Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

James Bagwell

Abstract/Artist's Statement

“Love and Loss”

A Senior Project Trombone Recital

Artist Statement

In putting together my recital program, I wanted to choose music that had a good balance of contrast and compliment. Going for a theme of “Love and Loss” (being the title of this recital), I chose music that fit that theme, yet contrasted enough musically as to have some variety. The program order is as follows: Sigismond Stojowski’s Fantasy for Trombone and Piano, Carl Maria von Weber’s Romance. After an intermission I will perform the Chorale, Cadence & Fugato by Henri Dutilleux, and finish the recital with a performance of Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs). The theme of Love and Loss comes mainly from Weber and Brahms, with the Stojowski and Dutilleux works being a compliment to that musically. I found that this choice allowed for me to make a very coherent program, each half opening with an exciting piece of music and ending on a more poignant, lyrical note.

Specifically regarding the Brahms Four Serious Songs, I chose to end my recital on this piece as I am performing it in dedication to my grandfather, who passed away in January of 2020. As he was spending his final days in the hospital, I would practice these songs at home as a sort of coping mechanism. Brahms wrote and completed these songs on texts from the Luther Bible regarding death and the transience of life, and dedicated them to the loss of his friend Clara Schumann, completing the piece a year before his own passing. I find that the variety of characters in this piece truly encapsulates the thought process of one coping with the loss of a loved one, or simply contemplating over death. The song cycle has moments of outward depression, internal reminiscence, and even hints of hope and joy.

Preparing for this recital has not necessarily been easy, but it has definitely been a rewarding process. Through the challenges of playing and practicing a brass instrument in Covid times, consistent practice and rehearsal have been difficult to organize. However, now that I am fully vaccinated and inching closer and closer to graduation, I find that this recital marks a new beginning for me.

The members of my Senior Project Board are James Bagwell, Erica Kiesewetter and Marka Gustavsson.

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