Gounod's Solo de Trombone was never published by the author, and the score soon disappeared, being declared lost by the ensemble of biographers of the composer until recently. Two manuscripts have enabled the reconstitution of this edition. The first - atrombone part, was discovered in a flea market at the end of the 1990s, the second belongs to Frantz Couvez, trombonist, who has a photocopy given by his teacher, Gilbert Moisand. Different stylistic elements quickly confirmed that this is a genuine Gounod piece: the general style, close to the six melodies for horn and piano of 1839, certain harmonic detours-even if the style is not yet quite personal - and piano accompaniment, which is not without some problems. The non-pianistic aspect of other works of the composer, already striking in the Melodies for horn, is indeed found here: Gounod was not a pianist and hated to produce this kind of reduction, detail confirmed by Gerard Conde. This edition therefore reorganizes certain passages (complete or redistributed harmony, improved pianistic figurations, superimposed hands_).
This Solo is written in two movements. The first, in G minor, begins with an andante introduction, astonishingly developed in relationship to the entire piece. This tutti leads to an adagio cantabile in 6/8, a true aria with Italian sensuality. The instrumental line, supported by a regular swinging triplet, follows the contours of a vocal phrase characteristic of Bellini or Donizetti, then in vogue in Paris. The second part of the piece in molto pomposo and ben marcato in B flat major, acts as a cabalette, concluding with figures in triplets of a not insignificant difficulty. -Laurent Madeuf