New Materials (Mark Nelson, Associate Editor, email@example.com)
Materials Received May 1 – August 1 with thanks:
One More Dance for tuba and piano by Roger Kellaway
“Lacrimosa” from Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arranged for euphonium quartet by Matthew Glass
Tubas of the Apocalypse for euphonium quartet by Benjamin McMillan
In Storm and Sunshine March by John Clifford Heed arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by George Palton
“Overture” from Messiah by Georg Frederic Handel arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Steven Cross
Mark My Words for euphonium or tuba and piano by James Grant
Little Suite for Chubazz for tuba-euphonium quartet by Jack Adler-McKean
“Nessun Dorma” from Turnadot by Giacomo Puccini arranged for low brass quartet by Andrew Heading
Cyclops for tuba-euphonium quartet by Theresa Martin
Sonata in G minor by Henry Eccles arranged for tuba and piano by Joseph Caldarise
Prelude in C-sharp Minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff arranged for tuba-euphonium sextet
by Joseph Caldarise
The Modern Repertory of Vocalise-Études (Thirty Short Pieces for Stage and Studio by Various Composers) edited for trombone/euphonium or tuba by Robert Benton
Not Your Normal Set of Études: 10 Blind Dates for Solo Tuba by James Grant
“Flower Duet” from Lakmé by Léo Delibes arranged for tuba duet and piano
by Jack Adler-McKean
Silent Night by Franz Gruber arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet
by Jack Adler-McKean
Two Motets by Anton Bruckner arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Jack Adler-McKean
Three Scenes for tuba-euphonium ensemble by Stephen Oberheu
Insects for solo euphonium by Elena Lebedeva
Sonata in G Minor by Benedetto Marcello arranged for euphonium and piano
by Gretchen Renshaw
When the Mood Takes You for brass trio (horn, trombone, tuba) by Dan Kramer
Formal Persistence for tuba and piano by Lon W Chaffin
Urlicht by Gustav Mahler arranged for tuba and piano by Joseph Caldarise
Into the Void for brass quintet by Lon W. Chaffin
Calabrese by Antonio Bazzini arranged for tuba and piano by Patrick Geren
Morgen by Richard Strauss arranged for tuba and piano by Joseph Caldarise
Overture to La Gazza Ladra by Gioachino Rossini arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet
by Jack Adler-McKean
Melodious Accompaniments for trombone or euphonium (to harmonize the Etudes of Johannes Rochut) by David Lawrence Ritt
Three Romances Without Words by Charles Gounod arranged for euphonium and piano by Ralph Sauer
Quelques Dances by Ernest Chausson arranged for euphonium and piano by Ralph Sauer
Gypsy Song and Dance by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor arranged for euphonium and piano by Ralph Sauer
Three Pieces from Suite Española arranged for euphonium and piano by Ralph Sauer
Romance No. 2 by Victor Ewald arranged for euphonium and piano by Ralph Sauer
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64 by Sergei Prokoviev arranged for euphonium and piano by Charles Vernon, edited by Erik Saras
Six Romances Without Words, Op. 76 by Céclie Chaminade arranged for euphonium or tuba/bass trombone and piano by Ralph Sauer
Romance in F, Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven arranged for euphonium and piano by Gordon Cherry
The Dynamic Studio by Philip Johnston
Three Prayers for 4 trombones, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, and drum set by Kim Portnoy
Tuba in Motion CD recording featuring George Palton, tuba
Carnaval CD recording featuring the Canadian Brass
Flavors CD recording featuring Kent Eshelman, tuba and In-Ja Eshelman, piano
Reviewed in this issue:
Carnevale Di Venezia by Giovacchino Bimboni edited for solo euphonium by Henry Howey
Calabrese, Op. 34, No. 6 by Antonio Bazzini arranged for euphonium and piano by Patrick Geren
Stuff for solo euphonium by James Grant
Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms by Simone Mantia arranged for euphonium duet and piano by David Werden
Concerto No. 2 for Tuba by James Woodward
Suite for Tuba by John Paff
Four Paintings by Grant Wood for tuba and piano by Barbara York
Tuba Tunes for Tuba and Piano by Austin Boothroyd
One More Dance for tuba and piano by Roger Kellaway
Brass Quintet/Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble/Chamber Music
The Circus Bee March by Henry Fillmore arranged for tuba quartet by George Palton
Concerto in D Major by J.S. Bach, arranged for tuba-euphonium ensemble by Jack Adler-McKean
“Farandole” from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 by Georges Bizet arranged for tuba quartet (EETT) by Mark Dundore
Souvenir de Porto Rico by Louis Gottschalk arranged for six-part tuba/euphonium ensemble by Gretchen Renshaw
Schutzen-Quadrille by Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss arranged for tuba quartet by Steven Cross
Double Concerto for Euphonium and Tuba by James Grant
“Libiamo Ne” (The Drinking Song) from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi arranged for 8 piece tuba/euphonium ensemble by Steven Cross
“And With His Stripes We Are Healed” from Messiah by George Frederic Handel arranged for tuba quartet by Steven Cross
Funeral March of Marionette by Charles Gounod arranged for eight part tuba ensemble by Steven Cross
The Thunderer by John Phillip Sousa arranged for 6-piece tuba-euphonium ensemble by Steven Cross
Sonata a Quattro by Arcangelo Corelli arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Steven Cross
Every Day an Alleluia for euphonium, tuba and piano by Barbara York
Vortex for tuba-euphonium quartet by Lon W. Chaffin
One More Dance CD Recording featuring Tom McCaslin, tuba and Gail Novak, piano
Handel to Valhalla CD recording featuring Ian Foster, tuba
A Practical Guide to Wind Band Excerpts for the Euphonium by Robert Pendergast and Ryan McGeorge
Ten Studies for Low and High Tuba by Johannes Brahms arranged by John Van Houten
Carnevale Di Venezia by Giovacchino Bimboni edited for solo euphonium by Henry Howey. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT, 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2210. 2013. $30.
The Carnival of Venice may, quite possibly, be the most well known solo of its type. Arranged for every brass instrument and permutated in dozens of different arrangements, upon hearing it for the first time it is often a young student’s gateway into the repertoire of his or her chosen instrument. At this year’s North East Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference, Steven Mead performed this particular arrangement. He spent a moment recalling all of the other, more well-known arrangements as a preface to describing the Bimboni as the most difficult version he had ever played.
Bimboni’s version follows a similar format to the other iterations: a cantabile introduction that precedes the main theme, followed by several variations. There are seven variations in all, which are followed by a finale in the form of a Maestoso Marziale. Missing are the traditional double tongued chromatic scales and the triple tongued variation. Instead, Bimboni uses the variation commonly heard last as his second, with its theme punctuated by leaps emerging from thirty second note turns. The remaining variations show their teeth in devilishly difficult leaps, trills and ornaments that happen within the blink of an eye and lightning fast scale passages that exploit the extreme upper range of the instrument. In culinary terms, Bimboni’s Carnevale Di Venezia is the ghost chili of theme and variations. It would be unwise to attempt it prematurely, causing more pain and misfortune than other, more accessible versions. If you are prepared and willing to take on the challenge, Bimboni’s Carnevale Di Venezia will dazzle your audience like few other pieces in the repertory. The range is E-e-flat². Both treble and bass clef parts are included.
~Dr. Jonathan Fowler, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
The Circus Bee March by Henry Fillmore arranged for tuba quartet by George Palton. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT, 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2051. 2012. $17.
After his graduation from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1901, Henry Fillmore travelled with the circus as bandmaster, played trombone and married an exotic dancer, much to the chagrin of his conservative father. Fillmore wrote The Circus Bee to celebrate having been given permission by his father to publish his compositions using the family run publication business, even though it failed to meet the criteria of being religious.
George Palton’s arrangement of The Circus Bee stays quite true to the original. The top two voices often work in pairs to strengthen the lines, but split into harmony as the first euphonium carries the melodies into the upper range. The second strain features a thundering second tuba part as the upper three voices sound repetitious fanfares. The trio and final strains of the march flow with trills, scale passages and counter melodies. Although there is no given tempo marking other than Allegro, the tempo should be quite fast, given that it is a circus march.
The ranges are: Euphonium I: e-flat-b-flat¹, Euphonium II: A-flat-a-flat¹, Tuba I: AA-flat-d-flat¹, Tuba II: AA-flat-f.
The Circus Bee would be an exciting addition to a chamber recital, or a great way to close a solo recital. Although there are a few difficult moments, notably the first tuba part’s d-flat¹, this arrangement could be played by an accomplished high school ensemble. It is also possible, by altering a few pitches as needed, most notably the AA-flat in the first tuba part, to be performed with three euphoniums and one tuba.
~Dr. Jonathan Fowler, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Concerto in D Major by J.S. Bach, arranged for tuba-euphonium ensemble by Jack Adler-McKean. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: 502-365-1431. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.potenzamusic.com. 2013 $24.95.
This concerto, originally a part of Vivaldi’s “Harmonic Inspiration,” was a concerto grosso that J.S. Bach chose to arrange for harpsichord. This arrangement is an extremely challenging four-part low brass treatment of Bach’s work. Arranger Jack Adler-McKean is an English tubist who works to cover all bases from ancient music performance on serpent and ophicleide, to brass band performance, to performing and commissioning new works for tuba; much like a “Jack” of all trades on tuba.
The first euphonium part will require a player with a super high register and great stamina. The second euphonium player cannot be a slouch either, but the melody is divided roughly 70% to 30% between first and second parts, with punishing tessitura throughout. The two tuba parts are relegated to mostly a supporting role with an occasional measure or two of melody coming their way. Although there are some isolated low notes, this work would probably be best suited for two Eb or F tubas on the bottom parts. Balance is generally melody and three harmony voices, and care would have to be given to always hear the lead player. This three movement work comes with separate bass and treble clef euphonium parts, nicely laid out to avoid any page turns. This is the type of work that would be featured by “the grad quartet” as opposed to undergrad groups at most universities, or at least have your older players on the top tuba and euphonium parts. It is a worthy musical challenge for any group. The ranges are Euphonium 1: d-d2, Euphonium II: A-b1, Tuba 1: GG-g1, Tuba II: FF-d1. The difficulty level is a IV.
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony
Concerto No. 2 for Tuba by James Woodward. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT, 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com.CM 2172. 2013. $30.00.
Written for New York Philharmonic tuba player Alan Baer, James Woodward’s second tuba concerto expresses the composer’s flair for juxtaposing the lyrical and technical aspects tuba technique into one composition. The concerto was originally written for tuba and orchestra, and Woodward later created a piano reduction. The first movement features melodies that alternate between connected and disjunct constructions. Overall, the melodic lines are jovial and energetic. In spite of their angular quality, the melodic lines contain diatonic patterns with an occasional surprise shift in register or tonality. The range spans from FF to g1 in the movement, and Woodward provides enough rests and register changes to help with endurance. The slow middle movement is in the keys of C major and A minor, and its melodies are constructed like those of the first movement. In the lyrical sections, the tuba and accompaniment complement one another nicely. Woodward’s writing has variety because of changes in the accompaniment’s texture throughout. This movement ends quietly and demands dynamic contrast and control from the tuba player. The finale is dance music in compound meter. While the central key is C major, the music travels to distantly related keys with sequences. At the coda, the soloist has an optional c2 but can also choose the low C. Woodward periodically provides the soloist with options for both range and technical considerations. Perhaps a soloist can blend the two options to create new ideas. Given the technical demands, length, and range of this concerto, it is a Level V appropriate for graduate students and professionals.
~Dr. Chris Dickey, Washington State University
“Farandole” from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 by Georges Bizet arranged for tuba quartet (EETT) by Mark Dundore. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT, 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronmusic.com.. CM 2015. 2013. $17.00.
Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was a French opera composer. Arranged and published four years after Bizet’s death, the second suite utilizes the composer’s original themes and orchestration. The fourth movement, Farandole, is a dance similar to the gavotte or jig. Typically with a moderate to quick tempo, a farandole usually features the flute and drum. After an introduction, the original orchestral version uses this flute-drum combination. Dundore’s arrangement upholds the integrity of the original version and its original keys of D minor and D major. The euphoniums share most of the primary melodic material while the tubas provide a motor-like background. Dundore places the technically challenging woodwind and string writing in the first euphonium part. There is one transitional section in F-sharp minor that could be difficult for a section to play. This arrangement incorporates many articulation markings and shows true attention to detail. Ranges of the individual parts include Euphonium 1 (A-b1), Euphonium 2 (A-g 1), Tuba 1 (AA-b), and Tuba 2 (FF-g). Conservative in range, endurance should be less of a factor. Perhaps the greatest obstacle in performing this work is that it requires a light and nimble approach from all players. The difficulty is Level III and is appropriate for collegiate tuba-euphonium ensembles.
~Dr. Chris Dickey, Washington State University
Souvenir de Porto Rico by Louis Gottschalk arranged for six-part tuba/euphonium ensemble by Gretchen Renshaw. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: 502-365-1431. email@example.com. www.potenzamusic.com. 80083. 2012. $29.95.
Gretchen Renshaw’s arrangement of this popular American composition, blending Afro-Caribbean rhythms and a European style of increasingly complex and virtuosic variations will suit any college-level ensemble quite well. There are significant melodic and accompanimental challenges in all six voices. In the busiest passages a major challenge will be interweaving the rapid 16th notes leaping from voice to voice. This piece, originally composed for piano, is fruitful ground for developing group ideas for rubato and dynamic contrast, with or without a conductor. Though this arrangement is for six voices, there are many indications of “one player” in each part, suggesting a larger ensemble doubling voices was the intention. Functions of melody, harmony and rhythmic accompaniment are disbursed throughout the entire ensemble. This piece would be a welcome, playful piece from the perspective of our audience. Though it has some intricate faster passages, this is not a tour de force for the tuba/euphonium ensemble. Rather, this piece holds the listener’s interest in its manipulation of time, dance-like rhythms, softer dynamics, and flowing interplay of voices. Ranges: Euphonium 1: G-c2, Euphonium 2: G-bb1, Euphonium 3: F#-g1, Tuba 1: C#-c1, Tuba 2: GG-bb1 , Tuba 3: CC-g. Euphonium parts are included in both bass and treble clefs. This difficulty level is IV.
This effective arrangement of Gottshalk’s popular composition would be a welcome addition to a tuba/euphonium ensemble’s program, both for the performers and their audience.
~Alexander Lapins, DM, Northern Arizona University
John Paff’s Suite for Tuba is a welcome addition to the intermediate-level repertoire for tuba and piano. This work is in three movements ( Allegro, Adagio, Allegro) and is composed in conventional tonal and metric style. While the overall range is FF-d-flat1, it stays within C-c1 for all but two notes, described as Level III-IV. There are repeated themes throughout each movement and ample opportunity for dynamic variation and both rhythmic precision as well as rubato. The second movement has sustained passages toward the top of the bass-clef staff and will challenge a young student’s endurance. The third movement introduces some mixed meter (conventional groupings shifting between 5/8, 3/4, and 2/4) and a dramatic cadenza before an Allegro closing flourish. This piece would be a fine musical and technical stepping-stone piece for any student, and would work quite well as a recital, competition or audition piece.
~Alexander Lapins, DM, Northern Arizona University
Calabrese, Op. 34, No. 6 by Antonio Bazzini arranged for euphonium and piano by Patrick Geren. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: 502-365-1431. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.potenzamusic.com.80084. 2013. $24.95.
Patrick Geren has unearthed an excellent showpiece for euphonium with his new arrangement of Antonio Bazzini’s Calabrese, Op. 34, No. 6. Geren transcribed this work from a collection of six character pieces by this nineteenth century composer. Although more known for his virtuoso violin playing, Bazzini’s legacy has lived on in his contribution to the chamber music repertoire, including six string quartets.
This arrangement stays adeptly faithful to the original, as Geren had to make some choices regarding idiomatic tendencies of the violin that would be very difficult to recreate on euphonium. The key of A minor, transitioning to A major is the same. Many of the multi octave arpeggios remain the same as well. The tonally grounded melody remains untouched. Where Geren had to wisely make changes is in the repetitive transition material where the performer is called upon to play in three different octaves within the span of an 8th note triplet in fast cut time. Instead, Geren has altered these passages to use the same octave throughout the triplet, essentially requiring a steady triple tongue. This, however, does not save the performer from needing virtuosic flexibility, as there are many instances of fast octave leaps and arpeggios throughout the composition. Rhythmic accuracy is also an essential skill required to perform this work as the music requires good delineation between duple and triple meters at the fast tempo. Range is also an issue with written requirements of low E up to high b1 with options of high e2 and even a2! Additionally, the performer is called upon to “rip” some intervals.
This work would make an excellent encore or closer for a recital.
~Anthony Halloin, US Navy Band
Four Paintings by Grant Wood for tuba and piano by Barbara York. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2117. 2013. $20.
Grant Wood is one of those artists that most people can’t name but most everyone recognizes his most famous painting American Gothic. As an artist who lived and worked in the state of Iowa, his style is known as Regionalism. This artistic movement of the early to mid twentieth century chose topics of American rural life as its themes. In this composition, Barbara York has utilized four of Wood’s paintings, Stone City, Iowa, Young Corn, American Gothic, and Parson Weem’s (sic) Fable, as inspiration for a four movement work for solo tuba and piano.
The first movement, Stone City, Iowa, requires solid rhythmic accuracy and clear articulations for the soloist as most of the accompaniment part relies on a thick texture of oscillating chords in the piano. Syncopation occurs between the two parts to break up the sections and transition to a legato lyrical section in the higher register and again to transition back to material from the opening.
Young Corn presents a good contrast to the busy opening movement with a more serene, slower, lightly syncopated accompaniment of block chords, over which the tuba can sing a beautiful melody based on a motive that seems to permeate the entire piece. There is a great deal of room for expression here, but the soloist must have good control of the higher register and dynamics, and have solid rhythm to delineate between duple and triple rhythms.
The third movement is based on the famous painting American Gothic. Here the motive receives some treatment as the end of the opening phrase and then as repetitive material throughout the movement. Again, rhythmic accuracy is of paramount concern with hemiolas between the tuba and piano part occurring throughout. This movement also presents some challenges to the ear of the performer to really hear the more difficult intervals. A short cadenza utilizing the motive segues into the last movement, Parson Weem’s (sic) Fable.
This movement is based on a painting by Wood, which depicts an infamous fable about George Washington. Parson Weems was the writer who was attributed with fabricating the story of the chopping down of the cherry tree with young Washington proclaiming, “I cannot tell a lie.” Technically, this movement is very challenging with its fast tempo, two-and-a-third octave arpeggios, and some occasionally difficult intervals. The movement is arranged in a sectional format of ABAC-Coda, where the A section uses arpeggios and short note lengths which contrast from both the B and the C sections which are more lyrical. Endurance would be an asset in this piece as the highest note, g1, occurs in the last movement amid a sustained lyrical section.
~Anthony Halloin, US Navy Band
Schutzen-Quadrille by Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss arranged for tuba quartet by Steven Cross. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT 06420. 800-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2069. 2012. $20.
Schutzen (Sharpshooter)-Quadrille was composed in 1866, and is one of two works written by the three Strauss brothers. The piece is characterized as “Viennese light music,” a popular polka and waltz style that the Strauss family dominated at that time.
A quadrille is a lively dance where couples create rectangular formations, similar to a 19th century version of square dancing. This work follows the correct musical form of a quadrille in six movements. The titles for each movement are always listed as follows:
1. Pantalon “Trousers” (a typo exists in the score and parts labeling this as Fantalon) 2. Ete “Summer,” 3. Poule “The Hen” 4. Trenis (named after Trenitz, a dance master of the era), 5. Pastourelle “Shepherd girl,” 6. Finale.
This arrangement doesn’t present any technical challenges beyond a few trills and grace notes, and the ranges would be appropriate for a high school ensemble. This piece delivers light-hearted music from a bygone era. The complete work is around six-minutes long, one might consider selecting a few movements, since they all are similar in key and style.
This arrangement appears to be from the piano score available through public domain; the arranger has done a good job of passing segments of the melody to all four parts. The roadmap is awkward at times with either a D.C. or D.S. in each movement, “to next” brackets, and only a handful of measures following the large repeats. The final movement has an optional foot stomp to simulate gun shots. The ranges of the parts are: Euphonium I: A-flat-a-flat1, Euphonium II: B-flat-f1, Tuba I: BB-flat-g, Tuba II: FF-f. All euphonium parts are written in bass and treble clef.
~Patrick Lawrence, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
Stuff for solo euphonium by James Grant. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. (480) 823-5874. Fax: (502) 365-1431. email@example.com. www.potenzamusic.com. 2012. $19.95.
This work is the first of four pieces by James Grant (Stuff, High Autumn, Just A Thought, and Endorphins) composed for the 2001 Solstice/Equinox Commissioning Consortium. A new work was released on the summer and winter solstice and spring and fall equinox that year as part of the project. Although originally written for tuba, it has been adapted for a wide variety of instruments and works especially well on euphonium.
Stuff is an exciting stand-alone unaccompanied work, which would be a wonderful addition to any program. Written as a theme and seven variations, this piece is challenging yet accessible for most college-level players. The eight-measure theme is angular with interesting harmonies that give it a modern feel. The first variation is marked “Lullaby,” and expands on the theme with elegant eighth note lines. The next variation “Insistent” is more technical, moving away from long flowing lines to a mix of slurs, accents, and staccatos. Variations three and four “Cartoon music” and “Gregarious” are perfectly named with a blend of humor and frivolity. The remaining variations become increasingly more technical; however all the passages lay well on the instrument. The final variation is marked “Swing it!” and has an abundance of great licks for this thrilling conclusion before returning to a modified opening theme.
The manuscript is clean and easy to read, although there is one awkward page turn, which requires a photocopy. The publisher included parts in bass clef, and b-flat treble clef.
Stuff is a joy to perform, I have no doubt that this piece is on its way to becoming a standard work in our repertoire.
~Patrick Lawrence, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
One More Dance CD Recording featuring Tom McCaslin, tuba and Gail Novak, piano. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. (480) 823-5874. Fax: (502) 365-1431. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.potenzamusic.com . PM 1021. 2012. $16.95.
With One More Dance, East Carolina University Tuba and Euphonium Professor Tom McCaslin picks right up where he left off after his debut album, Inside Out. According to McCaslin, Inside Out presented modern works that “deserve exposure and listening they have not yet received.” One More Dance is the logical extension of that, featuring brand new (and a few renewed) works from composer/performers.
The album opens with the title track, Roger Kellaway’s One More Dance. Kellaway is best known in the tuba world for his composition Morning Song which was notably recorded by Roger Bobo on Gravity is Light Today. One More Dance was commissioned in 2011 by twelve of Bobo’s students specifically for this album as a birthday present for their esteemed teacher. From the first moments the parallels between Kellaway’s earlier work and Bobo’s earlier recording are clear. McCaslin’s tuba lightly skips over sixteenth-note passages and enthusiastically bends pitches, just as Bobo did. Further connections to Maestro Bobo appear later on the album through the works of Dumitru Ionel. Bobo famously performed Ionel’s Romanian Dance #2 on the “Tonight Show,” but it is less well known today that Ionel himself was a tuba soloist of renown and principal tubist with several orchestras in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He composed and arranged over 130 works for the tuba in his lifetime. Ionel’s Visare (1964) showcases McCaslin’s phrasing and sound, while the cadenzas at the beginning and end of Fantezie Nocturna (1956) display his clarity in all registers framing an energetic romp reminiscent of the Romanian Dance.
Clear Lake by Canadian tubist Stephen Oberheu fills out the freestanding dances on the album. It has its beginnings in the bass line of a tune by “Geezer Lake,” an indie rock band from North Carolina. As such, it fits perfectly into the career of McCaslin, who studied at Montreal’s McGill University and now teaches in North Carolina. The other single movement works on One More Dance are new sets of variations on popular themes: Jazz Variations on a Theme by Paganini by Michael Garson and Tom McCaslin’s own Just Another Carnival… The Jazz Variations are a brief, flashy re-imagining of the twenty-fourth Caprice for solo violin by Nicolas Paganini and were composed for trumpeter Allen Vizzutti. McCaslin’s version of Carnival of Venice completes the album and is inspired by great tuba recordings that came before his including Roger Bobo, Pat Sheridan, Øystein Baadsvik, William Bell, and Michael Lind. In a newly added variation, McCaslin employs the use of what he calls “rutter tongue,” which seems to be a very precisely timed flutter tongue, giving the effect of continuous fast articulations. After this variation, the tongue goes firmly into the cheek for an extreme range variation before a reasonably traditional ending (stay tuned afterward for a bonus moment of studio interaction).
One of the true successes of One More Dance is the way that lighter fare is interspersed within the larger, more modern multi-movement works. These larger works include 3 Danses by Thierry Thibault, Sonate for Tuba and Piano by Daniel Schnyder, and Miniatures for Tuba and Piano by Patrick Schulz. Both Thierry and Schulz’ works are 21st century compositions for tubists, by tubists (well, Schulz is a euphonium player) and contain the special interest, yearning, and knowledge of the instrument’s strengths and weakness that can only be developed over years of counting rests in the back row. Schnyder originally wrote his Sonate for bass trombone and this is the first recording of the work to feature the tuba. These compositions all deserve their own review, so I will just say that, as with his first album, McCaslin has found works that “deserve exposure and listening they have not yet received.” McCaslin’s technical abilities are brilliant and his musicianship is inspiring. Let’s hope that he continues to be a tubist’s Indiana Jones searching for lost and new treasures around the world for our repertoire!
~ Dr. T. J. Ricer, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Double Concerto for Euphonium and Tuba by James Grant. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. (480) 823-5874. Fax: (502) 365-1431. email@example.com. www.potenzamusic.com. PM 80081. 2012. $34.95.
The music of Dr. James Grant has long been a staple of tubists; his excellent, relevant Three Furies has now been in the repertoire for two decades! Through the efforts of commissioning consortiums we now have the Double Concerto for Euphonium and Tuba and a set of etudes is in progress at the time of this writing [ed. Note: Not Your Normal Set of Études: 10 Blind Dates for Solo Tuba is now published by Potenza Music and will be reviewed in a future issue]. The Double Concerto commission was led by Kelly Thomas and Gregg Hanson of the University of Arizona. The work was premiered on March 25th, 2012 by Thomas (euphonium) and Mark Nelson (tuba) of Pima Community College (himself the commissioner of the Three Furies and our New Materials Editor) with the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble under the direction of Maestro Hansen. A video recording of the European Premiere of this work from the 2012 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference can be found on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGuAgedT2uk&feature=youtu.be. A recording with the piano accompaniment can be found at www.marknelsontuba.com under the “Live Recordings” heading.
According to Grant, “Movement I, ‘Playground’, needs little description beyond its title. Together, the two solo instruments make their way through a relentless maze of technical challenges (imagine seesaws, sliding boards, swing sets, obstacle courses and trampolines) accompanied by wind ensemble, which is faced with its own insistent array of fun and games.” As with his Three Furies, Grant has created a difficult work which manages to remain idiomatic on the instrument. Both soloists will need to be able to navigate wide intervals at a rapid pace. In the second movement, ‘Passage,’ “the two soloists have returned from a noble quest and are recounting their adventures.” It begins slowly and softly, but gains intensity and velocity throughout – the soloists will likely need a strong double tongue for thirty-second note passages at the end of the movement. In the wind ensemble version, the duet soloists are accompanied by the tuba quartet within the larger ensemble. The third and final movement is again descriptive, entitled ‘Sprint.’ The material for this movement is derived from the composer’s earlier Étude/Attitude for tuba quartet and is all of the technical adventure that its names infer.
Grant’s experience in writing for low brass is apparent in the way he has avoided the muddiness of extended writing in the lowest registers, while also avoiding interference between the two soloists. The tuba part generally remains in the staff, with the euphonium soaring over it. Because of this, the solo tuba part of this Double Concerto should be approachable on any of the four keys of tuba and the solo euphonium part is playable on either a compensating or non-compensating four-valve euphonium. Several of the highest passages include an optional lower-octave shift to help with pacing on this fifteen minute work.
This edition comes with the tuba and euphonium parts in bass clef, the euphonium part in B-flat treble clef, and the piano reduction. A significant new work by an important composer is always a welcome addition to the repertoire. Double Concerto is doubly welcome in that, through its dual soloists, it encourages collaboration in the often insular worlds of solo performance or studio teaching.
~ Dr. T. J. Ricer, University of Hawaii at Manoa
“Libiamo Ne” (The Drinking Song) from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi arranged for 8 piece tuba/euphonium ensemble by Steven Cross. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem CT, 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM2078. 2012. $22.00.
“Libiamo Ne”, also know as “The Drinking Song” is a famous song from the opera La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. The piece is originally written for vocal duet, chorus, and orchestra. This new arrangement done by Steven Cross and Cimarron Music is set for large tuba/euphonium ensemble. The instrumentation listed on the cover of the piece is for an eight piece ensemble (4 euphoniums, 4 tubas). However, it is clear to see that the intent of the arrangement is for a six part ensemble with solo parts for both euphonium and tuba that are meant to cover the vocal lines in the featured duet, except in the opening phrase where the two solo voices and the Euphonium 1 carry the main melody found in the orchestra introduction. After that the two solo voices carry the rest of the piece except in some spots where the Euphonium 1 part has important lines from the first violin section. The rest of the ensemble plays music from either the chorus or the orchestral accompaniment for the entire piece. Outside of the two solo parts and the Euphonium 1 part, the rest of the ensemble has fairly simple parts and could be performed by an average to above average high school ensemble. Really outstanding high schools students could probably perform the solo parts. However, I feel these parts are better suited to upper level undergraduate students who have a more thorough knowledge of phrasing and could really bring the music intent to the forefront and not just get through the notes.
As with all items that I encounter from Cimarron Music Press, the layout and printing of the music is of the highest level and the score and parts are very easy to read. Euphonium parts are printed in both bass and treble clef. My personal opinion is that this arrangement would be perfect for a university ensemble to perform on an Octubafest concert or other performance where lighter music is needed. It also gives a director a chance to feature two upper level students in a solo setting with an ensemble, a chance that many of our fellow tuba and euphonium colleagues don’t get to do that often. Overall this seems like a great arrangement and I look forward to performing in with my own students.
~Scott Roeder, University of Texas-Pan American
Tuba Tunes for Tuba and Piano by Austin Boothroyd is a delightful collection of four lyrical works for tuba and piano. The four movements include three ballades and conclude with a fast movement which has some blues influenced lines and rounds off the piece nicely. This work could be performed in its entirety or each movement could serve as a private lesson supplement to explore the musical capabilities of the tuba. The compositional style and tessitura demands on the soloist make this work a great addition to an advanced high school or entering collegiate student. This could also serve as a quick study work for a student switching to C or F tuba.
~J.D. Salas, Stephen F. Austin State University
“And With His Stripes We Are Healed” from Messiah by George Frederic Handel arranged for tuba quartet by Steven Cross. Cimmarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronnmusic.com. 2012. $17.00.
This arrangement of And With His Stripes We Are Healed by George Frederic Handel was created by Steven Cross. Most people are familiar the “Halleluiah” section of the Messiah but this portion of the mass works extremely well for a Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble exploring the fugal style and a lightly textured setting.
The work maintains the original “fugue” style of Handel’s along with the cut time “alla breve” feel. The melismas in the original are not as complex in this arrangement which keep it from becoming too thick but still create the desired musical effect. I truly enjoyed the easy read the arrangement provided while maintaining the integrity of the original work.
Cross’s arrangement fits well for a beginning tuba ensemble or an easy addition to a larger program. One of the programming challenges of a tuba-euphonium ensemble concert is the endurance of the first tuba and euphonium parts due to the range requirements but this arrangement is scored in the mid-tessitura for most of the work. I would highly recommend this arrangement for introducing an ensemble to the fugal style.
~J.D. Salas, Stephen F. Austin State University
Funeral March of Marionette by Charles Gounod arranged for eight part tuba ensemble by Steven Cross. Cimmarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronnmusic.com. CM 2078. 2012 $25.
Steven Cross studied euphonium with Dan Perantoni at Illinois and has been devoting his recent efforts to arrangements for low brass ensembles.
This work, which stretches some 173 measures not counting repeats, is a very interesting and challenging treatment of a simple theme most famous for its use on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” The work begins in d minor, modulates to D major and back to minor again at the end. The most unusual aspect of voicing which caught my attention was the melody being shared by the fourth euphonium and first tuba for most of the big entrances. It aligns the lower euphonium register with the upper-middle tuba register rather than having the instruments playing in octaves and be in the same “parts of the horn.” Many ensemble challenges are presented in this work. These include adding players at a pp dynamic one part at a time without letting the texture become too heavy, playing isolated eighth notes in the accompaniment in octaves and at extremes of register while maintaining pitch and balance, and extreme dynamic changes from ff to p for whole ensemble together. These are “good challenges” which make for a very effective performance and as great learning experience for the college level ensemble. As long as the group has an accurate first euphonium player capable of picking off random high notes, the rest of the parts are accessible to most decent players. It would be a good work to add dancers too for a Halloween concert.
Bass and treble clef euphonium parts are provided on flip sides of single part, and the score and parts are well printed and legible. Ranges: Euphonium 1: B-b-flat1, Euphonium II: B-a1, Euphonium III: B-a1, Euphonium IV: A-f1, Tuba 1: GG-a, Tuba II: GG-b-flat, Tuba III: FF-a, Tuba IV: DD-B-flat.
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University, Wichita Symphony
The Thunderer by John Phillip Sousa arranged for 6-piece tuba-euphonium ensemble by Steven Cross. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2086. 2012. $30.
Known as the “March King” John Phillip Sousa is one of the most beloved American composers. His marches have been staples of concert band repertoire for generations. Steven Cross has successfully arranged one of his most well known marches, The Thunderer, for an 6-piece tuba-euphonium ensemble, three euphoniums and three tubas. Interestingly, this is one of a number of arrangements that Mr. Cross has unearthed from his days studying with Dan Perantoni at the University of Illinois in Urbana. We are happy to now have access to these arrangements!
Composed in 1889, many consider The Thunderer to be one of John Phillip Sousa’s first distinctly American sounding marches. The form of the work is quite similar to his other marches using the form Introduction, AABBCDCDC. This six-part arrangement is nicely constructed and is not too thick so you can hear each part well. One negative is the three tuba parts consist primarily of the horn and tuba lines from the original work and although effective for the listener, can be quite boring to the performers. The ranges of the parts are: Euphonium 1: c-a1, Euphonium 2: c-a 1, Euphonium 3: c-f1, Tuba 1: C-a, Tuba 2: GG-flat-a, Tuba 3:FF.
There is true value in students performing Sousa in this setting and allowing them to participate in the music from a perspective outside of the tuba and euphonium parts!
~Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University
Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms by Simone Mantia arranged for euphonium duet and piano by David Werden. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM 2086. 2012. $20.
David Werden has brought an amazing twist to one of the most performed and loved theme and variations in the euphonium repertoire, Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms. Werden has arranged a terrific duet based on the original work written for solo euphonium. The familiar Irish tune has been a favorite of mine for years and Mr. Werden has come up with a terrific spin in the way of a duet.
Simone Mantia originally arranged the traditional Irish tune as a theme and variation. Mantia played euphonium and trombone and was a member of numerous prestigious ensembles including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, The NBC Symphony and was the soloist of the John Phillip Sousa Band. His arrangement of Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms has become a staple of the euphonium repertoire.
The former soloist of the United States Cost Guard Band, David Werden, has arranged this popular work into a duet for to euphoniums. This arrangement holds true to Mantia’s original arrangement using an identical layout and structure. What is so charming about this arrangement is the way Mr. Werden created a sense of conversation between the euphoniums. The two parts pass the flourishing lines of Mantia’s original arrangement between each other equally. Each part holds its own technically and are at times tutti in thirds to create a homogeneous feel. The range of euphonium 1 is C-c 2 while the range of euphonium 2 is A-b1. The difficulty is rated as level IV and although the work is quite simple tonally, there is a high amount of technique needed to perform either part. Mr. Werden has created a terrific arrangement and has given the opportunity for another euphoniumist to join in on the fun of performing Mantia’s work!
~Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University
Sonata a Quattro by Arcangelo Corelli arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Steven Cross. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: 888-235-1772. email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com. 2012. CM 2070 $17.
The Baroque period was undeniably a significant era in the development of instrumental music. One of the most influential composers of early Baroque instrumental music was the Bolgnese composer Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). He is largely responsible for early chamber works and the concerto grosso form that was later refined and perfected by Vivaldi, Bach and Handel. Baroque transcriptions and arrangements have become an integral part of the low brass repertoire, providing euphonium and tuba performers with an opportunity to experience this era of the rich musical tradition of Western music. Steven Cross has arranged a chamber work by Corelli that is well crafted and very accessible for developing players. Sonata a Quattro, WoO 4 dates from around 1704 and was published posthumously. It was originally written for trumpet, two violins and basso continuo. Cross has changed the original key of D major into the more brass-friendly A flat major. It is in five short movements titled Adagio, Allegro, Grave, Allegretto and Allegro. No tempo markings are provided. The part indications are for two euphoniums and two tubas though the top three parts are printed in both bass and treble clefs allowing that the first tuba part could be played by a third euphonium player. The range of this part resides mostly at the top of the staff and does reach an e flat¹ so a tubist with a decent upper range would be required. Certainly one of the principal values in playing Baroque arrangements is the knowledge of appropriate performance practice. Execution of ornamentations such as trills and mordents, style of articulation, quality of tone, balance of ensemble and phrasing are all valuable skills that are developed in performing this genre of chamber music. The technical demands are few – the ranges are reasonable, most rapid passages are stepwise or sequential, rhythms are not complex and there are few chromatic alterations. There is much potential for musical growth in learning about this style of music from one of the early masters of instrumental music – and Baroque chamber music really sounds good in the tuba-euphonium ensemble setting. Ranges: Euphonium I: e-flat-a-flat¹, Euphonium II: B-flat-g¹, Tuba I: A- flat-e-flat¹, Tuba II: BB flat-f.
~Roy Couch, Bluffton University
A Practical Guide to Wind Band Excerpts for the Euphonium by Robert Pendergast and Ryan McGeorge. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.potenzamusic.com. 80078. 2012. $45 + shipping and handling.
One of the common career options available for euphonium instrumentalists has been the military bands. Since 1992, the main resource for preparing for these auditions has been Barbara Payne’s Euphonium Excerpts from the Standard Band and Orchestral Library. It continues to serve as an excellent and proven resource.
However, this resource only contained excerpts from fifty-five works. Since the publication of Payne’s book, there have been many works composed that are commonly asked at auditions. This is where A Practical Guide to Wind Band Excerpts for the Euphonium by Robert Pendergast and Ryan McGeorge comes in. This resource is meant to be used in addition to the Payne excerpt book. There was great care in not duplicating any of the excerpts already referenced in the Payne book. This resource includes almost fifty works that are not included in the Payne book. The excerpts are laid out on the page so as to mimic the original part as closely as possible (Including rehearsal letters and bar numbers). There has also been included a commentary from the authors with basic notes about the excerpt as well as a few performance suggestions. These comments are not intended to be an exhaustive list, just a few recommendations for each excerpt. Also included in this text are a brief explanation on the audition process and an appendix including: Materials for Excerpt Practice, Tips on How to Choose a Good Recording, Ensembles (mainly websites), Copyright Information, and Works Cited and Suggested Reading.
In all, this exhaustive resource has immediately become a critical component of any euphoniumist who is preparing for a career in the military bands. Congratulations to Robert Pendergast and Ryan McGeorge for their excellent work on this project.
~Dr. Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Every Day an Alleluia for euphonium, tuba and piano by Barbara York. Cimarron Music Press. 15 Corrina Lane, Salem, CT 06420. 860-536-2185. Fax: email@example.com. www.cimarronmusic.com. CM2138. 2013. $20 + shipping and handling.
Barbara York, who is a standard composer in the tuba/euphonium community, has crafted another successful work to add to our repertoire. This piece, Every Day an Alleluia, was written for Bonnie and Richard Denton of the United States Coast Guard Band in 2013.
This five minute work, written in 2 sections, has a range for the euphonium of c – b-flat1 and a range for the tuba of C – b-flat. The main melody bounces around from a 3/4 time signature to 6/8. Both the tuba and euphonium get an opportunity to play the lead melody with a counter-melody happening in the other voice. York has done a great job of making neither the euphonium nor the tuba have an accompaniment role but rather both parts maintain a soloistic line. The piano accompaniment provides a nice harmonic foundation to the piece.
Overall, this piece would work well on a college-shared recital or for advanced high school students in a solo and ensemble festival.
~Dr. Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Ten Studies for Low and High Tuba by Johannes Brahms arranged by John Van Houten. Encore Music Publishers. P.O Box 212 Maple City, MI 49664-0212. 231-432-8322. www.EncoreMuPub.com. 9224. $15.95.
It is commonly agreed that a principal goal for aspiring musicians is the development of an ability to convey characteristics such as phrasing, expression, contrasts, and musical communication. One of the great masters of lyrical, expressive writing was the Romantic Era composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Though Brahms did not utilize the tuba much in his orchestral writing, tubists now have the unique opportunity to add study of Brahms-penned lyricism to their musical studies. Ten Studies for Low and High Tuba were originally written by Brahms for horn, but John Van Houten, a tuba instructor and freelance performer in California, has transcribed and edited them for tuba and we are fortunate that he has done so. Of particular value is that Mr. Van Houten provides useful instructive text with each study, addressing the musical issues of each study and offering helpful tips on practice. Some of the studies are indicated as being for both low and high tuba, while some have been split into a low version and a high version. These studies are definitely for an advanced player. They cover a wide range of challenges including breathing, phrasing, range and rhythmic integrity. Several of the low studies stay in the extremely low tessitura and the player must maintain musical consistency in this range. The high studies require the player to play with ease and musical expression despite the unique demands of the upper range. Other challenges that are presented include multiple tonguing, fluid execution of trills and extended breathing techniques. One study provides seven different articulation patterns to practice in both a low and high version. My only complaint about the book is that there are some awkward page turns in the middle of a study. Otherwise it is well written and clearly printed. The added text is particularly helpful in realizing the full potential of these studies for the advanced tuba performer. I highly recommend adding the Ten Studies as a great opportunity to learn a lyrical, musical approach by studying one of the greats. Range: BBB-flat to f¹
~Roy Couch, Bluffton University
Vortex for tuba-euphonium quartet by Lon W. Chaffin. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: 502-365-1431. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.potenzamusic.com. 2012. $32.95.
As composer Lon Chaffin puts in his program notes, a vortex is “a whirling mass of something, especially water or air that draws everything near it towards the center.” This original composition for tuba-euphonium quartet portrays different moods and ideas that could be associated with vortices or ideas/places/events that have some sort of gravitational pull. The piece is written in four movements and has very strong programmatic elements throughout.
The first movement, “Into the Void,” is a kind of summoning of people who are about to go on a new adventure or quest. The movement is divided into a fanfare and march although the tempo remains constant throughout the movement. During the march the tubas have a rhythmic obbligato figure in 5ths while the euphoniums carry more melodic gestures. The second movement, “Light Year,” represents “looking forward or traveling towards a distant goal” and is set as an extended and evolving chorale. “Event Horizon” is the third movement and depicts the edge of a vortex and the point of no return. This movement is the most technically challenging of the piece as it portrays the struggle to move forward or pull back from the brink. Finally the piece ends with “Beyond,” a short fanfare and march that signifies the end of the journey and struggle as well as the accomplishment of triumph.
This piece uses a lot of different and varied musical ideas as each movement uses contrasting ideas to create the music that the composer is trying to depict. Each movement has its own set of challenges and unique musical nuances that need to be brought out. With the exception of the third movement, I don’t see this piece being too difficult to put together with an ensemble. However there is a lot of independence between the parts and some more modern compositional language. Therefore I believe this piece would be best suited for a college level quartet. While it would be possible to perform this with a larger ensemble, I believe a lot of the ideas could get buried in a full tuba/euphonium ensemble. This piece would make a great addition as a chamber piece on a senior recital.
~Scott Roeder-University of Texas-Pan American
Handel to Valhalla CD recording featuring Ian Foster, tuba. +44 (0)7931 586682. http://ianfostertuba.com/cd/ £12.00. €15.00. $16.00 USA. Packing and shipping costs are not included.
Ian Foster’s first CD contains one of the most interesting eclectic collection music ever found on a single tuba CD recording. The first part of the recording features the tuba with solo repertoire including familiar works like the Suite for Tuba by Walter Hartley, Malcolm Arnold’s Fantasy for Tuba, a Handel oboe sonata transcription, and the first horn concerto by Richard Strauss. Other solo works that are not so familiar include Edward Watson’s Sonatina for Tuba and Piano (a nice addition to the solo repertoire), Gabriel’s Oboe from the film “The Mission,” The Tuba from Orchestra Finalists with Electronic Music (Tuba amongst flocks of birds and a swarm of bees) which is a stand-alone section of Mittwoch aus Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and most curiously, 20 low brass excerpts from all four operas of the Wagner Ring Cycle utilizing bass trumpet, trombones, bass trombone, contra-bass trombone, as well as tuba.
The title is obviously very fitting although the repertoire choices do not seem to have a particular theme tying them together except being eclectic. Having listened to the recording multiple times, a few observations can be made. First, just making a recording with this much music is an achievement in itself as anyone who has made a CD recording knows how much work it is. Second, while some of the repertoire choices given how much tuba music is available and how many times some of these works have already been recorded already, there is definitely a pattern of showing what Mr. Foster is capable of from intermediate to advanced repertoire showing all ranges, dynamics, and articulations possible on the tuba as well as its role in an ensemble context outside of the piano. His choice of instruments (all Wessex tubas: EEb, 4/4 CC and the tiny “Bubbie” tuba) also show dexterity and the availability of multiple timbres. The link to the Wessex Tubas home page for purchasing this CD recording no longer works but it can be bought directly from the artist on his own website listed in the bibliography above.
The tuba playing in general is fine musically in terms of range, dexterity, and style although recorded fairly close to the microphone for the solo repertoire. There is a good relationship between soloist and pianist (handled very competently by pianists Jo Sealey and Paul Raybould) for the solo repertoire. Colleagues Duncan Wilson, bass trumpet, Julian Turner and Phil Harrison, tenor trombones, Lyndon Meredith, bass trombone, and Christopher Gill on contra and bass trombone work well with Mr. Foster under the conducting of Richard Elliott. My biggest concern is the tuba articulation. Any staccato note comes across as clipped far beyond what I would consider best practice and occasionally the more robust dynamics are just short of losing the core of the sound. Sustained passages in the solo repertoire are lovely and a definite strength. The orchestral excerpt selections are great for study by students although not as much fun to just listen to for enjoyment without the rest of the orchestra. Some of the non-section selections like “Alberich becomes a dragon” or “Hundling the warrior” for solo tuba do not have the depth of resonant low range or absolute consistent timbre as other full-orchestra recordings I have listened to. Even the “Valkyries” selection known backwards and forwards by most low brass orchestra musicians is not perfect with minor articulation and balance inconsistencies between players. That being said, there is still much in the orchestral selections to learn from with this particular set of excerpts.
In all, this is a fine effort by a very busy English tubist and I congratulate him on adding to the solo tuba recordings of the world with this latest effort.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
One More Dance for tuba and piano by Roger Kellaway. Potenza Music Publishing. 336 Production Court, Louisville, KY 40299. Fax: 502-365-1431. email@example.com. www.potenzamusic.com. 90047. 2012. $34.95.
Many in the tuba community recall the now standard works of Roger Kellaway (b. 1939) recorded by Roger Bobo a few decades ago that include Westwood Song, Morning Song, Dance of the Ocean Breeze, and others. Commissioned for Tom McCaslin’s new CD recording by the same name (see the review elsewhere in this issue) by twelve of Roger’s former students in 2011 for Bobo’s birthday, One More Dance certainly retains the exuberance and exciting rhythmic and harmonic language of his earlier tuba works. It is one continuous work at the same tempo of quarter note = 116-120 with the one marking “With Spirit” until the final ritard. The range is mostly in and above the staff with the lower notes below the staff reserved as a sort of pedal-point just like in Morning Song. There are many 16th note runs either scalar or in a repetitive four note pattern sequence. The piano part is straight-forward with none of the cadenza-like liberties found in Westwood Song. There are also plenty of jazz chords interspersed with runs and sustained chords in the outer sections of the work while the piano at the “bridge” serves as a highly syncopated rhythmic vamp with a soaring tuba melody mostly above the staff. The performer will need some serious upper register sustainability for this work although the harmonic language and articulations are all straight-forward. The upper range of a1 with notes in and around that range on several occasions will make it more challenging on the CC contrabass tuba. On the other end, the lowest note of FF and the key of F major make One More Dance the perfect vehicle for the smaller and more nimble F tuba.
This new work by Kellaway is a very welcome addition to the tuba repertoire and is a testament to the legacy of Roger Bobo as much as it is to his former students who cared enough to commission the work. I believe it will also be very appealing to all who appreciate this interesting and fun music style. I hope to program it for my next recital!
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College