Wambach, Emile


Wambach, Emile

Concertaria for trombone (or tuba), versions for trombone and strings and for trombone and piano (first print / score and parts)


Emile Wambach – Concert aria for trombone (or tuba) (1884)

(Arlon, 26 November 1854 – Antwerp, 6 May 1924)

Emile Wambach, the son of a German bassoonist, studied at the École de musique in Antwerp (where his father also taught classes), at the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles (for one year) and at the Vlaamsche Muziekschool in Antwerp, where he was taught harmony, counterpoint and fugue. At this institution, which received the status of Royal Flemish Conservatoire in 1897, he became a teacher himself, in 1899, and director in 1912. As the Kapellmeister of the Cathedral in Antwerp he composed a lot of liturgical music and in addition he also wrote all kinds of works for special occasions, but he enjoyed his biggest success with his opera Quinten Massys (1899). Wambach turned into one of the most important war composers of his generation, also internationally. During his exile (1914-1919) in England and France he wrote countless war songs and after the war he composed various commemorative pieces.

He finished his Concert aria for trombone on 24 June 1884, so early on in his career. It is unclear for whom or for which occasion he wrote this surely ambitious, lyrical concert piece. However, it is not unlikely that he wrote the piece for Jean Craen (1849-1920), at that time the teacher of (valve) trombone and tuba at the Antwerp Conservatoire. This trombonist started his training in Antwerp at the École de musique and continued his studies in Brussels at the Conservatoire royal. In 1879 he succeeded Pierre Van Laerebeke (1822-1879) at Benoit’s Music School in Antwerp as the trombone and tuba teacher.

The various handwritten copies of the Concert aria that are housed by the Antwerp Conservatoire Library – the most recent copy dates back to 1923 – show that the Concert aria often was a beloved repertory piece. For a long time it was also mandatory reading at the Antwerp Conservatoire. The version with strings is one of the rare concert pieces for trombone from that period and therefore an important addition to the repertoire.

This Concert aria in a version with strings was recorded on CD for the first time by Bram Fournier and Casco Phil, conducted by Benjamin Haemhouts (Bram Fournier & friends, Belgian trombone ID, Et’cetera KTC 1674, 2020).

Jan Dewilde
(translation: Jasmien Dewilde)
This score is published as part of the research project Van ‘ventielbazuin’ tot ‘schuiftrombone’ tussen Parijs en Leipzig: een historisch-artistieke doorlichting van het trombone-onderwijs aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen (From ‘valve trombone’ to ‘sliding trombone’ between Paris and Leipzig: a historical-artistic analysis of the trombone education at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp), conducted by Bram Fournier at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (AP University College). The score was created by István Lukács, in collaboration with Bram Fournier, Yasuko Takahashi, Piet Stryckers and Hannah Aelvoet. This publication was made possible in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music (www.svm.be).


Read Flemish preface > HERE

Score No.


Special Edition


Chamber Music




First print



Go to Top