br> Mark Nelson, Associate Editor
Materials Received May 1–August 1 with thanks:
St. Louis Brass Quintet Live in Concert DVD recording, Daniel Perantoni, tuba
Heavy Metal CD recording featuring the Tennessee Tech Tuba Euphonium Ensemble
Vintage CD recording featuring the Tennessee Tech Tuba Euphonium Ensemble
Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble and “All That Jazz” CD recording featuring the Tennessee Tech Tuba Euphonium Ensemble
Serengeti CD recording featuring the Brass Arts Quintet, R. Winston Morris, tuba
Tuba Concerto for tuba and wind ensemble by Kenneth Amis
The Tuba Effect DVD-ROM by Dr. Avi Sussman and Karen Moore
Beyond the Horizon CD recording featuring Adam Frey, euphonium
Taking Flight CD recording featuring Adam Frey, euphonium and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Rainbo-bo; The Man with the Golden Tuba featuring Roger Bobo, tuba
The Venetian Brass Album featuring members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras
Mo’ Betta Butta CD recording featuring William Roper, tuba
Escapades for Brass Quintet by David F. Wilson
Concerto No. 6, op. 6 by Antonio Corelli transcribed for brass quintet by Richard Bailey
A Morovian Christmas Celebration for brass quintet and timpani by Michael R. Brown
Four Hymn Trios for three low brass instruments or bassoons arranged by John Jay Hilfiger
Renaissance Revisited for any wind instrument and organ by Sandra Gay
Reviewed in this issue:
Hail The Conquering Hero from “Judas Maccabaeus” by George Frederic Handel arranged for euphonium and piano by Arthur Frackenpohl
Honor and Arms from “Samson” by George Frederic Handel arranged for either tuba or euphonium and piano by Kevin Kaisershot
Concerto for euphonium and orchestra (or wind band) by Juraj Filas (reviewed edition for euphonium and piano)
Three Moods for Euphonium and Piano by Barton Cummings
Hail The Conquering Hero from “Judas Maccabaeus” by George Frederic Handel arranged for tuba and piano by Arthur Frackenpohl
Prelude No. 6 by Frederic Chopin arranged for tuba and piano by Daniel S. Augustine
Sonatina for Tuba and Piano by Barton Cummings
Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band by Kenneth Amis
Sonata for Tuba and Piano (Op. 704) by Carson P. Cooman
Brass Quintet/Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble/Chamber Music
In A Mellow Tone by Duke Ellington arranged for euphonium-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus
Marche Militaire by Franz Schubert arranged for euphonium-tuba quartet by Frank J. Halferty
Meadowlands arranged for euphonium-tuba quartet by Frank J. Halferty
Four Easter Quartets arranged for brass quartet by John Jay Hilfiger
The Progressive Brass Quintet–Sixteen selections arranged for the developing Brass Quintet edited by Geoffrey Bergler
Great is Thy Faithfulness by Runyan and I Sing the Mighty Power of God by Watts arranged for brass quartet by Randy Snyder
Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, traditional, arranged for brass quartet by Randy Snyder
Cathedral Rondeau r for brass quartet by Randy Snyder
Were You There? arranged for brass quartet by Randy Snyder
The Tuba Effect CD recording featuring Harmonic Design Konsorte, Dr. Avi Sussman, Tuba
Saint Louis Brass–Live in Concert DVD recording
Steel aLive CD recording featuring Sérgio Carolino, tuba
Three Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble re-releases: Vintage CD recording, Heavy Metal CD recording; Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble and “All That Jazz” CD recording
Brass Arts Quintet and Friends “Serengeti” CD recording, R. Winston Morris, tuba
Rainbo-bo; The Man with the Golden Tuba CD recording featuring Roger Bobo, tuba
Hail The Conquering Hero from “Judas Maccabaeus” by George Frederic Handel arranged for euphonium and piano by Arthur Frackenpohl. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 4. 4:15. 2005. $7.
One of Handel’s most often heard melodies, euphoniumists and tubists will be quite familiar with this melody because of the well-known set of variations by Beethoven and arranged and recorded by William Bell. In this arrangement, both the soloist and the pianist will have a little practicing to do as this is a solid grade 4. The solo part ranges from the first space bass clef A-natural to the G above the staff. There are also some trills to be negotiated and, of course, the correct style for the musical era. Overall, this is an excellent arrangement and one that most all euphoniumists will enjoy playing. Recommended.
Honor and Arms from “Samson” by George Frederic Handel arranged for either tuba or euphonium and piano by Kevin Kaisershot. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 4. 6:00. 2006. $8.
Another well-known melody by Handel, this arrangement comes for both euphonium and tuba with piano accompaniment. This is also a well-done solid grade 4 arrangement that will be excellent material for high school and first year college students. Those performing this work will need to have good slurring abilities, as well as good flexibility and dynamic control. The range goes from the second line B-flat to the E-flat above the staff. Both treble and bass clef euphonium parts are included. The tuba edition is simply down an octave from the euphonium. Recommended.
Concerto for euphonium and orchestra (or wind band) by Juraj Filas (reviewed edition for euphonium and piano). Editions Bim, P.O. Box 300, CH-1674 Vuarmarens/Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.editions-bim.com. 17’. 2002. 28.00 euros, version with piano. 80.00 euros, version with orchestra.
Juraj Filas has composed chamber, symphonic, solo instrumental works, and film music. In 1981, he received his composition diploma from the Prague Conservatory and Music Academy. Winner of numerous compositional awards, Filas wrote his Euphonium Concerto for the 2003 International Philip Jones Competition. Written in one movement, the concerto is a dramatic, theatrical work. Its large-scale form could loosely be described as ABA, and there are five different sections separated by tempo markings, including Grave, Cantabile espressivo, Allegro vivo, Grave, and Tranquillo.
In the opening Grave section, the solo euphonium performs a long trilled note in each measure over a quasi-repetitive rhythmic pattern in the accompaniment. The vertical sonorities reinforce the theatrical nature of the work, which may be more interesting with an orchestra than just the piano. The accompaniment in the Cantabile section begins with open fifths in the left hand and a rapid, arpeggio patterns in the right hand. The solo euphonium has an attractive melodic line, which is passed to the accompaniment later in the section where the euphonium then interjects new material.
The B section of the work, containing material marked Allegro vivo or Allegro, begins with an ascending eighth note motive in the euphonium while the accompaniment begins with a single arpeggio line in the right hand. Unlike the A section, both of these lines are somewhat organized around a minor mode. After twelve measures, a second melodic line joins in counterpoint to the solo euphonium. The second part of this Allegro vivo section features an augmentation of the ascending eighth note line with note against note counterpoint in the piano, along with and additional voice with more rhythmic variety. A contrasting, lyrical third section of the Allegro vivo balances out the previous two articulated sections.
Thematic ideas from both the A and B sections are heard in the second A section, though many have been embellished or transformed into more technically demanding lines. A performance of this work would be more impressive with an orchestra, but it could also be a nice work on an advanced player’s recital. The euphonium range is from F-sharp to d2 and the pianist will likely need to leave some notes out to make the accompaniment work.
~Ken Drobnak, Rocky Mountain College
Three Moods for Euphonium and Piano by Barton Cummings. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW471. 2007. $12.
Part of the Brassworks 4 Series from Brassworks 4 publishing, Three Moods for Euphonium and Piano is a fine contribution to the literature by the well known author, composer, conductor, educator, and performing artistBarton Cummings.
The work comprises of three movements: “Overture,” “Arioso,” and “Burlesque.” The range for the euphonium is BB-flat to c². The score and parts are extremely easy to read and very clear. Both treble clef and bass clef parts are included. The range issue is minimal and for the most part approached by step. There are a few passages involving leaps larger than an octave but these are descending and not rhythmically complex. The writing is characteristic to the movement titles, including some quasi-cadential material and is very accessible to the intermediate to advanced level performer.
~Chris Combest, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hail The Conquering Hero from “Judas Maccabaeus” by George Frederic Handel arranged for tuba and piano by Arthur Frackenpohl. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 4. 4:15. 2005. $7.
This arrangement is similar to the same arrangement for the euphonium that can be found under euphonium reviews in this issue. However, this reviewer is disappointed in the arrangement as it has been simplified and is not anywhere near as demanding or complete as the euphonium arrangement. Gone are the trills and the octave jumps that are part of the original source. Also this arrangement has been transposed up one step, which is fine, but, in the reviewer’s opinion, does not alter the fact that this arrangement is not that good because of the over-simplification of the tuba part. It just doesn’t need to be done.
Prelude No. 6 by Frederic Chopin arranged for tuba and piano by Daniel S. Augustine.
Cimarron Music Press.15 Corrina Lane, Salem CT 06420. (860) 536-2185; email@example.com; www.cimarronmusic.com. 2006. $12.
Dan Augustine, retired from the University of Texas at Austin, is well known in tuba circles for his collection of duos and trios, and he is still an avid and active player. He presents us a selection he describes as, “pretty short, but it’s a marvelous melody which seems uniquely appropriate for the tuba.” Lo and Behold!! He is right.
In a note to the editor, E-flat tuba is recommended as the instrument of choice. I set out to explore the possible drawbacks of using CC or F tuba (not having an E-flat handy). The first hurdle, which was almost insurmountable, was the tempo marking Lento assai (eighth note at 60). “Gently” ascending over two octaves and controlling the top pitches beautifully was painful on the CC, a tad less on F. After settling in on a tempo, I felt it was more playable, keeping the purity of line while moving enough to keep afloat, I found a piano MP3 file online. In the midst of their rubato, the underlying tempo was the eighth note at 80, which does lend itself to better response in performance of this very nice work.
At 26 measures this work would serve well as an offertory in a small church or perhaps a “beautiful” encore rather than a barnburner. The tempo and control issues make it seem much longer. On the CC tuba, some whole lines could be read down the octave to really keep a lush “juicy” sound. Then it is playable on either tuba while retaining the depth of feeling gathered from the original. “Short and Sweet” it is. This would serve as an excellent work to help a student get beyond the metronome and see how rubato and shaping a line go hand in hand with proper response.
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University & Wichita Symphony
Sonatina for Tuba and Piano by Barton Cummings. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW444. 9:00. 2007. $11.
This four-movement work is classic Cummings, with plenty of opportunity for the performer to display lyricism and expression through tuneful lines and two cadenzas. The first movement is ternary with the light middle section flanked on both ends by a flowing lyrical theme. The second movement is a lilting waltz, with good annotations of tempo changes to keep it in the mood of classic waltzes, and provides room for the performer to “own” the piece. The short, lyrical third movement fits the bill of an Air in style and context, and the fourth movement is a rollicking gigue in 6/8 with an effective accelerando to the end of the piece.
Pedagogically, much of the work’s strength is in its approachability by using traditional forms, tuneful melodies, straightforward rhythms, and conventional phrase-lengths—the only aspect of the work that does not match this is the tessitura. Most advanced undergraduates could successfully perform the Sonatina if it were not for the upper tessitura required in just a few isolated passages. The range is C to g1,which is playable by most undergraduate euphonium players with 4-valve instruments but limits the work primarily to mature F-tuba players. Only five measures in the piece go above d1, which is readily attainable by most upper class undergraduate CC-tuba players. It may be possible that the third and fourth movements could be performed alone for players without a solid g1, though the cadenza in the latter may have to be modified.
The piano part is moderately difficult, with some melodic trading between the solo and accompaniment. In spite of the brief ventures into the upper register, Bart Cummings has once again provided the tuba community with a valuable contribution to the repertoire.
~Jason Byrnes, University of Northern Colorado
Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band by Kenneth Amis. Amis Musical Circle, 282 Pleasant Street, Norwood, Mass. 02062-4229. AMC-BR-047. www.AmisMusicalCircle.com. 30:00. Complete set (includes Conductor’s Score, Solo Tuba, Parts, and Study Score) $170. $10.
Most tubists are familiar with Kenneth Amis through his position as tubist of the Empire Brass Quintet, but he has also enjoyed a successful career as a composer. He has written in a variety of genres and has become well-respected in the wind band area in particular. The Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band was written on a commission from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Wind Ensemble and was premiered by that ensemble with the composer as soloist. MIT will be releasing a recording of the work again with Mr. Amis as soloist in the near future.
The piece is obviously of a large scale, and one challenge in getting it performed may be convincing a conductor to program a 30-minute tuba concerto. The instrumentation is standard American wind ensemble, with a B-flat flugelhorn part being an interesting addition. The first movement is expansive but traditional, featuring alternating sections of solo tuba with sparse accompaniment and full tutti sections. Amis actually uses the wind ensemble much as Mozart would have used an orchestra in this setting, including a full exposition before the solo tuba enters. The second movement, titled “Largo Fantasia,” offers lovely melodic writing for the tuba against sparse accompaniment again contrasted with tutti sections. The third movement, “Allegro spiritoso,” turns the tables on the first, with a lengthy unaccompanied introduction by the solo tuba and again follows tradition with a rondo-like form.
The tuba writing is conservative in range, never going above E-flat and rarely going below the bass clef. Nevertheless, the technical demands are substantial, with rapid passages throughout all three movements. The ensemble parts are likewise difficult, particularly in the rapidly shifting meters and rhythmic intricacy of the writing. The performance of this piece should not be considered lightly, as it would appear to take a good deal of preparation on the part of soloist, conductor, and ensemble. For those who wish to have a “dry run” with piano, Amis has indicated that a piano reduction will be available soon. Highly recommended for those who have a friendly conductor and excellent band at their disposal.
~Kevin Wass, Texas Tech University
Sonata for Tuba and Piano (Op. 704) by Carson P. Cooman. Fabrik Musical Publications, a division of Musik Fabrik. 18 rue Marthe Aureau, 774400 Lagny-sur-Marne, France. www.classicalmusicnow.com. 2007. 19.95 euros.
Carson Cooman’s Sonata for Tuba and Piano is a major tour de force for both tubist and pianist. He is quite well known in other music circles as both a formidable organist with countless premieres under his belt and as a prolific composer with a huge catalogue of works in virtually all genres. Writing in a decidedly eclectic style, he presents the tuba sonata in three movements of striking contrast that work together to create a truly monumental new work for tuba. The first movement, “Speaking of Sunsets,” begins with a fortissimo piano tremolo, which elides smoothly into the rising motive from the tuba, which starts at pedal CC! The movement is unpredictable, robust, fleet, and even touching at times. Employing an exceptionally low register with one of the recurring motives, the movement does not reach too far into the ledger lines above the bass clef making it possible for the larger CC tuba to be used. The second movement, “Build Me a Garden,” is based on a song overheard by the composer being sung by a homeless man. It is quite lyrical and emotional and brings out the amazing lyrical qualities of the tuba. The words from the song are supplied in the score and beautifully translated into music:
Build me a garden, far ‘cross the sea
Build me a garden, a place I can be
The water is wide, the journey is long.
I’ve put all my sorrows into this song.
The last movement, “Rising at Dawn,” is again indicative of a grand scheme of putting the tuba and piano through its paces with frenetic motion, angular leaps, and an ending worthy of a Wagnerian Opera! Throughout the entire sonata, the tubist must be capable of register changes almost instantaneously, possess a good rhythmic sense as there are numerous quintuplet and septuplet passages in a variety of circumstances, and have good articulation skills to handle some of the faster and more scherzo-like passages. However, having said all of that, I was able to completely learn the work in a few months and my pianist commented that the piano part is fairly idiomatic which is not always true for many tuba and piano works! The crystal clear notation and layout of the score and part help the performers not have to work too hard actually reading the music! The complete tuba range spans CC to e1, quite possible for the CC tuba as well as the more nimble E-flat and F tubas.
The premiere took place on April 12, 2007 with Mark Nelson, tuba and Marie Sierra, piano at the opening recital of the Southwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference in Tucson, Arizona. This work is a major sonata that would be a perfect vehicle for an advanced tuba major as well as the seasoned professional looking for something completely new, challenging, satisfying, and yet still within the more traditionally defined chromatic tonal boundaries. Mr. Cooman has also penned another work worthy of attention named Dream Etudes, Book III for unaccompanied tuba that is available at MMB Music, Inc. This work belongs with tubists who are worthy of a serious and satisfying challenge!
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
Brass Quintet/Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble/Chamber Music
In A Mellow Tone by Duke Ellington arranged by Lennie Niehaus for euphonium-tuba quartet. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 3. 4:25. 2005. $10.95.
Lennie Niehaus continues to arrange well-known and popular standards for Kendor, and, in this case, this is a real winner. Written for a good high school or even college quartet, the arrangement will be a good introduction to the music of Ellington and to the swing style for the younger player. The score and parts are well done and easy to read. All in all, it is a good solid arrangement of a great Ellington tune. Recommended.
Marche Militaire by Franz Schubert arranged by Frank J. Halferty for euphonium-tuba quartet. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 5. 3:15. $10.95.
This is a reasonably good arrangement. Certainly one that is very playable by a good high school group or college group. It is well done in terms of range, technical demands, and overall musical requirements. This arrangement would be a nice addition to any ensemble concert program and would be a good opener. The reviewer disagrees with the grading of the piece. This is more on the order of a grade 4 and perhaps even a grade 3.5. Recommended.
Meadowlands arranged by Frank J. Halferty for euphonium-tuba quartet. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. Grade 4. 3:30. 2006. $9.50.
Subtitled Fantasy on a Russian Folk Song, this arrangement will be suitable for use by high school and college ensembles that are looking for a shorter piece to play. The tune itself is well known and was a favorite of the famous Don Cossack Choir. Technically, this is not a difficult piece nor is it difficult range wise. There is a G above the staff for the first euphonium, but other than that the range is most comfortable not only for the first euphonium, but for the other three instruments as well. Again, one should not be fooled by the grading. It is a well-done arrangement. Recommended.
Four Easter Quartets arranged for brass quartet by John Jay Hilfiger. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW455. 2007. $14.
These four hymns are basic arrangements, each repeating the chorus once. Of course, they can be repeated at will as needed. The instrumentation is for two trumpets in B-flat, horn, and trombone. Euphonium can be substituted for trombone, and the arrangement includes parts so that the euphonium can also substitute for horn in either bass or treble clef.
The hymns are Jesus Christ is Risen Today (subtitled Easter Hymn), Christ is Alive! (Truro), Now the Green Blade Rises (French Carol), and Thine is the Glory (Judas Maccabeus). The only one that seems out of place for an Easter setting would be the third, which upon hearing the melody is the familiar Noel Nouvelet that is commonly heard around Christmas time. Apparently, some churches sing words that make it appropriate for inclusion in Easter services, but it still seems a little jarring to hear the Christmas tune at the wrong time of the year.
Overall, this is a useful set of quartets. Most young high school players would be able to execute these arrangements, as the range is not extreme. No part has much more of a compass than an octave and a half, and the trumpet parts do not go above the treble clef staff. The horn part is almost entirely in the treble clef staff. The range on the low brass parts are third part b-flat to b-flat1 and fourth part F to f1. The third part does get into the upper range, but that is because it is substituting for horn, and, if the player drops some of it an octave, there seems to be no harm done.
~Michael Short, Drake University
The Progressive Brass Quintet–Sixteen selections arranged for the developing Brass Quintet edited by Geoffrey Bergler. Cherry Classics Music. Canadian Address: 5462 Granville Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 3C3 Canada. (604) 261-5454. U.S. Address: 88 N 1 Apt. 8, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.Cherry-Classics.com. 2006. $15.
Mr. Bergler, a trumpeter in the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has given us a primer in brass quintet performance. Aimed at young musicians, he assumes nothing from the outset. The very first selection is the melody of a J. S. Bach chorale that is played in unison by all five players, so that in the next selection, they will hear the melody being played by the first trumpet and each will know their function in the ensemble. As we move through the musical pieces, more concepts are added. Foreign words that give clues to the style being played, dynamics, different dynamics on repeats, echo effects, the melody being passed from instrument to instrument, and listening to who has the melody if you don’t are all concepts that are covered here.
If I have any quarrel at all with this publication, it would be that the scope is limited as to the type of music covered here. Five of the pieces are by Henry Purcell, and the most modern selections are an Andantino by Haydn and two pieces by Tchaikovsky. I like those things just as much as the next person, but I would think that additional modern works might teach as much and be more interesting to younger players. Doing some jazz might be the hook to get them going on ensemble playing and then you can introduce 17th-century English music. Maybe I’m just getting ahead of Mr. Bergler, and he’ll do this in a future volume. But this set would help the good junior high or young high school group get off the ground.
There is a third trumpet part that is a substitute for horn in case your school is challenged in that respect. The range of the tuba part is GG to b-flat.
~Michael Short, Drake University
Great is Thy Faithfulness by Runyan and I Sing the Mighty Power of God by Watts arranged for brass quartet (2 trumpets, 1 trombone, 1 euphonium) by Randy Snyder. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW387; BW388. 2:00 each. $12/14.
Randy Snyder, Fine Arts Department Chair at San Jacinto College North in Houston, Texas, has arranged a number of sacred pieces for Brassworks 4. Dr. Snyder is well versed in brass quartet, playing trumpet as a member of the Cathedral Brass at the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral. Brassworks 4 was active as a professional brass quartet from 1994–2003, and their publishing house was the natural extension of their developing the repertoire for that ensemble. While their specialty is brass ensemble music (including many configurations of tuba/euphonium ensembles), they now carry music for woodwinds and piano as well.
The ranges of the euphonium parts are E to a for Great is Thy Faithfulness and E-flat to e-flat1 for I Sing the Mighty Power of God. The other parts are similarly reasonable in range, with the trumpets rarely playing above the staff and the trombone peaking at g1. The score and all parts are computer generated and quite clear to read. Much care has been put into marking articulations. The real strength of these arrangements is the flexibility of instrumentation. A horn part in F is included doubling the trombone part and the euphonium part is in a narrow enough range to make it accessible to a tuba, euphonium, or trombone player, so any brass quintet could use this on a church gig, or the piece can be flexible for what members of a church band show up for a given service.
Great is Thy Faithfulness is a simple setting of the choral and should be an easy chart to read. It is in the key of D throughout. Group rests and time changes from 4/4 to 3/4 and back may throw off an ensemble on the first reading but are simple enough to be worked out quickly. The trombonist will need a solid mid-high register and be independent for a solo line in mm. 9 and 10. Otherwise it is straight ahead. The fermata in the penultimate measure can be a bit awkward and might be best to simply include it as part of the overall ritardando at the end. This arrangement should sound good with minimal effort from the players and will be a welcome addition on a church gig.
After reading through I Sing the Might Power of God, one of my trumpet players remarked “Wow, that was eventful.” For a two-minute piece, there is a great deal of interest. The fanfare beginning allows all the ensemble members to get involved and shifts between 4/4 and 3/4. The euphonium player will need a strong low range to cover the bass role down to E-flat. The first statement of the melody is fairly simple with some triplet patterns on the trumpet parts. In the second statement, the trombone and euphonium parts play the offbeat in thirds while the trumpets parts have some sixteenth note figuration. After a brief modulation, the third statement moves to B-flat from the previous key of A-flat. This section may take some practice for intonation, as the euphonium and second trumpet play the melody completely unadorned in octaves with each other. The trombone and first trumpet move lightly above in sixths with each other. The articulation of this line is meticulously marked. The piece ends in a flourish with a scalar eight-note line in the euphonium part underneath the rest of the group. This arrangement my take a bit more work to put together, but will be worthwhile as an upbeat introductory piece for a church service or recital.
~T. J. Ricer, D.M.A. student, Eastman School of Music
Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit arranged for brass quartet by Randy Snyder. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW385. 1:30. 2007. $14.
This gospel arrangement of the traditional song is in the standard Brassworks 4 instrumentation: 2 trumpets, trombone (substitute part for horn provided) and euphonium (treble and bass clef parts provided). The piece is musically effective, starting with a thick introductory phrase but then dropping back as it builds throughout in thickness of texture and dynamic level. Although the piece is melodically strophic, the variety of accompaniment throughout makes the piece fun to play and hear. The ranges of the parts (trumpet 1 b to g2, trumpet 2 a to c2, trombone f-sharp to f-sharp 1, and euphonium D to g) are easily playable for gigging quartets or university students; the light swing style and key of D major throughout may provide younger players with challenges. With its short duration, religious theme and climactic ending, I cannot think of a more appropriate piece to accompany “passing the plate” next time you are playing a church job.
~Jason Byrnes, University of Northern Colorado
Cathedral Rondeau for brass quartet by Randy Snyder. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW471. 2007. $14.
Randy Snyder is currently the Fine Arts Dept Chair at San Jacinto College North in Houston, Texas and has composed and/or arranged works for marching band, concert band, choir, jazz band, brass quintet, brass choir, as well as solo pieces and numerous other ensemble settings.
Instrumentation for Cathedral Rondeau is C trumpets, trombone, euphonium or trombone (Optional B-flat trumpets, horn in F included). Range for the parts is trumpets g to f², trombone c to f¹, euphonium F to b-flat. The score and parts are very easy to read and are extremely clear. The writing and voice leading are effective and well done. This is a short piece that is in cut time and does contain compound meter material, though for the most part the rhythm is not complex, there are instances of some very fast ornamentation that might be a slight issue for a younger performer. Range requirements are minimal and the use of varied dynamics is excellent and could serve as a wonderful developmental tool in a younger chamber group. Overall, this piece is well within the intermediate level and is a good addition to the brass chamber library.
~Chris Combest, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Were You There? arranged by Randy Snyder for brass quartet. Brassworks 4 Publishing, 461 Sunrise Parkway, Farmington, N.M. 87401. www.brassworks4.com. BW389. 2007. $14.
This is an arrangement of a traditional hymn setting. The arranger, Randy Snyder, is currently the Fine Arts Department Chair at San Jacinto College North in Houston, Texas and has composed and/or arranged works for marching band, concert band, choir, jazz band, brass quintet, brass choir, as well as solo pieces and numerous other ensemble settings.
Instrumentation is B-flat trumpets, trombone, and euphonium (with optional horn in F included). Range for the parts is as follows trumpets a to a2, trombone e-flat to a1, and euphonium AA to e1. The score and parts are extremely easy to read and are very clear. As for the overall length of this piece, it is very short, but the writing is effective. As far as accessibility, this piece is easily in the range of a high school ensemble and is a useful addition to anyone desiring a straightforward traditional setting of this hymn for their library.
~Chris Combest, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Tuba Effect CD recording featuring Harmonic Design Konsorte, Dr. Avi Sussman, Tuba. Harmonic Resonance Reasearch, Inc. 122 Alpine Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON, L4SIV9. Available at www.doctoravi.com/TheTubaEffect or by phone, (905) 737-6900. $34.95 plus taxes and shipping.
The subtitle of this recording is “Selections of Classical and Popular Music to Help Awaken the Emotions,Vitalize the Body, Illuminate the Energy Field and Rejuvenate the Soul,” and it is a labor of love for the performers, tubist Dr. Avi Sussman and pianist Karen Moore. Sussman is a Toronto-based chiropractor and naturopathic healer who was trained as a classical tubist in his undergraduate days, and Moore likewise has formal training in music as well as natural healing. The two perform their own arrangements and transcriptions of music ranging from Bruch’s Kol Nidre to Danny Boy, and include works for both tuba and piano and piano alone. The CD comes packaged in a DVD case that holds a lengthy booklet dealing with the music’s desired metaphysical effects, and there are additional essays on the CD that can be accessed on a computer with a CD-ROM drive.
Both Sussman and Moore are fine musicians, and the performances on the disc are technically flawless and well played. At times, I found myself wishing for some variety in mood or texture, as most of the music is slow moving and melodic. Still, the playing is pleasing if not horribly imaginative or progressive. My only complaints are in the recording quality—the tuba microphone was too close resulting in some minor distortion—and in the use of an electronic Yamaha piano rather than an acoustic piano. According to the notes, this was done to allow the solo piano selections to be performed at the more pure (by Pythagorean standards) pitch of A=432.
From a performer’s standpoint, there is very little here that has not been done elsewhere. Still, for those with an interest in the use of tuba in naturopathic therapies or just for those who want to hear some pretty music played well, this CD is a safe purchase.
~Kevin Wass, Texas Tech University
Saint Louis Brass–Live in Concert DVD recording. Copies of this DVD and any of the groups CDs can be obtained by calling (800) 544-9027. The SLBQ management is Primo Concerts: (314) 968-9027 or (800) 689-9027.
This concert was a live concert produced by Indiana University Television during a performance on July 26, 2005 at Auer Hall, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. DVD bonus features include a Children’s Concert, Master Class, Interview, and History.
There are so many wonderful aspects to this DVD; it is hard to find a proper starting point. Since 1964, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet has performed nearly 3,000 concerts covering works from every period and performing their own commissions or arrangements exclusively. It was interesting to see the history portion of the DVD and learn how the personnel had changed over the years. Melvyn Jernigan, trombonist, is an “original,” and the only member currently living in Saint Louis. The other current members include Allen Dean, (trumpet, Professor of Music, Yale School of Music). Ray Sasaki (trumpet, Professor of Music, University of Texas at Austin), Thomas Bacon (Horn, International Horn Soloist and Recording artist), Daniel Perantoni (tuba, Professor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music).
The sound quality on this DVD was excellent—as soon as I found the setting, which switched from plain stereo to Dolby Surround Sound, wow—what a difference that made. Even on a little portable DVD player with iPod earphones, it seemed as if I had a front row seat. The playing was immaculate in every aspect: pitch, ensemble, spirit, and accuracy. The players exude a joy that permeates the performance, which they speak of during the interview session. Having done many years of quintet playing, I totally agree with their take on the importance of brass chamber music. The musical satisfaction one finds in quintet performance, which is like none other.
The concert program is more an “enlightened Pops” style, containing ancient dances, Spanish folksongs, and Tangos skillfully arranged by Allan Dean. A most excellent historic segment from conch shell to garden hose, played to the hilt, yet demonstrating great musicality (as long as they can keep a straight face).
The Children’s Concert and Master Class segments might be of more interest to a person wanting to write a grant for funding a residency. Though they are fairly brief and seem “tacked on,” they do show that the basis of “what we all do” as educators and performers is communicate and share the joy of music!
~Phillip C. Black, Wichita State University & Wichita Symphony
Steel aLive CD recording featuring Sérgio Carolino, tuba, with the National Youth Band of Switzerland conducted by Robert Childs, Annejelle Visser (tuba) Leonard Schmidinger (drums), the Portuguese Youth Symphonic Brass Ensemble conducted by Joao Pablo Fernandes, Thomas Ruedi (euphonium), Joao Moreira (trumpet), and Luis Cunha (trombone). Afinaudio; www.afinaudio.net. 70:29. 2007. 10 euros.
[please visit the Performance Lab for selected tracks for listening
Sérgio Carolino has emerged as one of the giants of our instrument. He studied at the Superior Conservatory of Geneva with Pierre Pilloud, and he has attended master classes by some of our great artist/teachers of the tuba.
Currently, Mr. Carolino is principal tuba in the Porto National Orchestra and serves on the faculties of the National Superior Orchestra Academy in Lisbon and the Superior School of Music in Porto.
The first piece on the program is the Concerto for Tuba and Brass Band by Jorge Salguiero. This is a major work for the instrument and tuba players not familiar with this work are missing out on what should be a standard part of their concert repertoire.
Cast in five movements, this concerto features much in terms of rhythmic excitement as well as lovely lyrical passages. Each movement moves directly into the following movement. Of interest is the use of mouthpiece buzzing from different sections of the band combined with normal playing at the same time from different sections of the band. The third movement is titled “Cadenza,” and this is a showpiece for Mr. Carolino who does amazing things and never loses the momentum of the previous movement. This is a bravo performance from all concerned. Carolino moves from top to bottom on the tuba without a blink of an eye and with great ease and completely effortless. The band is remarkable and one would be hard pressed to find a better ensemble.
No stranger to the tuba world, Jim Self is represented on this disc as a composer. Featured is the Duh-Suite for two tubas and drums. This is an example of how combining what might at first seem to be incongruous instruments together can and does work. The piece is in four movements and are listed as “Duh Intro,” “Duh Blooze,” “Duh Yaz,” and “Duh Ko Da.” All of the movements are brief and to the point yet call upon all concerned to be a virtuoso. As would be expected there is a distinct jazz flavor to the work. Both tubists are incredibly well versed in all of the styles called for and have technique and musicianship to spare.
Next we come to Mr. C a concerto for tuba and symphonic brass and percussion ensemble by Thierry Caens. An extended one-movement work that features incredible performances from all concerned. This piece is again, one that all tubists need to have in their library and repertoire and it will in time, become a staple of the repertoire.
Time Cycles for Tuba and MIDI (CD accompaniment) by Jerome Grant is next. This is an exciting composition featuring the latest technology to create music electronically. This piece is in three movements and the accompaniment is not just a collection of sounds but a true accompaniment. The tuba definitely interacts with the MIDI playback that is quite symphonic in nature. The first movement is fast and furious, while the second is very lyrical and reflective. This movement leads into a lively third and final movement.
Another composition for CD accompaniment is by Michael Davis and titled Eagles Landing. Mr. Carolino is joined on this piece by euphoniumist Thomas Ruedi. This is a driving, no nonsense piece that has a lot of jazz influence. It is in one continuous movement and never stops until the last note. Both performers are up to the task of meeting the demands of the piece. Both soloists have an opportunity to improvise and eachh do a remarkable job. All Blues by Miles Davis is another driving, pulsating tour de force for all concerned. On this track Mr. Carolino plays a King BB-flat sousaphone with trumpeter Joao Moreira and trombonist Luis Cunha. The arrangement is provided by the Estardalhaco Brass Band. All of the soloists are well versed in what they are doing and shine through on this arrangement.
The last piece on the program is by Sérgio Carolino himself and is for tuba solo. Titled DidjiriTUBAazz this piece will astound all who hear it. At just under three minutes listeners will be held in place by the technical prowess of the soloist. What the piece amounts to is a giant cadenza and is a dazzling display of pyrotechnics that will demand more than one hearing. While not an exclusively “tuba music” album, it does contain some of the most significant compositions written for the instrument. It is a far cry from those albums that are simply another recording of previously recorded pieces or those albums of nothing but arrangements and transcriptions. Certainly it is good for the standard repertoire to be recorded and in some cases re-recorded by different artists. But with the plethora of great compositions for the instrument, we owe it to ourselves, our heritage, and to those composers laboring at their craft to make sure that we do the right thing. And that is, we must record and preserve not only a handful of “classics” but we must record and preserve all of our best pieces.
Sérgio Carolino is surely doing just that—commissioning, performing, and recording compositions not only written for him but encompassing the entire tuba repertoire. It is because of him and others that we can look forward to more and more commissioning of and recording of new music for tuba.
A bravo to all involved! This disc is a must for all tuba players. What makes this album all the more incredible is that it is made up entirely of live performances. Highly recommended!
Three Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble re-releases: Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble presents…Vintage (#6736 MCD), Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble presents…Heavy Metal (6395 MCD), Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble and “All That Jazz” (6394 MCD). Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc. 10815 Bodine Road, Clarence N.Y. 14031-0406. (716) 759-2600; email@example.com; www.markcustom.com. $15 each.
These three recordings are compilations from previous recordings (LP) of the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble (TTTE). This ensemble celebrated their 40th anniversary during the 2006–2007 academic year. These recordings were reissued to celebrate this anniversary. In the spring of 1967 R. Winston Morris, the director of the TTTE, approached Vincent Morette about possibly recording the TTTE. At that time there were only 4 totally dedicated to tuba, those being by Bill Bell, Rex Conner, Harvey Phillips, and Peter Popiel. It is amazing to see the difference now in regards to tuba and euphonium recordings available.
Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble presents…Vintage is a reissue of the first two complete LP recordings by the TTTE. These were originally under the Golden Crest label and were recorded in 1975. Tuba ensemble recordings were becoming more prominent as Connie Weldon (University of Miami) and Abe Torchinsky (University of Michigan) were also releasing recordings that year. Since the original tapes were 30 years old there is some distortion, and the sound quality is not what we hear today in current recordings. The playing and the quality of the repertoire, however, hold up to today’s standards. Many of the works on this recording were written for the TTTE or were arranged by Morris himself. Since this initial recording, the TTTE has produced 20 recordings making it the most recorded tuba ensemble in history.
Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble and “All That Jazz” is a reissue of four previous recordings between 1979 and 1986. Two of the recordings were from the KM Records label and two were from the Mark College Jazz Series label. One of the recordings was a live recording from the NTSU (now University of North Texas) tuba conference. This recording was live with no edits. One unique aspect of this recording is that several of the pieces are arrangements done by members of the ensemble. That is one of the things that Winston Morris is known for, creating new music for the tuba ensemble. Whether it was commissioning new works, arranging music himself, or having students in the ensemble write/arrange new works, there is always new music being performed. In this recording it is also easy to see the influence of the Matteson-Phillips TUBAJAZZ CONSORT on the TTTE. Morris was a member of the consort, and he believes that jazz music should be a part of the education in the tuba-euphonium studio. In this recording we see the benefits of this philosophy.
Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble presents…Heavy Metal is a reissue of three previous recordings between 1979 and 1986. Two of the recordings were from the KM Records label and two were from the Mark College Jazz Series label. It is mentioned in the notes that all of the works were original compositions for the tuba-euphonium ensemble. All of the pieces except for one were written specifically for the TTTE. Again, the sound quality is not what we hear in today’s recordings, but it is very respectable. Much work goes into transferring a LP to a digital format. I must confess that this recording was the first I heard of a tuba ensemble. I encountered it as a high school student and the possibilities of these instruments blew me away. I especially enjoy the Crawford Gates and the Wayne Pegram compositions.
It is important to acknowledge Mark Morette in these recordings. Mark has taken his father’s vision, and it has blossomed into a recording label that is recognized as a standard in the tuba-euphonium community. Without his passion for our instruments and our music, it would be difficult to imagine where we would be today.
I believe these three recordings are a significant step in the evolution of the tuba/euphonium ensemble. They were some of the earlier recordings of this type of ensemble out of which new music was created for future groups. R. Winston Morris’ vision has come to fruition 40 years later, and it is great to re-visit these pioneer recordings. I would highly recommend these recordings to all enthusiasts of the tuba and euphonium.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Brass Arts Quintet and Friends “Serengeti” (6798 MCD) featuring Charles Decker (trumpet), Chris McCormick (trumpet), Greg Danner (horn), Joshua Hauser (trombone and euphonium), and R. Winston Morris (tuba), with guests Phillip Barham (alto sax), Bryce Edwards (euphonium) and Eric J. Willie, percussion. Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc. 10815 Bodine Road, Clarence N.Y. 14031-0406. (716) 759-2600; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.markcustom.com. $15.
This recording is the third for the Brass Art Quintet, the brass quintet in residence at Tennessee Technological University (TTU). The brass faculty make up of the quintet include Charles Decker, Chris McCormick, Greg Danner, Joshua Hauser, and R. Winston Morris. The quintet is joined in this recording by Phillip Barham, professor of saxophone at TTU, Eric J. Willie, professor of percussion at TTU, and Bryce Edwards, an alumnus of TTU.
The playing on this album is nothing short of impressive. The different styles displayed demonstrate the versatility of the ensemble. The soloists that join the quintet are magnificent. Bryce Edwards especially gives an admirable performance of Weber’s Andante e Rondo. Gail Robertson has done a wonderful job of capturing the mood of the work with her arrangement for Mr. Edwards. The quality of the recording is also outstanding. This recording should serve as a model for younger quintets to imitate. One unique aspect of this recording is that six of the nine pieces on the recording are either composed or arranged by members of the ensemble. I particularly enjoyed the composition by Joshua Hauser, Road Rage, and the work by Greg Danner, Serengeti.
In this reviewer’s opinion, this ensemble fits the scope of what a faculty chamber ensemble should be. They perform at a high level, they feature other members of the faculty and alumni, and they are always creating new music for the ensemble. Congratulations to the Brass Arts Quintet to a wonderful recording and a successful ensemble.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Rainbo-bo; The Man with the Golden Tuba CD recording featuring Roger Bobo, tuba. Crystal Records 28818 NE Hancock Road, Camas WA 98607. (360) 834-9680. email@example.com. www.crystalrecords.com. CD398.UPC 00941473982-7. 46.03. 2007. $16.95.
Roger Bobo’s latest CD recording is a compilation of three different LP recordings, apparently without any additional editing or re-mixing, that he made in the years 1978–1981. The original recordings included LP numbers S126, S398, and S392, all out of print. The five compositions represented on this new recording are the Air from Suite No. 3 by Bach played by Bobo on a B-flat tenor tuba with Zita Carno, piano; Stänchen (Serenade) by Franz Schubert played on an F tuba with Zita Carno on piano; Meyer Kupferman’s Saternalis for tuba and amplified cello featuring Daniel Rothmuller on cello; Morton Subotnik’s The First Dream of Light for tuba, piano and “ghost” score with Ralph Grierson, piano; and the Encore: Bōz by Thomas Stevens for unaccompanied tuba, all presumably played on the CC contrabass tuba.
That Roger Bobo is a remarkable tubist and musician is of course, a huge understatement. He sings with the euphonium, dances with the F tuba, and positively blows away the audience with his CC contrabass tuba playing. This is vintage Bobo at his best: confident, lyrical, possessing an amazing vibrato, and capable of almost superhuman and nearly bombastic feats of dynamic range and register. The Air is quite amazing with his emphasis on lyrical and expressive playing that is second to none in the euphonium world! As well, the Schubert Stänchen is simply a joy to listen to for the sheer genius of Schubert’s music. My favorite piece on the CD is Saturnalis, a work that deserves many more performances and available from Soundspells Productions. The amplified cello is balanced very well against the tuba and the interplays and virtuosic ensemble playing by both musicians is simply amazing. We need to explore more combinations of using tuba with string instruments as that part of our repertoire is still quite small. (Special thanks go to Sonny Ausman, recording engineer for all of these original LP recordings and to Ralph Sauer for being the Tonmeister for the Bach and Schubert pieces). The Subotnik piece is quite intriguing with the “ghost” score of a tape with recorded information that triggers electronic equipment that modifies the sound of the piano and tuba and occasional vocals. Indeed, I thought that that much of the first half was all about variations on impossible tremolos!
Of course, the final work, Encore: Bōz, written for Bobo by his long time friend and Principal Trumpet of the L.A. Philharmonic, Thomas Stevens, is the perfect ending, right down to the final sound of the stage door slamming shut as Bobo exits after playing the last note! What is simply stunning to me is that I listened to this CD non-stop with my Bose surround sound stereo system at home and again in my car, and I could swear I was in the room with Roger and his colleagues. The sound was that clear, which is saying something about the care Crystal Records took with the conversion to CD from the LP master tapes.
Crystal Records is to be congratulated for re-issuing more of the Roger Bobo recording library, which already includes releases such as CD125, a compilation of selections from LP S125 Roger Bobo, Tuba, Plays… and LP S392 RogerBOBOtuba, and CD 396, a re-release of LP S396 Gravity is Light Today. I am somewhat disappointed at the total timing of this CD as there would have been room to put more works on the CD from other early LP recordings. Perhaps Crystal is planning another compilation disc in the future. As our solo recordings for our instruments continue to mature, it is right that steps are taken to protect our legacies with re-releases of earlier recordings onto a more stable medium that is more durable than the LP libraries of yesteryear. For a generation of tubists like myself who were privileged to have studied with Roger Bobo during the time these recordings were being made and who also listened to all of his LP recordings until they literally wore out, this new compilation is just the ticket to rediscover these wonderful works that helped define our repertoire.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College