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Little is known about Henri Hippolyte Potier (1816–1878). Composer, accompanist and vocal coach at the Opéra Comique (1836–1849) and at the Opéra de Paris (1850–1856). Lecturer at the Conservatory for the study of the role (1840–1855) then teacher of this discipline until 1875. In this same year he became a professor of singing at the Conservatoire, position he held until 1878.
The Premier Solo for the new Sax Trombone with six valves and independent tubes is dedicated to “my friend Dieppo” who was the trombone professor at the Conservatoire between 1836 and 1871, and also of the class of valve trombone for the military students.
The Premier Solo was imposed at the 1865 competition for the valve trombone. It was customary to order pieces for the competition from composers with a teaching activity in the Conservatory.
The trombone with six valves and independent tubes takes its principles of the slide trombone. Each one of these six valves corresponds to a position of the slide trombone: the first valve corresponds to the 2nd position, the 2nd valve to the 3rd position, etc. Thus, the sound corresponds to a given length obtained with a valve.
The Premier Solo recalls a vocal Arietta. After an introduction (Allegro Maestoso) in F major, a short recitative leads to an Allegro Moderato. A second, more lyrical theme, concludes this part for the solo. The piano repeating the introductory measures ends this part. The Andante in D minor, which follows, in 6/8 and lyrical character, gives the trombonist the opportunity to show his virtuoso abilities on two occasions. The initial Allegro is at the base for the end of the piece, where the trombone is offered a highly developed optional line that culminates in an ultimate cadence.
The Premier Solo (it cant be deduced that there existed others) is a typical example of a contest piece: it exposes an inventory of the instrumental technique of that period.
Paris, November 2019
- Urtext Edition | Benny Sluchin
- The Brass Press