Trombone Journey by Jan Reinhelt: A Review
A Trombone Journey: 15 Concert Pieces for 2 Travelling Trombones by Jan Reinhelt. Published in 2002 by Musikverlag Bruno Uetz, Halberstadt, Germany.
A Trombone Journey: 15 Concert Pieces for 2 Travelling Trombones is a thoroughly enjoyable set of practice or concert duets by German trombonist Jan Reinhelt. His intention was to present "a journey through different countries and styles." He has struck a wonderful balance between music that is not too difficult for high school or advanced middle school students, yet still enjoyable sight-reading material for college or professional players. The descriptive titles provide clear guidelines for rhythmic style and interpretation, from "Gladiator's March" to "The Hunt," a 6/8 hunting-horn tune, to "Tangoa - Lady from Argentina" and "Cowboy - Deep Down Texas." One of the pieces requires plungers, and glisses and growls are called for in several of them. Mr. Reinhelt has admirably demonstrated his other goal, to show "the incredible amount of colours and techniques the trombone is able to play."
The first part ranges from F at the bottom of the bass clef staff to A above middle C, the second from E below the staff to G above middle C. Both parts are in bass clef throughout. Although melodies are occasionally traded between the two parts, the tessituras mostly keep the first part above the second, and the second part is awkward without an f-attachment.
Although the level of difficulty is fairly consistent throughout, the set is somewhat progressively arranged; the last four or five are more rhythmically complex and cover a slightly wider range in both parts than the first few. My one criticism is that the keys chosen provide little challenge. Most of the pieces are in F Major or d minor, and there are no key signatures with sharps. Chromatic alterations with accidentals are used throughout, however.
I very much enjoyed reading through these duets with another professional player while on a break in a rehearsal, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them as a teaching tool with an advanced middle school student, or to assign a set of them to a pair of high school students to perform on a recital.