I decided to add audio/video clips to the Trombone History Timeline. This will probably be an ongoing thing, but initially I’ve added two dozen YouTube clips. Below is a breakdown by page, as well as a few highlights to grab your interest.
16th century: Striggio, Gabrieli (multiple)
17th century (1st half): Monteverdi (multiple), Massaino, Schütz, Schein, Grandi, Marini
17th century (2nd half): Hake, Locke, Schütz, Biber
18th century: Fux (multiple), Gossec, Mozart (multiple)
19th century: Schumann
20th century: Stravinsky, Bartok
1597—Venice: Giovanni Gabrieli writes several works that feature trombone prominently. Sonata pian e forte is an 8-part canzona for two choirs; the first calls for 3 trombones and a cornetto, the second for 3 trombones and a violin. Canzon Quarti Toni is a 15-part work that calls for violin, 2 cornetts, and 12 trombones. Canzon in Echo Duodecimi Toni is scored for 8 cornetts and 2 trombones, while Canzon sudetta accomodata per concertar con l’Organo calls for 8 cornetts, 2 trombones, and organ (Winkler 298). Many additional Gabrieli works feature trombone prominently, ranging from 4-part canzonas (1 cornett and 3 trombones) to 22-part canzonas. A large body of Gabrieli’s concerted music for voices with instruments also features trombone prominently; for example, Quem vidistis pastores a 14, which utilizes 3 trombones, and Surrexit Christus a 16, which calls for 4 trombones. According to musicologist David Schulenberg, “the most important instruments in this music [Venetian polychoral works]—after the organ, which furnished the basso continuo—were the cornetto and the sackbut.”
1607—Mantua, Italy: Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, considered by many the first true opera, uses 5 trombones (2 altos, 2 tenors, and a bass). Trombones are particularly prominent in the underworld scenes (Daubeny 95). An ensemble of trombones and cornettos plays in acts III and IV.
1664—Heinrich Schütz writes his Christmas History, which includes a pair of trombones acting as obbligato instruments and specifically representing high priests (Smallman 151).
1767—Salzburg, Austria: The skeptical Archbishop locks 11-year-old Mozart in a room by himself to see if he can really compose without help from his father. Mozart writes the cantata Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, K 35, which uses solo alto trombone in Christ’s aria, “Jener Donnerworte Kraft.”
1918—Igor Stravinsky’s septet, The Soldier’s Tale, makes extensive soloistic use of trombone. The performance in the below YouTube clip begins at 11:40.