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Last Sunday’s concert, the third in Mid Argyll Arts Association’s winter season, broke away from the conventional string or woodwind solo instrument.
This was the chance for the trombone to show off its potential and, in the able hands of the young Peter Moore, we were certainly shown just that.
Peter’s career reads like a fairy tale. The youngest winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 12, deputy principal trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra at 18 and now a New Generation Artist for the BBC and not yet 24. During his short career, he has changed people’s perception of the trombone.
As he explained, historically, the trombone was predominantly a ceremonial instrument and, as a result, little solo music has been written for it. However, its range and tonal colours are similar to those of the cello, as demonstrated in the first half of the concert.
He started with the Sonata in F by Marcello. This and the Brahms E min Sonata, which followed later, demonstrated how well this cross-over can work. There was still the lightness of touch and yet the power needed in the fugal last movement of the Brahms to match the somewhat heavy piano part.
Between these two works, we were given a beautiful rendering of Mahler’s ‘Urlicht’. This, the two settings of Reynaldo Hahn’s songs and Gershwin’s ‘I love you Porgy’ – given as an encore – also demonstrated what a stunning lyrical instrument the trombone can be in evoking the human voice.
For sheer virtuosity, Persichetti’s ‘Parable XVIII’ and Hidas’s ‘Movement for trombone and piano’ were perfect examples of Peter’s amazing technique. The long diminuendo at the end of the solo parable which faded into nothingness was memorable.
Arthur Willard Pryor’s ‘La Petite Suzanne’, the last item in the programme was sheer delight and, as the programme notes stated, ‘a perfect end to a concert’.
Credit must also be given to the accompanist Richard Uttley, not only for delivering some demanding accompaniments, but also his charming solo rendition of Schubert’s Impromptu in E flat major. Together they gave us a wonderful portrait of this amazing instrument, the trombone.