by Bruce Stark
(bass trombone and piano)
Harbinger for bass trombone and piano was commissioned by and composed for bass trombonist Jonathan Warburton in 2017. The title comes from the proclamatory nature of the trombone writing, with its rising 4th and 5th motives, as though heralding a coming event. Lyrical material follows, and the piece embraces these two aspects in an overall A-B-A form. The piano provides a forum of rhythmic underpinning, antiphonal melodic phrases, and robust support over which the bass trombone sings its song. The piece concludes quietly, with bass trombone offering gentle reminders of the initial motive as the music fades away, like echoes of a message still calling for our attention.
A special thanks goes to Jonathan Warburton for his initiative in commissioning this piece, his infectious enthusiasm, and his fabulous musicianship.