MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS


Arabenne and other trombone works from the North
Christian LINDBERG (b. 1958)

Arabenne, for trombone and strings (1996-97)1 [11:05]
Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996)

Concerto No. 12, Op. 52 (M. 169) (1950)2 [14:04]
Mats LARSSON (b. 1965)

Concerto for trombone and wind instruments (1995)3 [21:03]
Kalevi AHO (b. 1949)

Symphony No. 9, for trombone and orchestra (1993-94)4 [31:19]
Christian Lindberg (trombone)
1Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jean-Jacques Kantorow
2Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/Owain Arwel Hughes
3Östgöta Blåsarsymfoniker/Arie van Beek
4Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä
rec. November 1998, Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland (Lindberg); June 1996, Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark (Holmboe); May 1996, Linköping Concert Hall, Sweden (Larsson); January 1995, Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland (Aho)
BIS CD 888 [78:48]
Experience Classicsonline

I first heard the multi-talented Christian Lindberg as the trombonist in the BIS recording of Kalevi Aho’s Symphony No.9, which also forms part of this compilation. (For a detailed review of this work see my Aho survey.) In Arabenne Lindberg is composer, conductor and soloist; he has combined the first two roles since, most notably in the BIS recording of his haunting piece, The World of Montuagretta (see review).

Not surprisingly, Arabenne is a highly virtuosic work. In his liner-notes Lindberg says the idea was that he and the Swedish string ensemble Musica Vitæ would commission a trombone piece from fellow Swede Jan Sandström, who in turn suggested Lindberg do the honours instead. The result is a marvellously rich and quirky piece that, for reasons unknown to its composer, has a noticeably Middle Eastern flavour. The sinuous trombone passages and pizzicato strings give way to trombone glissandi and, at 2:17, some deliciously ripe interjections, too.

There is much animation in this one-movement work, which also has some trenchant writing for the strings. But it’s the soloist who gets the most original passages, with what can only be described as high-register trills from 3:20 onwards. It’s a mark of Lindberg’s skill that he pulls this off without any sign of unevenness or strain.

Even in the short, melancholic passage that follows Lindberg maintains a full, resonant sound, very well captured by the BIS engineers. In his solo he coaxes some astonishing sonorities from the trombone, not to mention some earthy blasts from 9:30 onwards. There’s a spirited dash to the finish and a final, defiant riposte from the soloist. This is most diverting, the composer more carefree and extrovert than in the reflective – and intense – World of Montuagretta, written several years later.

We go back nearly half a century to the Holmboe concerto. Cast in three movements, but played without a break, it has a strongly formal character, the soloist well integrated into the musical texture. The rhythms of the opening Allegro – forthright, with Nielsen-like snare drums included – is very supple, Lindberg’s more inward contributions beautifully essayed above quiet strings.

The Andante tranquillo has some of the most elegiac and expressive trombone playing you’re likely to hear anywhere. Alas, it’s much too short and soon we’re plunged into the final Allegro, with its perky, well-defined rhythms. I was struck by Owain Arwel Hughes’ judicious blend of orchestral discipline and brio, the Aalborg band sounding crisp and characterful throughout. An underrated maestro, I think, and one who surely deserves to be more widely heard.

Mats Larsson received his commission for a trombone concerto from the Swedish National Concert Agency and the Östgöta wind band. As he explains in the CD booklet, he wanted to focus on the trombone’s ‘lyrical and dramatically expressive aspects’. This is abundantly clear from the long, mournful solo lines that open this work. There is a vaguely jazzy feel to the writing at times, underpinned by dense, brooding accompaniment from the Östgöta players.

This is by far the most angular and audibly ‘modern’ piece here, with some rough and insistent orchestral figures and upper-register pyrotechnics from the soloist. Cast in a single movement this music is punctuated by bracing percussive episodes – from 5:40, for example – but broadly it’s a series of contrasting sections in which the soloist is often absorbed into the orchestral mix. It’s a much brighter, more forceful piece than either the Lindberg or the Holmboe but there is plenty of bass weight and thrust as well. The recording is a little forward, but not bright, which seems entirely appropriate here.

Lindberg’s long, singing trombone lines are most impressive, as is his ability to cope with some of Larsson’s more athletic melodies. The Östgöta band sound polished enough, the wide-ranging recordings notable for its muscular bass and clear, unexaggerated treble. In the extended solo passage Lindberg plays with considerable warmth and fluidity, rather confirming his reputation as one of the most accomplished trombonists around.

Lindberg doesn’t disappoint in the Aho piece either. This is the most substantial and rewarding item on what is already a very well filled disc (nearly 79 minutes); indeed, the formidable Symphony No. 9 also confirms Aho’s stature as one of Finland’s finest living composers. The playing in all four of these works is very good indeed, as are the recordings. A mandatory purchase for anyone interested in the modern trombone and one of its most invigorating and versatile exponents.

Dan Morgan




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.