Diefenderfer - Stephansdom for Solo Bass Trombone and Trombone Choir
Arranger: Original Composition
Stephansdom is a new composition, descriptive of the iconic St. Stephan's Cathedral in central Vienna. Ryan Diefenderfer wrote this work for the Indiana University Trombone Ensemble for Bass Trombone solo and Trombone Choir (six-part) to be performed by Carl Lenthe at the 2012 Eastern Music Festival. Ryan's work was awarded the winner of the 2012 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Composition Competition. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, also known as Stephansdom, is one of Vienna’s most remarkable city icons. Dating back to 1137, Stephandsom towers above the rest of Vienna’s skyline and has been a constant presence in the lives of the Viennese for nearly one thousand years. Among the buildings that the Viennese find closest to their hearts, Stephansdom is certainly one of them. The first movement depicts the troubles that St. Stephen’s Cathedral had in getting its groundbreaking as a Church. The opening of the piece marks the celebration of the Viennese when St. Stephen’s was first constructed in 1137, during the Romanesque era. However, the Church faced many issues—from being destroyed by the Babenberg Empire to being decimated by a fire—before the church began its construction in the Gothic style in 1307.
The first movement depicts these struggles before resolving to an open chord. The second movement, “Steffl,” the nickname for Stephansdom’s soaring north tower, is one of the characteristics of the cathedral that the Viennese find so endearing. This movement is very upbeat and is meant to portray the excitement shared by the Viennese for this beautiful addition to Stephansdom, which was completed in 1433. Stephansdom’s north tower is the tallest structure in Vienna, and distinctly stands out within Vienna’s skyline. Movement three depicts the chaotic nature of the raging fire of 1945 as World War II was coming to a close.
Stephansdom’s roof caught fire from a neighboring building, destroying large portions of the church. One climax occurs at m.30, which depicts Stephansdom’s great bell, the Pummerin, crashing down to the ground. Movement four focuses on Anton Pilgrim, the last, and perhaps most beloved, architect who worked on St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Gothic style. One of his most famous projects was the St. Stephen’s organ loft, which is depicted by an opening organ-like canon. The final movement to the piece ends in a chorale-like fashion, demonstrating the Viennese’s love for Anton Pilgrim, as well as Stephansdom, one of Vienna’s most iconic sights. This work of twelve minutes in length is appropriate for advanced performers.