"Bones Apart represents all that is best about British brass playing, with a beauty of sound and musicality that is simply stunning. They communicate with passion and humour and serve as wonderful ambassadors for the trombone"
Head of Music Performance,
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Bones Apart performs a huge variety of repertoire combining original works and skillful arrangements. Composers such as Beethoven, Bruckner and Stravinsky have all written for trombone ensemble. Beethoven wrote 'Drei Equali' for four trombones in 1812 and it was also played at his funeral. Berlioz called the trombone the “true head of the family of wind instruments” and Elgar and Holst both played the trombone, in fact Gustav Holst was a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company.
Bones Apart has commissioned many new works for trombone quartet including pieces from composers such as Gary Carpenter, Matthew Taylor, Christian Lindberg, John Kenny, Dan Jenkins and Peter Meechan.
Here are some examples of the variety of programmes we perform. We can also tailor our programme by request to suit any event.
Muses, Queens and Warriors
Hildegard von Bingen - O quam mirabilis est
Purcell - Suite from Bonduca (Boudicca)
Helen Vollam - Torc (2021)
Camilla de Rossi - Suite from Sant’ Alessio
Lili and Nadia Boulanger - Vignettes (selected works)
Saskia Apon - First Trombone Quartet (2000)
Songs by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Ann Ronell
Melba Liston - Blues Melba
Fain and Webster - Songs from Calamity Jane
“ Bones Apart enjoys a stellar reputation for producing chamber music of the very highest standard. A real coup, then, for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to showcase the ensemble in its prestigious Fridays at One slot."
"... the music was brought to the stage by a chamber group at the peak of its powers in a performance of elegance, subtlety and considerable variety in tonal colour."
Mark Good, Bandsman magazine
“ It was a wonderful performance. I never knew that trombones could sound like that! “
Louise, audience member
“ It was absolutely fabulous. I particularly enjoyed the premiere of the new composition, but the entire programme was very well planned with a wonderful selection of pieces. “
Vicky, audience member
“If music be the food of love…”
Music inspired by the works of William Shakespeare
Anon. - Agincourt Song
Tim Jackson - Four Shakespeare Songs (2008)
Mendelssohn - Scenes from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Duke Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder
Tchaikovsky - Suite from 'Hamlet'
Jason Carr - Poem Unlimited (1999)
Cole Porter - Songs from 'Kiss me Kate'
John Dankworth - Shakespeare and all that jazz
Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story Selection
" Music by Gounod, Debussy and Mendelssohn may seem unlikely material for four trombones but this highly accomplished all-female quartet demonstrated it was not in their Shakespeare-inspired concert. The tonal variety and pliancy of musical line produced by three tenor trombones and one bass trombone was quite astonishing at times. "
Bernard Lee, Sheffield Telegraph
“ A well-conceived programme blended an array of musical styles, all inspired by the works of Shakespeare, ranging from the Baroque to Bernstein. Three movements from Purcell’s The Fairie Queen opened the concert, including a light-footed arrangement of the ‘Chaconne.’ There was also some warm, lyrical playing in Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the melody, originally appearing on the French horn in the orchestral version, here beguilingly played by Jayne Murrill. “
Daniel Harding, Deputy Director of University Music, Kent University
El Nuevo Mundo
A musical voyage from the Spanish peninsula to the discovery of The Americas
Anon. - Three Pieces from the Spanish Renaissance
Zumaya - Two Arias from ‘Cantata al San Pedro’
Trad./Elizabeth Purnell - Five Spirituals
Gershwin - Three Preludes
Nazareth, Gonzaga, Ayala - Choros y Tangos
Rodriguez - La Cumparsita
Piazzolla - Postcards from Argentina
Abreu - Tico Tico non fuba
"In their concert they showed the RNCM brass students just how things should be done, with a flawless concert, demonstrating perfect balance, intonation, and their wonderful musical versatility. The place has buzzed with enthusiasm ever since their visit. A wonderful example to any young group who are wondering where to go in their musical life."
John Miller, Director of Brass Studies, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Bruckner at 200
Celebrating Anton Bruckner’s bicentenary alongside works from Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner and Brahms
Concert with choir
Beethoven - Drei Equali
Schubert/Brahms - Ellens zweiter Gesang
Schubert - Geisterchor from ‘Rosamunde’
Bruckner - Two Aequali
Bruckner - Inveni David
Wagner - An Webers Grabe
Bruckner - Libera Me
Bruckner - Motets
Brahms - Chorale Preludes
…the sizzling splendour of Spain
Rossini - Overture to 'The Barber of Seville'
Anon. - Three Pieces from the Spanish Renaissance
Christian Lindberg - Vivencies (2004)
Albeniz - Tango from ‘España’
Gimenez - Intermedio from ‘La Boda de Luis Alonso’
Bizet - Suite from ‘Carmen’
Torroba, Llobet, De Falla - Suite Para Guitarra
Dan Jenkins - Señoras (2010)
Latinolé: songs by Chick Corea, Velásquez and Youmans
Great American Songbook
The iconic sounds of America
Traditional/Copland - Old American Songs
Eric Ewazen - Myths and Legends (2001)
Undine Smith Moore - We shall walk through the valley
Arthur Pryor - Variations on Annie Laurie
Gershwin - Three Preludes
Foster - Jeanie with the light brown hair
Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder
Martin & Blane - The Trolley Song
‘A Portrait of Ella’ - songs by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Ann Ronell and Rodgers & Hart
“ Each movement had such a wonderful musicality and excitement. I loved the dramatic intensity and wonderful resonance with which you played the first movement, with your kaleidoscopic colours throughout. Your gorgeous blend, and chorale-like sound in the second movement was simply gorgeous, and your singing and expressive interpretation of all the melodies made the music so powerful! In the virtuoso solo passages, your playing was dazzling!
It means SO much to a composer to have their music played and recorded with such care, such fantastic attention to detail, and such beauty!!!
All my best to you from New York City! “
Eric Ewazen, composer
Christmas with Bones Apart
Prokofiev - Troika from 'Lieutenant Kijé’
Leontovych - Carol of the Bells
Berlioz - Shepherds' Farewell
Tchaikovsky - Suite from 'The Nutcracker'
Fauré - Il est né, le divin Enfant
Holst - In The Bleak Midwinter
Hely-Hutchinson - The First Nowell
Gruber - Silent Night
...and some Swinging Christmas favourites!
Colourful tales of King Arthur, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood and Sweeney Todd and more
Purcell - Suite from King Arthur
Dan Jenkins - Scenes from Sherwood (2012)
Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Massenet - Tales from Mother Goose
Malcolm Arnold - Little Suite from Sweeney Todd
Pepusch - Overture to the Beggar’s Opera
Kurt Weill - A Little Threepenny Music
Humperdinck - Abendsegen
Lerner and Loewe - Songs from My Fair Lady
“ Their extraordinary technical ability and expressive harmonies, innate musicality and wonderful sounds successfully seduced a Leicester Lunchtime Concert audience.
Monteverdi, Purcell, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Massenet and Humperdinck played by trombones was like seeing composers in new clothes. Ravel’s Pavane, always moving was exquisite. Weill’s Threepenny Opera was much enhanced by a slippery, slidey Mack the Knife well-suited to the trombone’s unique glissando.
Dan Jenkins’ commission Scenes from Sherwood were literally character building from a stalwart Robin Hood to a drunken Friar Tuck. It had outlaws descending from trees and a tremendous battle with the Sherriff of Nottingham’s men.
Finally, over to Big Band mode with a tribute to the equally seductive Judy Garland in a lilting Over the Rainbow and a bouncy Get Happy. Bliss! “
Peter Baker, Leicester International Music Festival