Concerto for Trombone and Piano, 1st and 2nd movement
In this masterclass, student Kai Chun Tsang and professor Jacques Mauger journey through the Concerto for Trombone by Henri Tomasi together. Mauger shows Kai Chun Tsang how to put his mind to the music and teaches him the essential essences of what makes up French music. He instructs Kai Chun Tsang to "sing along to the notes as if he were blowing the notes away from the body." In other words, he implores the student to tell a clear narrative through the use of breath control in order to convey the performance to the audience emotionally.
Furthermore, Jacques discusses the egalitarian relationship between the orchestra and the trombone and how the role of the trombone in this piece is to drive the tempo and lead the orchestra.
Controlling one’s breathing.
Characteristics of French music.
Preparation before playing.
Employing expressive dynamics.
Danish composer Launy Grøndahl composed his Concerto for Trombone and Piano in 1924 while vacationing in Italy. The concerto is the composer’s best-known work. It was premiered in Copenhagen by soloist Vilhelm Aarkrogh and has since been recorded by many well-known trombonists. The first movement, Moderato assai ma molto maestoso, is characterized by technically challenging solo declarations by the trombone, supported by the lyricism of the orchestra or piano. The second movement, Quasi una Leggenda: Andante grave, presents beautiful, vocal-like melodies in the trombone. It builds to an expressive climax with a high B-flat in the solo part. The piece concludes with Finale: Maestoso - Rondo. It initially draws from the music of the first movement before giving way to an exciting rondo. The virtuosic music is dominated by the trombone, though interspersed with calmer orchestral sections, and leads to a fortissimo finish.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this trombone masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Jacques Mauger’s feedback and comments.
A prize-winner at international competitions at Markneukirchen and at Toulon.
Jacques Mauger was born in Normandy, France, and studied the trombone at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. A prize-winner at international competitions in Markneukirchen and Toulon, he started his professional career as First Trombone with the Nice Philarmonic Orchestra, followed by a position as a solo trombonist for the Paris Opera Orchestra.
Since 1990, he has been a concert artist, appearing as a soloist with ensembles, symphony orchestras, and brass and concert bands. He has recorded over 30 CDs featuring his solo works.
Jacques Mauger teaches at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Paris and at the HEMU in Switzerland. Moreover, he is a guest professor at the Senzoku Gaquen University of Tokyo, Japan. He frequently gives masterclass in numerous countries: France, UK, Japan, Korea, China, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, the United States, and South America. In 2007, his collection of studies for trombone (in collaboration with Jean Michel Defaye) were published.
A true Ambassador of the French school and its repertoire, he regularly presents masterclasses all over the world to cultivate the careers of future soloists. Jacques Mauger is the new president of the “Association des Trombonistes Français” and president of the International Trombone Association since 2020.
Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960) was a Danish composer and conductor. He began his career at only thirteen as a violinist in the Orchestra of the Casino Theatre in Copenhagen, eventually going on to receive a broader musical education by traveling and studying throughout Vienna, Paris, and Italy. He composed a number of works, including a symphony, concertos for violin and bassoon, a violin sonata, and several pieces for piano. However, his most enduring work is the 1924 Trombone Concerto. Hailed for its lyricism and idiomatic writing for the instrument, it has become a staple in the trombone repertoire.
Grøndahl is also celebrated for his thirty-one-year tenure as the music director of the Danish National Symphony, the country’s finest orchestra. He helped build the orchestra’s reputation from its conception, and is now considered a standout in the history of Danish composers. He is also known for his seminal recordings and interpretations of the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen, as well as the film score for the silent horror movie Häxan. Grøndahl died in 1960 after an accomplished career.