Audio Review: Fantasia – Music for Trombone & Organ


Fantasia: Music for Trombone & Organ
Donald Pinson, Trombone
Damin Spritzer, Organ

The mighty organ – the “King of the Instruments” – often can handle its own weight when performing in the cathedrals and concert halls of the world. When a colorful sounding instrument such as the trombone is combined with the powerful pipes, a glorifying sound can immerse through the audio waves of recording.

Donald Pinson has been the Associate Professor of Trombone/Low Brass at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas since 2009. Pinson, an active all-around musician, is quite familiar with music for trombone and organ as his doctoral research took an in-depth look at the literature written specifically for these two instruments. The organist, Damin Spritzer, is Professor of Organ at the University of Oklahoma and has recorded on organs around the world. The main instrument behind the foundation of this recording is the Nichols & Simpson organ at Saint Monica Roman Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas.

Photo Credit: Guillermo Martinez

With music ranging from transcriptions to original works for trombone and organ, Pinson creates a beautiful sound of lyricism even in faster sections of certain tracks. While Pinson “sings” as the top voice, Spritzer offers an excellent counterbalance to the trombone allowing both sounds to resound through the church. While much of the music may sound of one musical era, many tracks feature works by 20th Century composers such as Hidas and Hovhaness. Other works pay homage to great German organ composers such as Bach, Müller, and Glauser.

For any recording or performance, the balance and intonation of trombone and organ can be challenging. Both Pinson and Spritzer have paid careful attention to the details and chords of each selection which leads to a wonderful recording that presents two instruments at their absolute best.

Favorite Track: Intermezzo by Ernst Schiffman. The slow and steady build-up leads to a powerful fanfare of sustainment for both instruments.

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Click here to read the liner notes

Learn more about Donald Pinson and Damin Spritzer

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this album free from Raven CDs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith is a trombonist, brass teacher, and blogger. He studied music performance at both Grace College and Carnegie Mellon University, and currently is the bass trombonist for Orchestra Iowa and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Jeremy started Last Row Music as an online resource of job postings and artist links for brass musicians around the world. When he is not performing or blogging, Jeremy is giving brass lessons to students throughout the country from his home in Centerburg, Ohio.