19th Century (1st half): Rossini, La Gazza Ladra; Schubert, Symphony No. 9; Berlioz, Symphony Fantastique; Wagner, Tannhauser; Berlioz, Hungarian March
19th Century (2nd half): Verdi, Requiem; Wagner, Ride of the Valkyries
The problem with YouTube clips for this kind of stuff is that it’s hit and miss: some are excellent (e.g., I was excited to find the old Chicago section playing Tannhauser under Solti), but many are less than desirable. Hopefully the ones included in the timeline are good enough to at least provide a taste for the trombone part and its role in the piece. I’ve embedded a few of the clips below to pique your interest; see the Timeline for the others!
1830—Hector Berlioz writes Symphony Fantastique, one of the earliest orchestral works to give trombones a prominent, independent role.
1845—Richard Wagner, Tannhauser (trombone soli in clip below is at 2:37).
1874—Giuseppe Verdi composes his Manzoni Requiem, often called his “greatest opera,” in honor of poet-patriot Alessandro Manzoni. Premiered a year later at the Church of San Marco, Milan, the work calls for 3 trombones. The “Dies irae,” in particular, in which “volcanic anger is depicted by the powerful brass and timpani,” utilizes trombone prominently (Chase 300).