The Clef Studies by Vladislav Blazhevich, composed in 1925 are a staple of the Trombone repertoire. Their quality is superb, not only for teaching the clefs, but solid technique and musical style as well.
Karl Lyden has brilliantly arranged Three Studies for Trombone Quartet inspired by the Blazhevich Clef Studies for Trombone based on numbers 56, 54 and 64 (subtitled Five Etude having a funk feel to it). They are very musically interesting, rhythmically challenging and fun to perform.
Here is a description of the Three Studies by arranger Karl Lynden:
"The seed for the Blazhevich Three Studies for Trombone Quartet came from my desire to write for my trombone quartet during undergraduate studies at Nebraska-Lincoln. I was tinkering with study No. 64 from Blazhevich’s Clef Studies for Trombone book and began to imagine pulsating trombone chords and ostinatos. The original was in 5/8 so I dubbed that arrangement “Five Etude”.
Several years later, I had similar experiences with two other works from the book (No. 54 and 56). For the latter No. 56, I originally imagined it as a mournful duo between trombone and cello. I then flushed out the implied harmony to allow for four trombones.
No. 54 is more harmonically dense with an active bass line. It should be played majestically but come to rest in a subsided manner.For all three studies, I deviate slightly from the original form. However, the melody always remains constant as a means of generating new textures, harmonies, and rhythms. My hope is that trombonists in quartets will experience these familiar etudes in a new light."
Listen below to two tracks of this great arrangement on SoundCloud.