Dale Vail

Trombonist, Composer, Nice Guy

Psyche - Concerto for Trombone and Brass Band

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Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 9.07.42 am.png

Psyche - Concerto for Trombone and Brass Band

80.00

Psyche - Concerto for Trombone and Brass Band

Playing level : A grade/1st-championship section

Psyche is a concerto for trombone and brass band, was written in 2018 by Dale Vail, to be performed by in his own masters of music (research) recital.

The title, Psyche, refers to the fact that this concerto was written to feature aspects of trombone playing valued by the composer, in an effort to give insight into the composer's mind. Contrasts prevail throughout the work, with a large dynamic spectrum, rapid changes from technical work to legato phrases, and a unpredictable band accompaniment, all brought together by a relentless drum kit. The music reflects hints at motifs from some of Dale’s most valued compositions, including Christchurch Alive, Crimson Moon, and Genesis.

The work is in three continuous movements. A fiery opening to the work shows off the trombones glissando capabilities, variety of articulation, and dynamic powers to soar over a roaring band. The music abruptly drops into mysterious textural soundscape, allowing the trombonists enchanting melody to come through. The music jumps between flowing phrases, relentless bass lines, and moments of flair, culminating in a recap of the works opening. The opening theme still is not allowed to resolve, and dissolves into a hollow texture.

A melody based on the 1st movements bass patterns transitions us into a 2nd movement. A jazz ballad, featuring the full capabilities of the trombones ability to play soft, sustained and with a variety of colours. The band is allowed to flourish into indulgent moments of passion before making way for the soloist to play with the melody.

A seamless transition back into an allegro transitions us into the 3rd movement, with an erratic rendition of the opening theme. The music largely based around the style of the 1st movement, reflects back on material from the 2nd movement. A splash of a major key, a rock beat based around the cycle of 5ths and fiendish trombone technical work is prominent in this movement. The music builds to a climax, only to dissolve away. Out of the descending patterns of the band, the drums drive on relentlessly, culminating in a solo drum fill that plays out to a false ending. Out of nowhere, the drums bring us back into a dramatic finale, that finally resolves the opening theme and brings the work to a fiery end.

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