Prayer: The first movement starts with a shimmering tremolo in the strings over which the silver voice of the trombone plays an arching phrase that lingers on an extended appoggiatura. The trombone is a lone mystic reaching for the sky and then falling perilously down to the pedal register. Later the orchestra breaks into a frenetic vamp over which the trombone plays intense ascending scales and passage work. The movement ends with an ascent to a high C#, moving to a final ringing high C.
Meditation: After the harp lays out a series of arpeggiated chords, the trombone plays a warm, rich theme in the middle range. The following episodes are variations on this theme. The trombone moves into the upper register, floating with the ease of a lead trombone in a big band. The movement ends with an ascending yearning phrase reaching a high D as the soloist touches the sky and then comes gently back to earth.
Call and Response: The orchestral accompaniment starts in an anxious, mysterious tonality. The trombone enters with a burst of energy playing a machine gun series of Fs. The movement develops into a series of short brilliant solo passages answered boldlyby the orchestra. This movement showcases the stunning declamatory powers of the trombone.
Exaltation: Movement 4 starts as an allegro with intense tremolos in the basses. The trombone breaks out into an articulated driving theme followed by several extended melodic passages. Midway in the movement the strings abruptly lay out a syncopated Latin dance rhythm over which the trombone climbs from the bottom to the top of its range in rapid triplets. In the final codetta the trombone accelerates the dance tempo and climaxes on a series of high C#s in a brilliant and joyous fashion.
The Concerto is 27 minutes in duration and is appropriate for advanced performers. -the publisher