unique style, including his compositional use of register with florid treble parts and a strictly functional, supportive bass. (630) Grade IV.
SONIC FABLES: Lessons from Aesop (1991) for brass quintet and one percussion by Howard J. Buss. Entertaining musical representations of 6 of Aesops famous fables are presented between a Prelude and Postlude. The text of the fables is printed on a preliminary page to the score and may be used as written program notes. Each fable may also by recited by a member of the ensemble or a narrator prior to performing the accompanying movement. Because of the programmatic subject matter and the colorful spirit of the music, Sonic Fables works well with all types of audiences, including those of children. It is frequently performed as a feature number on school programs. Percussion: 2 suspended cymbals, temple blocks, snare drum, tomtom, triangle, tambourine, wind chimes, xylophone, and tam-tam. The total duration is about 17 minutes; however, the 8 movements may be performed in smaller groupings if so desired by the performers. (18) Grade V-VI.
Sound Excerpts: Prelude.mp3 (with the beginning of narrator's lead-in to the first fable)
The Hawk and the Nightingale.mp3; The Middle-Aged Man and His Two Mistresses.mp3; The Cat and the Rooster.mp3 (excerpt)
The PipingFisherman.mp3 (with the beginning of narrator's lead-in to the next movement)
The Fox and the Leopard.mp3; The Lion and the Bear.mp3; Postlude.mp3
WARP! (1994) for brass quintet by Robert J. Frank. The title was inspired by the term from Star Trek where warp engines would bend time and space to propel the ship at incredible speeds. Exploring relationships between time and space in a musical sense, this work begins with motives and fragments free-floating in space. These gradually build in energy and motion until coming into phase with one another. After this cadence, a motor section expands and develops the previous free-floating motives over driving, repeated patterns. As the speed increases, these motives fade in and out of phase with each other until the motives come back into phase at "warp speed" in the exciting conclusion.Warp! is a fun and exciting concert feature! (3') Grade V.
Sound sample: Excerpt.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf
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Trombone and Euphonium Music Index (includes music for bass trombone)
Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.
Trombone Music: Quintets and Brass Choir, graded catalog of sheet music and secure online store rated 5/5 based on customer reviews. All music in stock. Product description: Trombone, Euphonium, Bass Trombone: Solos, Duos, Ensembles, Chamber Music and Recordings