Review by: Jed Distler
Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 7
The idea of playing the vocal part of Schubert’s Winterreise on the modern slide trombone may seem far-fetched on paper, yet the multi-talented Matthew Gee’s cultivated mastery compensates for the lack of a text. He adjusts his timbre to each song’s specific emotional quality while following Schubert’s phrasings and dynamics closely. Gee also shifts registers for variety’s sake, although sometimes his use of mutes can stick out like a sore thumb (in Die Wetterfahne, for example).
The more lyrical, introspective songs provide ideal showcases for Gee’s smooth sonority and prodigious breath control; check out his honey-filled legato control in Der Lindenbaum, or those seamless and suave interval leaps in Rast. Pianist Christopher Glynn matches his partner’s singing tone with seamlessly dovetailed support. The sonics are rather diffuse and muffled at times, but the high level of music making always comes through. What could have been a gimmick or curio turns out to be a plausible and intelligently considered artistic endeavor.
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Recording Details:Album Title: Trombone Travels, Vol. 1: Winter Journey
Reference Recording: None for this arrangement
- SCHUBERT, FRANZ:Winterreise D. 911 (arranged for trombone by Matthew Gee)
- Matthew Gee (trombone); Christopher Glynn (piano)
- Naxos - 8574093