Just over a month ago I came across a work by Elliott Carter called Retracing V. I was completely unaware and absolutely delighted to find this addition to the repertoire. He wrote it in 2011, just a year before he died, and based it on the trombone solo in his Double Trio. I have struggled to find anything specifically about Retracing V, but found the following composer’s note on the Boosey and Hawkes website:
‘Brass instruments, especially the trumpet and trombone, recently interested me for use in chamber music because of their ability to play softly and use different kinds of mutes. Combining them with solo strings fascinated me so I wrote the Double Trio.’
Given that mutes are not used in Retracing V, it seemingly offers little more than heightening the importance of the dynamics. This, however, is crucial to the structure of the work and ensures that it is complete and, in my opinion, perfectly formed; no mean feat given that it is only two minutes long!
This Saturday 4th January it will be receiving what we believe to be its UK premiere in Hall One at King’s Place, opening the Aurora Orchestra’s first concert of 2014 entitled Road Trip. Also in the programme is John Adams’ Chamber Symphony, so there is plenty on offer for the trombone enthusiast. More details can be found here.