Boston Brass Series BB-1002CD


Recorded in 1990, Hindemith on Trombone shows a diversified collection of works of this most famous 20th century composer. The sonatas for trombone and alto horn frame this album of duets, quartets, and the famous Trauermusik for viola and orchestra. As well as appealing to trombonists, it has become a must for those interested in the overall music of Paul Hindemith.

With Lawrence Isaacson, Scott Hartman, trombones; Douglas Yeo,  bass trombone; Bo Youp Hwang, Sheila Fiekowsky, Ronan Lefkowitz, Jennie Shames, violin; Rachel Fagerburg, Mary Ray, viola; Jonathan Miller, Ronald Lowry, cello; Lawrence Wolfe, James Orleans, bass; Ronald Feldman, conductor


Sonata for Trombone and Piano (1941),

Drei Leichte Stücke (1938), original for cello and piano

Morgenmusik (1932), from Plöner Musiktag

Stücke (1941), original for Bassoon and Cello

Trauermusik (1936), Music of Mourning original for Viola and Orchestra

Six Chansons (1939), original for voice, on poems of Rainer Maria Rilke

Sonata for Alto Horn in Eb and Piano (1943),


International Trombone Association Journal, Volume 20 No. 1 Winter 1992

Hindemith on Trombone, Ronald Barron, Trombone; Fredrik Wanger, piano; Lawrence Isaacson, Scott Hartman, trombone; Douglas Yeo, bass trombone; members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra string section, conducted by Ronald Feldman. Boston Brass Series BB1002CD.

Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Trombone and Piano; Drei Leichte Stucke for Cello and Piano; Morgenmusik (trans. for trombone quartet); Stucke for Bassoon and Cello ( performed on tenor and bass trombone) Trauermusik for Viola(trombone) and String Orchestra; Six Chansons (trans. for trombone quartet); Sonata for Alto Horn in E-flat and Piano (performed on trombone).

Ronald Barron, principal trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has skillfully selected seven works (four solo pieces, two quartets, and one duet) for inclusion in this, his second solo recording.

Of special interest to the trombone community are the transcriptions for trombone quartet of Morgenmusik (originally for brass quartet) and the Six Chansons (originally for male chorus). They set a high standard as transcribed literature pieces and are beautifully played at a high artistic level of performance by the trombone quartet members.

Barron must also be complimented for both informative and well-researched liner notes which, to my delight, mention Davis Shuman during the 1950's for championing the performance of Hindemith's trombone music. All of the performers are to be congratulated for a successful, imaginative, and well-produced CD......Philip Jameson, University of Georgia

The Boston Globe, February 18, 1993

On the face of it, this CD might seem of pretty specialized interest. To the general public, Hindemith has about the worst reputation this side of Schoenberg, and the trombone is familiar as a solo instrument only to people with a special interest in brass playing. But it turns out that "Hindemith on Trombone" is a very interesting and attractive disc. Ronald Barron, the BSO's principal trombonist, put together an imaginative program of music, only one piece actually composed for trombone, the 1941 Sonata for Trombone and Piano. Barron also takes on one of Hindemith's greatest works, the "Trauermusik" ("Music for Mourning"), originally written for viola and string orchestra, the "Six Chansons," which exist in both solo and choral versions, some duets originally conceived for cello and piano, and bassoon and cello, and a masterly five-movement sonata for Alto Horn and Piano. The music is varied in length, tone, density, character and sound--the bassoon/cello duet is transcribed for trombone and bass trombone; the transparent "house music" "Drei Leichte Stücke" ("Three Easy Pieces") is followed by the stately, public "Morgenmusik" for trombone choir. If any composer could ever have solved the balance problem between trombone and piano, Hindemith would have been the man; the performance may have solved it too, but the recording does not-pianist Fredrik Wanger plays very well, but his instrument does recede behind the trombone. Barron has surrounded himself with first-class instrumental colleagues from the BSO and Boston's free-lance pool; Ronald Feldman conducts the "Trauermusik". His own playing has the virtues we associate with good singing-beauty of sound, evenness across the registers, legato and personal commitment; the plangent colors for the "Trauermusik" are particularly affecting. ...........Richard Dyer

Fanfare Magazine, January/February 1992 Volume 15 No.3

Despite the titles, this is a trombone disc all the way. Only the opening sonata is played as written, but the instrument is well suited to Hindemith's music, and Ronald Barron (first trombone of the Boston Symphony) plays so beautifully that we must forgive the arrangements.

The 1941 trombone sonata has three Allegros and an Allegretto. Barron plays it for all it's worth, in contrast to Mark Lawrence's easygoing performance in the Summit two-disc set of Hindemith brass music (Fanfare 14:6). The complex piano part emerges more clearly in that set, but the trombone gets its rare chance to shine here, and Barron's performance is galvanizing. The gentle Three Easy Pieces are lovely on the trombone; one cannot imagine they were written for another instrument. Morning Music is basically three slowish brass fanfares; the bright colors of trumpets are missed, but the trombone quartet does produce interesting and unusual sonorities. Trombone and bass trombone play the four brief Pieces written for Hindemith (bassoon) and his wife (cello); I have not heard the original. Barron calls them" musically satisfying and rewarding;" he and Douglas Yeo are obviously enjoying themselves.

We are so accustomed to the viola as soloist in the Funeral Music that a trombone seems out of place, almost intrusive, despite Barron's delicate playing. Replacing an a cappella chorus with a quartet of trombones would seem even more brazen, but the result is six effective instrumental pieces which need no words. They may even prove a point for Barron: music is music, and the trombone can be an effective, expressive instrument for conveying it. Barron says of the Sonata for Alto Horn: "A lyric work, it soars with sweeping grandeur, and bows with reverence of reflection." He plays it on an alto trombone, which has much the color of an alto horn; this is a glorious performance, smooth yet grand. Hindemith's poem The Posthorn is read at its place in the score, prior to the finale. For the sonatas which open and close this disc, these are now my preferred performances.

The recordings, made in Symphony Hall, Boston, are rich and full; the solo trombone sounds glorious in the reverberant acoustic, but the piano loses some clarity and the spoken text almost disappears. The accompanying booklet is a model of its kind: Barron writes informatively on each piece, crediting the arrangements; English texts are given for the songs, even though they are not sung, and there are brief bios of Barron and Wanger. The final credits include the instruments played by Barron: a Conn 88-H and a Yamaha Alto YSL-671. This superb disc will be a must for brass fanciers; I recommend it to all who find satisfaction in Hindemith's music.........James H. North