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Paul Antonin Vidal was born in Toulouse in 1863 and died in Paris in 1931. After having studied at the Conservatory of his hometown, he continued at the Conservatoire de Musique de Paris and finished in 1879 with a first prize in harmony and in 1881 a 1st prize in counterpoint. He was 1st Grand Prix of Rome in 1883 and became deputy choirmaster at the Opera in 1889, director of singing in 1892 and conductor in 1906. From 1914 to 1919 he was director of music at the Opéra Comique.
From 1910 to 1930, Vidal taught at the Paris Conservatory solfeggio, accompaniment, counterpoint and fugue in the class created by Reiche in 1818. He left an abundant musical production: cantatas, operas, operettas, ballets, stage music, etc.
The Solo de Concert [published at first by Millereau (Schoenaers succ’.) - 1861-1917 - but no more available since], is dedicated to his brother Joseph-Bernard Vidal (1859–1924), as well conductor and composer.
An initial Allegro in A minor challenges the velocity of the trombone in the high register. Followed by a lyrical Adagio, in E minor. The final part in 3/8 is an Allegro Vivo in A major, which turns into a sung phrase in D major, before taking up the tone of A for the final part of upright arpeggios and descending scales of a certain virtuosity.
The Solo de Concours is a typical example of a piece for competitions: it exposes an inventory of the instrumental technique of the time.
The “Morceau de lecture à première vue” (Prima Vista piece) is linked to the competition for which the Solo de Concert was composed. In fact, the rules of the competition at the Paris Conservatory stated that, apart from the Competition Piece, the participants had another imposed work. Shorter, it would be to sight read the day of the contest. Generally, the composer of the competition piece also composed the piece to be deciphered. In 1897 Paul Vidal composed again the test piece, the Solo de Concours No. 2.
During the first period of the 19th century, the accompaniment of the sight-reading piece was most frequently entrusted to the cello. Later, the piano gradually took place, depending on the instruments. The trombone started to be accompanied by the piano from 1872.
Paris, November 2019
- Urtext Edition | Benny Sluchin
- The Brass Press