Boston Brass Series BB-1004CD



In this recording, the trombone invites members of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion families to dine at the same musical table in a presentation of four original American duets and two arrangements.

Edwin Barker,bass; Thomas Gauger, percussion; Marianne Gedigian,flute; Ann Hobson Pilot,harp; Douglas Yeo,bass trombone


In The Family (1991) ; Harold Shapero (b. 1920)

Eight Preludes Opus 34 (1932-1933); Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975), original for piano

Commedie Opus 42 (1971); Frank Campo (b. 1927)

Six Studies in English Folksong (1926); Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958), original for cello

Conversation (1976); Charles Small (b. 1927)

Esque (1971); Roger Kellaway (b. 1939)


International Trombone Association Journal, Volume 26 No. 3 Summer 1998

In The Family Ronald Barron, Trombone: Edwin Barker, bass; Marianne Gedigian, flute; Thomas Gauger, percussion; Ann Hobson Pilot, harp; Douglas Yeo, bass trombone.

Harold Shapero: In The Family. Dimitri Shostakovitch/Douglas Yeo: Eight Preludes. Op. 34. Frank Campo: Commedie, Op. 42. Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Six Studies in English Folksong. Charles Small: Conversation. Roger Kellaway: Esque. Ron Barron is the widely known and respected principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The "family" in the title composition of this disc refers in the present case to several of Barron's colleagues from the BSO with whom he collaborates in a fine recital of chamber music. Harold Shapero wrote In The Family for members of his own family, but Barron and flutist Gedigian make this wide-ranging six-movement suite their own. Douglas Yeo rearranged four movements of Allen Ostrander's transcription of Shostakovitch Preludes and added four more to present a more substantial and virtuosic whole. This and the three short movements of Commedie, are works that are demanding both for the performers and the listener. Campo's Commedie is a challenging duo for trombone and percussion, while Roger Kellaway's Esque seems more approachable because of its jazz references. Despite its considerable difficulty, Barron and bassist Barker make it sound like fun, not work. Yeo joins Barron in Charlie Small's Conversation. Probably the best known work in this CD, however, is Vaughan-Williams folk song set. This performance is lyrical and romantic and has a more delicate sound than many low brass players are used to hearing, due to the use of harp rather than piano. It is truly a delight. This engaging group of pieces is performed in the outstanding fashion that trombonists have come to expect from Barron, and he is matched by the proficiency of his colleagues. The sound of the recording is rich and warm. Check out this CD as well as Barron's other Boston Brass releases. ...Kurt Dietrich, Ripon College

Fanfare Magazine, March/April 1997

In the Family, Ronald Barron, trombone, Marianne Gedigian, flute, Douglas Yeo, bass trombone, Thomas Gauger, percussion, Ann Hobson Pilot, harp, Edwin Barker, double bass Boston Brass Series BB 1004[DDD] 69:57. Produced by Ronald Barron. All-American Trombone, Ronald Barron, trombone, Fredrik Wanger, piano, The Atlantic Brass Quintet, Harvard University Wind Ensemble. Boston Brass Series BB1003 [DDD]; 61:21 Produced by Ronald Barron

Mr. Barron has been principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1975; it goes without saying that he plays superbly. Still, an hour of solo trombone might be a bit much, so Barron enlists the help of his friends. In The Family is the title of Harold Shapero's six-movement suite for trombone and flute-a neat combination-but it also refers to the players, who are all BSO members and teachers in the Boston area. Tenor and bass trombone may seem a strange combination for eight Shostakovitch piano preludes, but Douglas Yeo's arrangement provides beautiful harmonies as the two instruments cover an extremely wide range in the Shostakovitch manner. Frank Campo's Commedie is avant-garde music for trombone and percussion; it demands and receives some amazing virtuoso playing. Vaughan William's folksy suite is warm and lovely on a trombone, and the subtle harp accompaniment fits perfectly. Charles Small's clever Conversation has two neighbors schmoozing and arguing over a back fence, as reported by two trombones. Roger Kellaway's Esque is a jazz pianist's view of modern music, including "minimalist cubism" and even a tone row,. with carefully worked-out structure the jazz elements display yet another side of Barron's virtuosity, but the piece sounds a bit academic nevertheless.

All-American Trombone is livelier fare. William Goldstein's Colloquy is an energetic military-band concerto, very American in its grand exuberance, and it gets the disc off to a flying start. Alec Wilder's Sonata includes a piano accompaniment, despite its title, it is calm and mellow but builds to a grand final flourish. Leonard Bernstein's Elegy (to his brother's dog) is over in two minutes. James Willey's Three Pieces are Grit, Sadness, and Hokum, the last of which is that rarity, truly funny music; it brings the disc back to life. Barron finishes strongly with three classics from the turn of the century, as The Atlantic Brass Quintet imitates the Sousa Band. This is gorgeous music; here Barron switches to a Bach 36 trombone, which he plays with the agility of a cornet and the warmth of a French horn, Annie Laurie ends with the mother of all trombone cadenzas, which should bring Barron's audiences screaming to their feet. Trombone fanciers will want both these discs, but All-American Trombone is a must for everybody. Great sound, too!......James H. North