Year of composition
Adagio funebre. Cadenza – Allegro feroce
Like the Concerto for trombone and orchestra Op. 70, this Sonata has been written at the request of the virtuoso trombonist Ricard Casero.
The piece is structured in two uninterrupted movements, separated by sizable “Cadenza”. The first movement “Adagio funebre” has a deep content. From the lowest register, the piano presents the main theme, of a dark and depressing character, in octaves. The trombone now takes the lead, initiating a process of dynamic change with soaring textures of strong direction and projection, which culminates with the reexposition of the theme by the piano, now fully harmonized and fortissimo. The trombone interrupts the climax suddenly with a new vision, distant and soft in the high register. Gradually the music sinks to the lowest and most dramatic register, ending the movement in the deepest pessimism. The Cadenza, which follows without interruption, serves as a bridge linking the two movements. Thematically, the Cadenza synthesizes the material of the first movement and hints at the principal material of the next movement. It is also laid out with clear direction, starting in the deepest pessimism to culminate with great exaltation.
The last movement, unlike the first, is extroverted, rhythmic, fast and virtuosic. The syncopation of the piano, combined with the repeated notes and glissandos of the trombone, give the first theme great strength and energy. Following a contrapuntal bridge, a second theme arrives, lyrical and rich with long prases, which is presented by the piano, and then repeated by the trombone. In the distended central part, beneath a rhythm of repeated notes, material from the first movement reappears and a modified and shorter reexposition develops which leads to a highly, rhythmic and elated coda. The composer has orchestrated this sonata for strings, piano and percussion under the title Sonata-Concertino for trombone and orchestra.