Concertino by Ferdinand David, excerpts
What can I say about the David that hasn’t been said before? This piece is one of the most popular trombone concertos for a reason. It lays well on the trombone, has a challenging range that works well for serious players, and packs a lot of contrasts in dynamics and style into a short piece, making it great for college auditions.
The first excerpt is from the second movement of the Concertino and is set as a funeral march. It is marked at quarter=76, so be sure not to play this too slowly, but you can have some variation as long as you convey the feeling of the procession moving along at a stately pace. If you listen to some of the many orchestral recordings available, some players will take this quite slowly, especially with orchestral accompaniment. I have found that it works better at a slightly faster pace when you play it with piano as opposed to orchestra, since the strings can sustain during the longer notes.
The second excerpt is from the third movement and is a triumphant return to a faster tempo. The first movement is marked at quarter=120, so that should be a rough guideline for you here. As with the first excerpt, the tempo should be appropriate for you to represent the feeling implied by the Italian tempo marking. Allegro maestoso means fast or lively and majestic. These terms can seem contradictory, however. I sometimes like to think of the tempo in cut time rather than in 4/4 to give it a more stately pace. Allegro means fast, but that can mean several things? What about the piece is fast? The overall tempo? The speed of the beat? Or the speed of the fastest notes being played? I like to think of the triplets as moving along at a quicker pace rather than the beat itself. That gives everything more of the majestic quality that is asked for. You wouldn’t expect to see a king or queen running would you?
If you are planning to audition for college, this would be a great choice and you should learn the entire piece rather than just these two short excerpts. The final of the three videos here is a complete performance by New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi.