Launy Grondahl – Concerto for Trombon and Orchestra
L. Grondahl composed this piece in 1924 for Wilhelm Aarkrogh’s desiderative. At that time, Aarkrogh played trombone in Kopenhalg Royal Orchestra. Grondahl starts music with violin when he was eight years old and when Aarkrogh wanted that piece from Grondahl, Grondhal was a composition student. In 1925, composer was became a conductor of Denmark Radio Orchestra. Until in 1956, he was a conductor of that orchestra and his trombone concerto is the most popular concerto that he composed.
This concerto comprises of three movements. It is a typical late romantic piece and concerto’s form is typical too (fast-slow-fast). In every movements, it has two themes. In first and third movement’s themes are contrasted each other but second movement’s theme’s style is same. Piece continues 15 minutes. Some technique parts, large intervals and involved rhythmic In addition to that, in concerto, key changes lots of time.
First movement is Moderato Assai ma Molto Maestoso. It stars very strong, magnificent, rhythmical and clear theme. This theme repeats in measure 14 but this time, theme gets in b flat minor. In measure 17, character changes and it prepares music for second theme. Second theme stars at measure 34 and this theme is cantabile so, these two themes are totally different from each other. This movement is in high octave and performers can show themselves with playing rubato and soft in that high octave. In measure 58, it returns first theme but here it is not in f moll, it is in a moll. Measure 70, it returns to second theme and it continues until measure 90.
Second movement is Quasi una Leggenda. This movement occurs from two themes. Solely, these two themes are softer and slower. First theme’s tempo is 7/8 and it is Andante Grave. It is really characteristic but it is not cantabile as second theme. Second theme’s tempo is 6/8 but it is more dynamic. This theme’s bound notes get triple in 3/4 measure. Theme ends with pedal note which is b flat.
Third movement is Finale. It starts as first movement theme’s character and after that it passes third movement’s theme. This movement’s main theme is 6/8 and Allegro Scherzando. In theme, there is lots of syncopation. Last movement’s second theme occurs in measure 50. Grondhal used softer character than first theme as we can hear that similarity in first movement. It continues 15 measures and it provides ease to performer because there is not syncopation anymore. In the middle of this second theme, composer offers a choice and this choice is about octave. If performer choose the first choice, performer must play e flat in high octave and it is really hard to play at last movement because generally, performers get tired until last movement. In the ending theme, there is c note at high octave in 4 measures. These measures must played fortissimo and stringendo. After 2 measures, concerto ends with brilliant character.
Firt movement’s begining of concerto: