Chargement en cours

An error has occurred. Please

Orchestral Tales: the trombone

Paolo Pietropaolo

If you take the most famous solos for a given instrument of the orchestra, you’ll find a vivid character emerges — a character with a magical story to tell. That’s the idea behind Orchestral Tales, Season 3 of the award-winning Signature Series.

To hear the trombone’s tale, click on the Soundcloud play button below. Follow along with the pop-up comments to find out what composition is playing, or scroll down for a complete list.

Read more about the trombone’s characteristics below.


Orchestral section:


Patron instrument of:

Paramedics. Firefighters. Never giving up.

Trombone-like fictional characters:

- Hodor, from Game of Thrones.
- Obelix, from the Asterix comic series

1 trombone clip to watch before you die:

Everything the trombone can do, in one TED talk. Plus, she tap dances. While playing the trombone:

3 immortal trombone moments in pop culture:

1. The Specials, "A Message to you, Rudy", featuring jazz trombonist Rico Rodriguez:

2. The trombone solo in Frank Sinatra’s version of "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," arranged by Nelson Riddle (a.k.a. The Best Trombone Solo In History).

3. Anytime Commander Riker played the trombone on Star Trek: the Next Generation.

Bonus: anytime Homer Simpson played the trombone on The Simpsons.

1 reason to play the trombone:

Because no one has as much fun as trombonists do.

Famous trombonists you should know about:

- Bandleader Glenn Miller.
- Bandleader Tommy Dorsey
- Composer Gustav Holst.
- Jazz composer and arranger Nelson Riddle.
- Bebop trombonist J. J. Johnson.
- Pop star Nelly Furtado.
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
- Hollywood actor and director Jonathan Frakes.

Pieces heard in The Trombone’s Tale (in order of first appearance):

- Mahler: Symphony No. 3, first movement
- Sibelius: Finlandia
- Holst: "Mars: Bringer of War" from The Planets
- Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
- Prokofiev: "The Montagues and the Capulets" from Romeo and Juliet
- Stravinsky: "Infernal Dance" from The Firebird
- Rossini: Overture from William Tell
- Wagner: “Ho-jo-to-ho!” (a.k.a. The Ride of the Valkyries) from Die Walküre
- Wagner: “Halt! Du Wilder!” (a.k.a. the “Spear” leitmotif) from Das Rheingold
- Mahler: Symphony No. 5, first movement
- Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
- Brahms: Symphony No. 1, fourth movement
- Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
- Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture
- Ravel: Boléro
- Wagner: Overture from The Flying Dutchman

Meet all of the instruments.