Stefan Schulz, bass trombone player in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, is one of the foremost exponents of his instrument, and as such travels extensively giving concerts around the world. Released in 2010, his first disc on BIS – Berlin Recital – was a live recording made during a concert on his own home ground, the Philharmonie in Berlin. On that disc, too, he opened with a set of songs, demonstrating the melodic potential of an instrument that is usually associated with music of a more overpowering nature. Here a quartet of Russian songs gives Schulz the opportunity to show another side – yearning and melancholic – of the bass trombone, with sensitive support from the pianist Saori Tomidokoro. What follows next is a varied programme ranging from Telemann's Sonata in F minor, originally for bassoon, to works by two living composers, Daniel Schnyder and Søren Hyldgaard, who made this version of his trombone concerto especially for Schulz. The concert also takes in Schumann's well-known Adagio and Allegro as well as Alexei Lebedev’s Concert Allegro, composed exactly 100 years after Schumann’ piece (in 1949) but nevertheless resolutely Romantic, in a style closer to Rachmaninov than Shostakovich. Copenhagen Recital ends as it began, in song. With this arrangement of The Sky Darkens Stefan Schulz has chosen an encore to suit the venue: the tune is by the Norwegian composer Thora Borch, who in 1866 set a poem by the influential Danish poet and educator N.F.S. Grundtvig. The resulting song rapidly became popular and has remained so, to the point of being included in the Danish Hymnbook in 2003.
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