Classical

These are just a few of the classical albums that I enjoy listening to. It is by no means a complete list. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.

MelodramaCharles Vernon - Bass Trombone

CSO bass trombonist Charlie Vernon has finally released a complete solo CD. His huge, warm sound is featured on Stevens' Sonatina, Spillman's Two Songs, Ewazen's Concerto for Bass Trombone, Wilder's Sonata, and John Williams Concerto. If you are an aspiring bass trombonist, you need to own this recording. These are solos that you will play (with the exception of the Williams, perhaps). Vernon's performance of each is a wonderful model.

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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
Houston Symphony Orchestra - Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

I don't normally buy box sets, but I made an exception to that rule with the HSO's Brahms recordings. The brass section sounds fantastic — deep and rich. The strings are equally impressive.

I purchased the first disc (Symphony No. 1) separately when I was working on excerpts as an undergrad. I wanted to hear David Watters play the chorale, but I quickly realized that I wasn't going to hear him. He and the rest of the brass (and contrabassoon!) blended so perfectly that all I heard was a homogenous section sound. An added bonus — this box set is cheap!

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First SongFirst Song
Ben van Dijk - Bass Trombone

Here is what Ben has to say about his latest recording project: "The concept for this CD came about as a result of many reactions to my first solo CD, "Nana". Many asked me to make a second CD consisting of the more common solo pieces for bass trombone auditions. In the beginning I had some doubts about this idea because recordings of most of these pieces are already available, but I realized that there is no CD where these pieces are assembled in one place. The more I thought about the idea the more I liked this concept, especially considering the educational values."

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MelodramaMelodrama
Randall Hawes - Bass Trombone

Randy Hawes, bass trombonist in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, has provided us with a gem of a recording. Subtitled Romantic Music from Russia for Bass Trombone and Piano, the disc features all three concerti of Alexey Lebedev, as well as Four Preludes by Shostakovich; five melodies of Prokofiev; and songs by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Rimski-Korsakov.

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Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo & JulietSergei Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet
San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

From Amazon...
"Michael Tilson Thomas's watershed disc Romeo and Juliet: Scenes from the Ballet illustrates his conductorial strengths: rhythmic drive, dramatic thrust, fairly wide tempo variations, firm control of orchestral balances, and a questing musical vision. The orchestra, aside from a hint of leanness in the strings, plays superbly. Lavishly lush sonics. A feast for the ears."

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Respighi: Pini Di Roma/Fontane De Roma/Feste RomaneRespighi: Pini Di Roma/Fontane De Roma/Feste Romane
Pittsburgh Symphony - Lorin Maazel, conductor

From Amazon...
"Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburghers give us Respighi's Roman triptych in all its gaudy splendor on this 1996 release, which was made using a purist two-mike approach unusual for Sony. Thanks to the conductor's control of balances, the high standard of the orchestra's execution, and the clarity of texture that characterizes the recording, one can enjoy every detail of Respighi's opulent scoring and at the same time hear these works, for once, as actual music."

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Fancy FreeFancy Free: Music for Bass Trombone
Blair Bollinger - Bass Trombone

Blair Bollinger's CD is a great addition to the small, but growing, bass trombone library. His expressiveness as a soloist is on display from beginning to end, especially on Tcherepnin's Andante, Fetter's Spain, and Smith's Fancy Free.

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Bass HitsBass Hits
Various soloists

This disc features four fantastic bass trombonists playing the music of Eric Ewazen. Performers are John Rojak, Stefan Sanders, David Taylor, and Charles Vernon. Although an entire album of one composer's music can get monotonous, each player's style keeps this recording fresh throughout. Tracks include the Concerto, Concertino, Ballade, Rhapsody, and Capriccio.

Buy from Barnes&Noble

NanaNana
Ben van Dijk & Brass

Ben van Dijk's solo debut recording, Nana, is certainly an album that trombonists can get excited about. From the opening fanfare of Nick Woud's Evocation to the encore title track, this CD is filled with the beautiful sounds of van Dijk and numerous world-renowned brass musicians...
Read the complete review

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Holst: The PlanetsHolst: The Planets
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal - Charles Dutoit, conductor

From Amazon...
"Dutoit has a real affection for The Planets and his performance is vital, insightful, and recorded in resplendent digital sound. The Montreal Symphony has a particularly powerful trombone section, which adds just that extra drop of energy to "Mars,"Jupiter," and "Saturn." A fine disc."

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Russian EasterRimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Russian Easter
New York Philharmonic - Yuri Temirkanov, conductor

Unfortunately, David Finlayson is sometimes the forgotten man in the New York Phil's trombone section, but on this disc, he shows us that he is one of the best. His solos on both pieces are highly musical and technically perfect.

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Richard Wagner: Orchestral WorksRichard Wagner: Orchestral Works
Berlin Philharmonic - Klaus Tennstedt, conductor

From Amazon...
"These are very fine performances of Wagner orchestral favorites, and the only thing that may have prevented their being acclaimed on initial release was the not-so-great early digital sound--nicely cleaned up on this economical and intelligent remastering."

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Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo & JulietRalph Vaughan Williams: Tuba Concerto
London Symphony - Andre Previn, conductor
John Fletcher - Tuba

One of my favorite tracks on any recording that I own is on this album. Fletcher's performance of the Romanza, the middle movement of the Concerto, still gives me chills. His phrasing and tone make for a musical performance. The London Symphony does a fantastic job of accompanying. The disc also features Vaughan Williams' Fifth Symphony.

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Zwilich Bass Trombone ConcertoZwilich: Bass Trombone Concerto
Michigan State Symphony - Leon Gregorian, conductor
Charles Vernon - Bass Trombone

Charles Vernon's performance of the Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Bass Trombone Concerto is superb. This piece is perhaps the tour-de-force for the instrument.

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Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra/Ein HeldenlebenStrauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra/Ein Heldenleben
Chicago Symphony - Fritz Reiner, conductor

From Amazon...
"This recording was the hi-fi demo disc of the 1950s. On CD, it still sounds pretty incredible; an achievement as remarkable technically as it is musically. And what playing! Fritz Reiner sadistically enjoyed driving his players to despair. There's a famous story about principal trumpeter Adolph (Bud) Herseth, who played his tricky little fanfare at the beginning of the second half of Zarathustra so perfectly so many times that even Reiner finally gave up."

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Bartók: Concerto for OrchestraBartók: Concerto for Orchestra
Chicago Symphony - Fritz Reiner, conductor

From Amazon...
"Since its release on LP in the mid-1950s, Fritz Reiner's rendition of the Concerto for Orchestra has stood as the standard against which all other recordings of the work are measured. Even after all these years, the recording remains just as convincing and authoritative. Reiner's superb control of his orchestra and of Bartók's rhythms and textures is still unsurpassed, even by dozens of subsequent conductors in the digital age."

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Mahler: Symphonie No. 3Mahler: Symphonie No. 3
New York Philharmonic - Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Joseph Alessi - Trombone Solo

From Amazon...
"Leonard Bernstein more or less owned this symphony, and both this and his earlier Sony recording are superb. He was one of the few conductors who wasn't afraid of the musical insanity that Mahler unleashes in the first movement (a collision between two marches of very different character), and the New York Philharmonic is one of the few orchestras in the world with the stamina to carry the whole thing off."

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London Trombone SoundLondon Trombone Sound

This is one of the best trombone ensemble albums I've ever heard, and the price isn't bad, either. Eric Crees arranged the entire album and did a great job of it. Notable pieces include the CALA Fanfare, Layla, and 76 Trombones (with 76 trombones!).

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Four of a KindFour of a Kind

These four trombonists are at the pinnacle of their profession and this album proves it. The repertoire is wide ranging in style and substance. The Jobim has since become a very popular recital piece.

Featuring Joseph Alessi, Blair Bollinger, Scott Hartman, and Mark Lawrence

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Triton's JourneyTriton's Journey
Triton Trombone Quartet

I purchased this album for Ben van Dijk's performance of the Woud Serenade. It and many other tracks, including the Bourgeois Quartet and Premru's In Memoriam make this album a must-have.

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