I just added these recordings to the Trombone History Timeline (18th Century). Some of them I also added to the Alto Trombone Timeline. Several of these pieces are absolutely striking, and we should probably know them better as trombonists. The album by Ensemble La Fontaine, called Fede e Amor, is particularly beautiful and well worth your time if you’re a trombone player!
1705—Vienna, Austria: Marc’ Antonio Ziani writes the solo motet Alma Redemptoris Mater. Scored for 2 trombones, bassoon, alto voice, and continuo, it includes numerous solo passages for trombone (Wigness 26).
c. 1718—Vienna, Austria: Johann Joseph Fux, a leading composer at the Imperial Court, writes Sonata a Quattro. Scored for violin, cornetto, trombone, bassoon, and organ, it is an early example of the virtuosic use of trombone in a chamber music setting (Wigness 14).
1718—Vienna, Austria: Johann Joseph Fux’s aria, “Dal limbo” from Cristo nell’orto, features obbligato alto trombone and is scored for alto voice, alto trombone, and 2 violins (Carter, Trombone Obbligatos).
1723—Vienna, Austria: Giuseppe Porsile’s aria, “La sovrana eterna” from Il trionfo di Giuditta, features alto voice with alto trombone obbligato (Carter, Trombone Obbligatos).
1723—Vienna, Austria: Francesco Conti’s aria, “Fuggo d’una in altra selva” from Il David perseguitato, features alto voice with alto trombone obbligato (Carter, Trombone Obbligatos).
1723—Dresden, Germany: Bohemian musician Jan Dismas Zelenka, composer at the Dresden court, writes Responsoria pro hebdomada sancta, which includes colla parte trombones. An autograph remark at the head of the score indicates, “Tutte le Viole e Tromboni,” while colla parte instructions elsewhere include “[Alto clef] Alto Viola e Alto Trombone; [Tenor clef] Tenore Viola e Tenore Trombone; [Bass clef] Violoncello, Violone, Fagotto e Bass Trombone” (Stockigt, 117).
1724—Vienna, Austria: Antonio Caldara’s arias, “Deh scogliere” and “Languire, morire” from Morte, e sepoltura di Christo, feature obbligato alto trombone with solo voice (Carter, Trombone Obbligatos).
1725—Leipzig, Germany: J. S. Bach’s Cantata No. 68 utilizes 3 trombones to double choral parts.
1726—Vienna, Austria: Antonio Caldara’s aria, “Cosí a fiume” from Joaz, features solo alto voice with alto trombone obbligato (Carter, Trombone Obbligatos).
1732—Vienna, Austria: Pietro Casati, Salve Regina.
1742—Vienna, Austria: Franz Ignaz Tuma, Sonata a 2 violini e 2 tromboni.
1760—Paris, France: François-Joseph Gossec composes Messe des morts, a Requiem Mass first performed at the Jacobean monastery of the rue St. Jacques, and subsequently performed at least a dozen times in Paris before the Revolution. Three trombones, along with several other wind instruments, appear offstage in the “Tuba mirum” (see 21:15 in the recording below; Guion, Trombone 169; Chase 200). Later, Gossec makes the following comment about the piece: “In the two strophes Tuba mirum and Mors stupebit et natura of the Dies irae, people were frightened by the terrible effect of three trombones with four clarinets, four trumpets, four horns, and eight bassoons hidden in the distance and in an elevated place in the church to announce the last judgment” (Guion, Trombone 170).