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The Beautiful Ghosts

£6.00£11.00

The Beautiful Ghosts

£6.00£11.00

This piece follows straight on from the relentless Giants in the Rain, and is therefore a quiet, ethereal contrast. Giants started with a long piano introduction, Ghosts has the solo trombone softly laying out the theme, a recitative-like chant based on the most recurrent motif of the recital, a 5-note snippet going up or down towards the end.  The piano joins the second (now muted) version of this theme, flitting between airy wisps and lower, darker accompaniment.  The ghosts always have sinister beauty.

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This piece follows straight on from the relentless Giants in the Rain, and is therefore a quiet, ethereal contrast. Giants started with a long piano introduction, Ghosts has the solo trombone softly laying out the theme, a recitative-like chant based on the most recurrent motif of the recital, a 5-note snippet going up or down towards the end.  The piano joins the second (now muted) version of this theme, flitting between airy wisps and lower, darker accompaniment.  The ghosts always have sinister beauty.

The middle section is a duet where the two instruments ‘pop’ bubbles in the ether.  The tonality becomes increasingly spectral and there are snatches of the opening bars.

Then a last version of the theme, the quietest yet, accompanied by chords reminiscent of the music Stravinsky wrote for Debussy’s funeral, the piano again floating between octaves.  Despite a temporary gleam of light, the ghosts fade into the darkness.

I definitely think of these last two pieces as a brace, and very much as part-of-a-recital pieces.  Without them it would be less of a whole, as all the other works, with one other recital-component exception, stand up better (than these) as solo items.  But as twins they could be a single thing, displaying as they do two utterly different sides of the instrument.  ‘Giants’ is for me about the very sound of a trombone, the very word.  Sonorous, rich, round: all the adjectives that are used when describing the opposite of the raspy old traditional circus noise.  And ‘Ghosts’ shows the other non-cliched aspect of the instrument, its great capacity for noble understatement and quiet beauty.

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Score Type

PDF Download, Physical Copy

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