Mark Nelson, Associate Editor The ITEA Journal encourages submissions of materials for review within the following guidelines:
1. With rare exceptions, unpublished manuscripts are not considered for review.
2. Ensemble music larger than brass quintet unless written as accompaniment for tuba or euphonium solo is not reviewed.
3. Multiple submissions by publishing companies are often spread out over several journals. All submitted material will not be returned or acknowledged. Submission of material for review does not imply that a review will be published.
4. The editor of New Materials in conjunction with the general editor of the ITEA Journal reserves the right to edit any review for
style, length, and accuracy. Unsolicited reviews are welcomed that conform to established guidelines although the editor reserves
the right to determine whether it is published, especially if an assigned reviewer submits a review of the same work.
5. Short works or works of similar style may be combined into a single review.
6. Reviews are the sole opinion of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views of ITEA or its members.
7. Corrections of factual information in a review, especially bibliographic information, are encouraged and will be printed in the
next available journal.
Materials Received May 1-August 1 with thanks:
Still Life CD recording featuring the Sonata for Euphonium and Piano by Karen AmrheinSonata for Euphonium and Piano by Karen Amrhein
Concerto for Euphonium: Swimming the Mountain (piano reduction) for euphonium by Allen Feinstein
Life is Good CD recording featuring Kent Eshelman, tuba
Eirik the Viking CD recording featuring Eirik Gjerdevik, tuba
Fishleather Jacket CD recording featuring the Tom Ball Quartet with Tom Ball, euphonium
Four Serious Songs, Op. 21 (vier ernste Gesänge) by Johannes Brahms arranged for euphonium or tuba and piano by Donald C. Little
Teaching Brass text by Kristian Steenstrup
Visions Fugitives, Op. 22 by Sergei Prokofiev arranged for tuba and piano by Beth A. Lodal
48 Low Register Studies for Tuba by Micky Wrobleski
Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 by Frederic Chopin transcribed for tuba and piano by Steven Eric Marcus
Fanfare for Tuba by Sandra Gay
Christmas Carol Suite for various solo instruments including treble clef baritone arranged by John Jay Hilfiger
Concerto for Tuba and Chamber Orchestra by Jan Bach (piano reduction)
Csardas by Vittorio Monti arranged for solo euphonium, solo tuba, and either piano or tuba ensemble by Gail Robertson
American Medley arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Gail Robertson
When Stealing Down Her Pallid Cheek by Gaetano Donizetti arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet or ensemble by Gail Robertson
Armed Forces Medley arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Gail Robertson
Negro Spiritual Medley arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Gail Robertson
Concerto alla Jazz for tuba and piano by Sy Brandon
Canzon Noni Toni a 12 by Giovanni Gabrieli arranged for 12-part tuba-euphonium ensemble by Ken Drobnak
Two Strauss Songs by Richard Strauss arranged for tuba and piano by Ken Drobnak
Sonata in F Major (transposed to E-flat) by Georg Telemann arranged for tuba and piano by Ken Drobnak
Rhapsody for tuba and piano by Greg Danner
Introduction and Rondo for tuba and piano by Hiromi Itakura
Tuba Sonata for tuba and piano by Stephen Rush
English Madrigal Suite arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet by Michael Forbes
Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst arranged for 6-part tuba-euphonium ensemble and optional percussion by Michael Forbes
Silent Night by Franz Gruber arranged for 4-part tuba-euphonium ensemble by Ronald C. Knoener
Toowaba for tuba-euphonium quartet by Jonathan Crane
Angels¹ Carillons for tuba and marimba by Adriana Figueroa Mañas
Fantasie Originale by Picchi arranged for euphonium and piano by Simone Mantia and edited by Harold Brasch
The Devil¹s Tongue by Hugo Schmidt arranged for euphonium and piano by Harold Brasch
The Volunteer by Walter Rodgers arranged for euphonium and piano by Harold Brasch
All Those Endearing Young Charms by Simone Mantia arranged for euphonium and piano by Harold Brasch
Hungarian Melodies by Vincent Bach arranged for euphonium and piano by Harold Brasch
Nocturne by Frederic Chopin arranged for euphonium and piano by Harold Brasch
Two Irish Tunes arranged for tuba-euphonium quartet with optional soloist or duet by Gail Robertson
Symphony No. 8 by Antonin Dvorak arranged and abridged for brass quintet by Craig Garner
Two-Part Fugues by Mikhail Glinka arranged for tuba and euphonium by Craig Garner
REVIEWED IN THIS ISSUE:
Sonata for Euphonium and Piano by Karen Amrhein
Concerto for Euphonium: Swimming the Mountain for euphonium solo and orchestra (piano reduction available) by Alan Feinstein
Shapes of the Morning for euphonium and piano by David Morgan
Silver Bells by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans arranged for baritone solo by John Caponegro
Memories of Chief Joseph, (Image Music XI-B) for tuba and marimba and Memories II of Chief Joseph, (Image Music XI-B) for tuba and piano by Greg A. SteinkeTwelve Miniatures for Two Tubas by Barton Cummings
Something Borrowed, Something New duets for tuba written or arranged by Brent Dutton
Twelve Etudes for Solo Tuba or Bass Trombone by Brent Dutton
Ding! Dong! Merrily on High arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus
Up on the Housetop arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus
Brass Quintet/Chamber Music
The Window Opens Toward the Ocean for euphonium duet and piano by Jiro Censhu
Vida Rica CD recording featuring Hank Feldman, tuba, piano and vocals and “Sly” Slipetsky, piano and tuba
Westwind Brass-Jazztet CD recording featuring the Westwind Brass
Little Buckaroos CD recording featuring Scott Hartman, trombone, and Adam Frey, euphonium
Pip Avent and his Tuba Smarties CD recording featuring Pip Avent, tuba
Life is Good CD recording featuring Kent Eshelman, tuba, Jon Eshelman, B-3 organ, Tim Cummiskey, guitar, and Dave Weinstock, drums
If I Ran the Circus CD recording featuring compositions by tubist William Roper Euphonium
It’s a bit ironic that I was asked to review Karen Amrhein’s Sonata for Euphonium and Piano , as she sent it to me about 2 months before I was asked to review it. In that time, I had the great fortune of also getting to know a sizable portion of Karen’s other works, and I can say with great certainty that this is a composer that the euphonium (and tuba) world needs to keep their eye on. (Besides, euphers, she’s one of the few current composers of orchestral music that is putting a euphonium in the brass section!)
Karen’s music is “seriously worth investigating for study and public performance. Succinct in style and scope, it provides the audience a capsulated aroma of mid-twentieth century harmonic idioms as well as some fresh melodic direction–[and it] leaves the listener wanting more.” So was the praise of Karen’s music in a recent edition of The Horn Call , and unquestionably, the same could be said of her Euphonium Sonata . Composed in 1995, this is a three-movement work that runs a surprisingly short six and a half minutes in length. Although this composition is very approachable, especially in terms of the range (E to b-flat ) , I don’t see this composition going well for anyone who doesn’t have a good sense of rhythm. In the first twenty measures of the opening movement, for example, the meter changes a whopping fifteen times (!), all between 8/8, 7/8, 6/8, 5/8, and 2/4. Although certainly less of a rhythmic challenge, the second movement is equally as interesting, and the melody, while simple, remains mostly distant, in spite of an ever-yearning accompaniment. (Check out her Event Horizon for clarinet and orchestra, as there is a fair amount of this same feeling, especially in the first movement). A return to strongly rhythmic ideas permeates the third movement, but unlike the first movement, this movement is more abruptly interrupted by other ideas that are no less rhythmic in their nature.
Karen has produced this work in a smart appearance, and the work is very easy to read. Karen indicates her tempos both with the Italian indications as well as with metronomic markings, making her ideas just even clearer. Undoubtedly, I can say that I am also very appreciative of the fact that the euphonium part (and not just the piano part) has the piano cues on the page, making a composition this rhythmic in nature a lot easier to put together with accompaniment.
Admittedly, with more euphonium projects already in the works, I look forward to Karen’s continuing interest in perpetuating the growth of our instrument.
~Jason D. Ham, Yamaha Performing Artist ©
Concerto for Euphonium: Swimming the Mountain for euphonium solo and orchestra (piano reduction available) by Alan Feinstein. www.Euphonium.com, LLC, Adam Frey, Editor. 7230 Cloverhurst Court, Cumming, Ga. 30041. www.euphonium.com/athens.htm; email@example.com. $25 (piano reduction).
Composed for Adam Frey in 2004 and premiered that December, Alan Feinstein’s Concerto for Euphonium is a large work (about 20 minutes in length), which was inspired by an ancient Greek poem that depicts a total eclipse of the sun. In his own words, Alan writes:
The concerto is loosely programmatic. In the first movement, the euphonium is Zeus, surveying, enjoying, and commanding his realm. The second movement depicts the eclipse, the emergence of stars in the darkness, and then the return of the sun. The third movement playfully explores musical possibilities and impossibilities, featurin interactions between the euphonium and the piccolo, timpani, and violin.
Admittedly, this work has grown on me since my first perusal of the score. Performed without a break between the movements, this is a challenging work, most especially in terms of range (BB-flat to f 2 ). There is a nice flow throughout the first movement, which is characterized by a jolly and expansive character, which brought Holst’s “Jupiter” to mind, if only briefly. The work becomes a bit more interactive between the soloist and the ensemble (or pianist) before being interrupted only briefly by a euphonium cadenza. The mood is resumed with much of the previous character, but with noticeably more technical demands upon the soloist and the orchestra (in the forms of intense triplet, then sextuplet figures).
The second movement forms a nice contrast to the conclusion of the first movement, in that its beginning is ethereal, especially brought about by the lack of motion in the orchestra and the soloist being muted. Eventually, however, the soloist reinitiates the musical motion before it is transferred into the orchestra. Feinstein’s use of color and rhythmical motion throughout this portion of the concerto makes this the most convincingly programmatic movement, indicating, as previously mentioned, the eclipse and eventual return of the sun.
The final movement is indeed playful, as Feinstein indicates, using even more call and response interplay between the soloist and the ensemble. Dominated by its 6/8 indication, there is a definite “lilt” to the movement, made more interesting with the use of techniques such as a half-valve glissando, and multi-phonics that stretch as far apart as a 13 th . An effective increase in the motion towards the end of the work by both the soloist and the orchestra give momentum to an energetic ending.
Being as super picky as can be (some have given a name to it, and it ends with “disorder”), the only thing that bothered me in the layout of the work was a rather nasty and impossible page turn in the euphonium part. (However, a copier can help you get over this quickly). Besides this, like with the other www.Euphonium.com presentations, the work is smart in appearance and functional in performance.
~Jason D. Ham, Yamaha Performing Artist ©
Shapes of the Morning for euphonium and piano by David Morgan. www.Euphonium.com, LLC, Adam Frey, Editor. 7230 Cloverhurst Court, Cumming, Ga. 30041. www.euphonium.com/athens.htm; firstname.lastname@example.org. $12.
I know that for some time now there has been a push in ITEA to get good compositions from good composers that are accessible to younger players, yet musically interesting enough to keep great players programming them. This is a difficult medium to find, but I believe Shapes of the Morning is just such a work.
Commissioned by Adam Frey, this is a nice exploration into the euphonium’s more singing and lyrical side. I like the statement found on the work’s cover page that says, “A plaintive melody in the euphonium is accompanied by impressionistic harmony in the piano part,” as I believe this is very accurate in describing what takes place, both melodically as well as harmonically. There is a nice ebb and flow throughout the work, and I find that it is this motion that acts as the primary means of musical expression in the piece. To make this work effective, there must most definitely be a nice push and pull throughout the entire composition, with some moments almost having a completely free and almost improvisatory feel.
Again, I would like to stress that it is vital that younger players get the chance to play good music that forces the foundations of good musicality, and Mr. Morgan’s work is a great opportunity for this. The range is comfortable (E-flat to b 1 ), and the piece has very accessible rhythmic ideas. With no complaints about its appearance, also comes as a highly recommended work.
~Jason D. Ham, Yamaha Performing Artist ©
Silver Bells by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans arranged for baritone solo by John Caponegro. Kendor Music, Inc. 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. #12943. $7.
This is a Grade 2 piece for solo baritone with piano. The baritone need not have a range beyond an octave (d to d 1 ) in order to perform this piece, and it is a very recognizable Christmas tune indeed. The melody actually begins with the piano and is echoed on the baritone to begin the piece with an introductory phrase.
The tempo may get a bit challenging for a beginning level performer during measures 39 through 58 when the Moderato goes from quarter note equals 92-100 to dotted half note equals 60; in essence changing the 3/4 time to 1 beat per measure. This section serves as an interlude from the straight melody, and the melody then resumes with a little more variation beginning with the latter part of measure 58. This occurs after a hold in both parts, which will require eye contact to resume. At measure 75 is a key change, taking the melody up a step, but surprisingly this higher key change does not infringe upon the upper of the octave range. Measures 91-96 show a four-note repetition that rhythmically alludes to bells and pauses before resuming at a slower legato tempo, to complete the melody and wrap up the piece with a ritard and hold on the last note.
There are both bass clef and treble clef parts with this arrangement and can be easily performed by a good middle school player. It is also a great piece for the player to concentrate producing a pure lyrical sound and also to enjoy their performance by producing a well-known song.
~Cindy Short, Solo Euphoniumist, Des Moines Iowa Municipal Band
Memories of Chief Joseph, (Image Music XI-B) for tuba and marimba and Memories II of Chief Joseph, (Image Music XI-B) for tuba and piano by Greg A. Steinke. Gold Branch Music Inc., 4485 Gold Branch Rd., Richfield, N.C., 28137 USA; www.goldbranchmusic.com. No price indicated.
Greg A Steinke is the former chair for the Departments of Art and Music (The Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music) and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Oregon (now retired, as of 2001). He won the “Connie Weldon” Tuba-Euphonium Composition Contest First Prize in 1994. His Suspended in Frozen Velocity for tuba quartet is available from Tuba-Euphonium Press.
Memories of Chief Joseph, in both forms, has five movements: “Prelude,” “Memories: On the Clearwater,” “Camas Meadows-Henry’s Lake,” “Wallowa-Never to Return,” and “Postlude.” Both versions have the same solo part with the different accompaniments providing interesting variations of sounds and context. The composer’s notes challenge the performer to research the title to investigate the historical context and to gain some insights into the way the human voice works in the context of Native American singing. The “Prelude” and the “Postlude” have performance notes that are easily understandable and can be utilized to perform these movements in their contexts. There are Nez Perce songs to be found in a great variety of sites, certainly in the Library of Congress. The frontispiece contains the most famous quote, which came at the end of the tragic journey portrayed in this very interesting work. “Hear me, my chiefs! …from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” (Chief Joseph; Nez Perce)
Movement I, “Prelude” , is marked freely, quarter note at 60, with a range from C-sharp above the staff to C below the staff, and is accompanied by constant variable octaves of the note C in the piano part and a sustained C in the marimba version with rhythmic interactions which mark the phrases.
Movement II, “On the Clearwater”, is marked quarter between 150-160 and begins as a very lyrical scherzo with a range of two octaves between f below the staff to f above the staff. It moves in to a “quasi march” and fluctuates between the two elements. Interestingly it has a portamento indicated, which is one of the few times I have actually seen this technique used specifically. The movement is very accessible to a good high school student and beyond, and would be a rewarding challenge to master technically.
Movement III, “Camas Meadow-Henry’s Lake” is marked quarter note at 180+ in the introduction and settling into quarter at 112 with a similar range as the second movement. The movement is generally in two and is a duet between the piano/ marimba and tuba. It is challenging and will take some work to master but the musical result will be very rewarding.
Movement IV, “Wallowa-Never to Return” is marked quarter equals 108-112 with a greater range staying in the staff and going to pitch g above the staff. This movement is still accessible to good high school players. This will take some good preparation and requires a bit of endurance to perform.
Movement V, “Postlude” is similar to the prelude with a bit more interaction between the piano/marimba. It is marked freely and ascends to the pitch g above the clef.
The work is 15 minutes in duration and is a good addition to our literature. I think it would be interesting to perform both versions, and that the historical aspects of the journey portrayed in the piece will be very beneficial for players to research and should spark some imaginative performances.
~Don Harry, Buffalo Philharmonic, Eastman School of Music
Twelve Miniatures for Two Tubas by Barton Cummings. Cor Publishing Company distributed by Willshire Music Company, 204 Toronto Avenue, Mssapequa, N.Y. 11758. (526) 541-6488; www.wiltshiremusic.com. 2005. $16.
Bart Cummings has been quite prolific as a composer in the tuba and euphonium world for many years. His collections of suites, concerti, and unaccompanied works have been played many times. This new collection of duets is a welcome addition to the tuba world, as we seem to be constantly looking for good material for fun and for student use. The ranges are a bit quirky and set up as tuba one as the high part and tuba two as the low part. The first tuba part is FF to F 1 . The second tuba part is from EE-flat to c 1 . However, the first part rarely stays about the staff and the second part also coincides nicely with the BB-flat tuba range. The variety of keys, styles, and rhythmic diversity in these 12 duets make them very challenging for the average high school player and many undergraduate majors. They are not too long though and with attention to detail, these can be accessible to many kinds of tuba players.
In addition to the quirky ranges, the music itself is kind of quirky at times. Different styles like marches, waltzes, and so forth are apparent but the choice of rhythms and harmonies are often rather modern and dissonant. Fortunately, Cor Publishing Company did an outstanding job with the clean typeset and no bad page turns. Only one duet copy is sent so make sure you have a good music stand to read from. They are fun and funky to play and I got a kick out of reading them with my weekly sparring partner, Mike Sherline of the Tucson Symphony. We both agreed that they are probably the most unique set of duets we had ever read.
If you are interested in challenging and unusual duets for tuba that exploit some range and interesting rhythms, these would do well for your repertoire. If nothing else, it’s a fresh change from reading Mozart!
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
Something Borrowed, Something New duets for tuba written or arranged by Brent Dutton. Brassquake Press, P.O. Box 86879, San Diego, Ca. 92138. (619) 501-3562; info@BrassquakePress.com; www.BrassquakePress.com. 2004. $20.
This eclectic set of duets came with other Brassquake Press materials. Without the copyright notice on the front page, one would never guess it was actually published. The collection of thirteen duets, some in several movements, is about as diverse as anything ever published under a single title. The first four duets are obviously studies entitled Tuning 1 , Tuning 2 , Tuning 3 , and Consonant/Dissonant Imitation . Other duets are arranged for tuba from earlier sources by Mr. Dutton like the Sonata No. 11 in D by J.B. Loeillet in four movements and the Sonata No. 1 Op. 2 in four movements by Telemann arranged for euphonium and tuba! Rounding out the collection are Another Muzzerug’s Skither , BAA! , Florishes , and Derived Walzes (tri-tonal 12 tone) . A few of his originals are also quite involved like the OLD No. 107 (in memory of Johannes Rochut) , and A New Rochut (number 121). Ranges, rhythmic diversity, and harmonic palettes vary with each kind of duet. The studies are involved but playable by most college students majoring in music. The traditional arranged duets are by far the most tonal of the set. The new Rochut duets are quite challenging and perhaps a bit tongue in cheek working in many of the usual Bordogni turns, grace notes, and so forth. The range for tuba one is FF to g 1 although only the Telemann duet exploits ranges above d 1 . The range for tuba two is EE-flat to e-flat 1 with one optional CCC pedal note in Consonant/Dissonant Imitation .
One of the annoying things about the typeset is that this truly is a collection of different duets in different typesets, no table of contents, and basic low level spiral binding with cheap graphics. It looks more like a Xeroxed collection of stuff collected over years than an actual published set of duets. It is not even listed for sale on their current website. I am particularly disappointed in some of the page turns and the different sizes of staves on different pages! Baa! It looks like an early computer generated score with some dynamics half-cut off and some spacing problems.
Putting all that aside in favor of the music itself, there are redeeming characteristics. The arrangements are fun to play and the teaching duets are interesting as concepts in tuning intervals and setting sounds within certain defined parameters. The Rochut-style duets are a hoot to play and have difficult challenges in the rhythmic and harmonic departments.
In all, $20 may be a bit much for lousy binding and inconsistent graphics but on the other hand, the duets themselves are nifty and unique.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
This fine collection of solo etudes are a welcome addition to the tuba studies repertoire and dedicated to tubist Ronald Bishop. They are diverse in character and modern in harmonic implications, yet can mostly be accessed by the undergraduate tubist with hard work and focus. What I also appreciate are the emphases on specific techniques such as tonguing, arpeggios, slurs, differentiating between triplets and duplets, and so forth. Several etudes end on pedal notes that are fairly easily done on the tuba but would be extremely low for the bass trombone.
Range for the etudes is BBB-d 1 . Some of the etudes, like #12, exploit the pedal range with consecutive notes in that range and at least two instances of a three octave leap in eighth notes! Others, like etude #4, have difficult arpeggios moving up and down chromatically while changing between sixteenth notes and triplet eighth notes. What I appreciate from a pedagogical standpoint is that these etudes fill an important void in our literature with modern and tasteful etudes that are not as common as the usual fare of Kopprasch, Blazhevich, and company without the serial technique found in the 12 Special Studies of Otto Meinz.
The typeset and cover pages are clear and concise although the etudes do have differing sized staves as in the Something Borrowed, Something New duets reviewed elsewhere in this column. There is also a nice biographical sketch and photo of the composer on the frontispiece.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
Ding! Dong! Merrily on High arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus. Kendor Music, Inc. 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. #18078. $10.
I think by now nearly everyone in the tuba/euphonium community has played some of Mr. Niehaus’ music. He has done so much over the last thirty-some years. I first came across his work when I was in my college jazz band and he was fresh out of the North Texas State (now North Texas University) Jazz Lab program, where he did a lot of innovative arranging for the bands there. Since then, he has done commercial arranging, movie scores, and countless small ensemble arrangements. His Christmas Jazz Suites for brass quintet (also published by Kendor) are classics. So it’s not strange to see him turn his hand to the same type of music, but for tuba ensemble, since he has written for this type of ensemble before.
The syncopations in this particular arrangement are not difficult, although care must always be used to keep the players from continuing the syncopations when the line breaks out of them and comes in on the beat again. Many times, the two euphoniums play together, and then the tubas will play together. After the rhythm, the toughest part is keeping track of the key changes. Sometimes there are so many accidentals that you can forget which key you are in! This arrangement starts in E-flat major, moving to A-flat, then B-flat, and finally F, although, of course, there are plenty of excursions through some other key centers in passing. One word about this tune in particular–if it is played too slow, the tune begins to disappear. The long notes tend to obscure the melody unless a faster tempo is maintained. The arrangement is given the rating of Grade 4. I rather think it is on the easy side of 4, but this means that a competent high school group can handle this. The range of the parts are baritone 1 e-flat to g 1 , baritone 2 c to c 1 , tuba 1 F to g, Tuba 2: BB flat to d. There are no treble clef parts.
~Michael Short, Drake University
Up on the Housetop arranged for baritone-tuba quartet by Lennie Niehaus. Kendor Music, Inc., 21 Grove Street, P.O. Box 278, Delevan, N.Y. 14042-0278. #18163. $9.
Nearly everything mentioned in my other review in this issue of Lennie Niehaus’ Ding! Dong! Merrily on High applies to this arrangement. The way in which this arrangement is different is first, the tune is more recognizable, and so there is more leeway about what tempo you may use. Secondly, the printed key signatures are fewer in this case. The arrangement begins in G major moving to B-flat major, but of course there are more keys used, and so there are even more accidentals to accommodate this. The disconcerting thing is that when you see the accidentals or even the courtesy accidentals that remind you, for instance, that this particular B is B-natural and not B-flat, you start wondering, “What did I miss?” That’s when you start missing things. Otherwise, the syncopations and the voicing characteristics are very similar, and this is a good addition for the Christmas concert or those mall gigs that seem to always come up. Like the other arrangement, this is rated a Grade 4, but is a little tougher for a younger group because of the extended section in G major. The ranges for the parts are baritone 1 f to g 1 , baritone 2 c to e 1 , tuba 1 BB-flat to g, tuba 2 BB-flat to e. No treble clef parts are included.
~Michael Short, Drake University
Brass Quintet/Chamber Music
The Window Opens Toward the Ocean for euphonium duet and piano by Jiro Censhu. www.Euphonium.com, LLC. Adam Frey, Editor. 7230 Cloverhurst Court, Cumming, Ga. 30041. www.euphonium.com/athens.htm; email@example.com. $20.
The Window Opens Toward the Ocean is an absolutely delightful addition to the repertoire. It is, above all else, a beautiful work, aptly named, as the imagery is so readily visible. Commissioned by Japanese euphoniumist Ryuji Ushigami, composer Jiro Censhu writes that his imagery was that of “a large window flooded by bright sunlight [with an] endless blue sky and a quiet, peaceful ocean. Through this timeless scene one can hear the song of the ocean.” Unquestionably, he accomplished this.
For those of you who have heard or performed Hiroshi Hoshina’s Fantasy and enjoyed it (a hard work NOT to enjoy), then I think you are really going to like what Censhu has done in The Window Opens Toward the Ocean . The work is rather short in its length (5:30), and this is its only drawback. The writing is wonderfully sensitive and quite colorful. Most of the work’s motion is in the piano accompaniment, marked by flowing sextuplets that have an almost water-like quality. The euphonium parts are easy only in terms of the range (D in euphonium II to a b-flat 1 in euphonium I) and rhythm, but there is so much more than meets the eye in this work. Indeed, there is a lot of music in this short composition.
Like with everything else I have observed with www.Euphonium.com, LLC, the work is well presented. An accessible work to most players (surely as young as a good high-school duo), this is a work that deserves a lot of performances. It is sure to benefit soloists and audiences alike, and I highly recommend this to all euphonium players looking for an interesting yet beautiful alternative to their programs.
~Jason D. Ham, Yamaha Performing Artist ©
Vida Rica CD recording featuring Hank Feldman, tuba, piano and vocals and ” Sly ” Slipetsky, piano and tuba. Available at www.hankfeldman.com (520-861-3001) and www.cdbaby.com (503-595-3000). $16 with a 10% discount for purchases of more than one. 2005.
I was waiting for the new CD of famous USA tuba player and composer Hank Feldman and his talented partner Sly Slipetsky. By the cover of Vida Rica , a gorgeous Caribbean beach, I knew that I was in for a Latin Music experience, meaning dance music from Salsa (Cuba), Tango (Argentina), Flamenco (Spain), Songo and Afro-Cuban grooves. A very ethnic recording!
The first track immediately put a big smile on my face. A big tuba intro with lots of multi-phonics, which Hank demonstrates with total control, is followed by a Latin Songo groove played by “Sly” on the piano. Later on Hank delivers an energetic “scat” solo. What fantastic feeling and phrasing!! The entire disc has a great feeling and groove! With no doubt–a very fresh approach to the tuba playing. The disc contains Feldman originals and some arrangements of songs by “Chucho” Valdês, Velásquez, Gillespie, and Monk by himself and Sly.
The third track Touch is an original by Hank in an R&B style. On this tune Sly starts by playing a bass line, while Feldman sings and plays piano, wrapped up with a very fine tuba solo by Sly.
Sly (an amazing pianist and fine tubist) and Hank have the uncanny ability to play off each other’s nuances, enabling them to create spontaneous musical moments. One of many examples is on Monk’s Straight, No Chaser . After a wonderful piano solo, Sly plays a powerful bass line on the piano while Hank entertains with a frenetic and energetic scat solo before returning to the theme again, this time singing.
In this recording, Hank demonstrates all his talents by playing tuba, piano, composing/arranging and shows us a “surprise” by scatting and singing with all the phrasing and groove of the greatest jazz singers!! A fantastic disc that I highly recommend to everyone who loves jazz and Latin music! A must in every CD collection!! Fine Job!!
~ Sergio Carolino, Oporto National Orchestra, National Superior Orchestra Academy at Lisbon
Westwind Brass-Jazztet CD recording featuring the Westwind Brass. Linahon Music Productions, P.O. Box 86879, San Diego, Ca. 92138; www.linahonmusic.com; www.WestwindBrass.org; info@WestwindBrass.org. $12.
Although this is Westwind Brass’s fifth CD, it is the first one that is “completely dedicated to America’s truly original art form, jazz!” A wide spectrum of jazz is covered in this release, ranging from Dixieland to more contemporary modern jazz.
Westwind Brass is a brass quintet based in San Diego. The members are all affiliated with San Diego State University. Westwind Brass has been acclaimed by the Los Angeles Times and others for their virtuosity, musical integrity, and diverse programming. More information on the ensemble can be found at www.WestwindBrass.org.
This CD is one that you can pop in the stereo and never grow tired mainly because of the wide range of jazz styles presented and the virtuosi talent of the performers. Every instrument is featured on the recording, and the recording quality is excellent. I am a little disappointed by the CD cover art. I feel that it is difficult to read and is not representative of the quality of the recording. My favorite work on the disc is Four Pieces for Brass Quintet by Paquito D’Rivera. This is a wonderful arrangement for brass quintet by the Cuban born composer D’Rivera. It is the premier recording of this unique composition, and I am certain there are many more to follow. I recommend this recording as an example of a great brass quintet playing several different jazz styles.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
This recording featuring Scott Hartman and Adam Frey is a wonderful addition to your low brass recordings. These “Buckaroos” are anything but little in the trombone and euphonium world. Scott Hartman, “The T-bone Tornado,” is one of the finest trombone soloists touring the world today. Scott spent nine years with Empire Brass touring the United States as well as Japan and Europe. Scott currently teaches at Yale and performs with several brass ensembles. Adam Frey, “The Euphonium Kid,” is one of the elite young euphonium soloists. Adam has appeared with the Boston Pops, the New Zealand Orchestra, and the Jeju Orchestra of South Korea to name a few. Adam also recently created The Euphonium Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the euphonium.
Little Buckaroos gives the listener a chance to hear both Scott and Adam playing solo music originally written for their instrument. It also exposes the listener to four songs that are arranged from stage and screen music. Scott and Adam are also featured on two duets, Flower Song and Duelin’ Banjos. The brass playing on this album is of the highest quality. After listening to the first two works, it is easy to see why both of these performers are in such high demand. The technical artistry accompanied by the world-class sound makes both of these performers stand out. The recording is very light in nature in regards to layout and design; however, it will knock you over with the quality of the performers. This combination of quality and ease make this an excellent recording. It should also be mentioned that the Metropolitan Wind Symphony does a wonderful job accompanying these soloists throughout the disc. I highly recommend this recording for its success in all aspects: the design and layout, the choice of material, the accompanying ensemble, and especially the quality brass playing of the soloists.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Pip Avent and his Tuba Smarties CD recording featuring Pip Avent, tuba. P.O. Box 1029, Castlemaine, Australia 3450. firstname.lastname@example.org; 03 54 705059. $30 (Australian).
Pip Avent and his Tuba Smarties is Avent’s first solo CD production. Following is a brief history of Avent, a native of Australia.
Pip Avent has been playing the tuba for over forty years. He has played many varied styles of music over that period. Starting on the tenor horn in a brass band at seven years old, Pip progressed to the tuba when he was fourteen. This gave him the opportunity to play orchestral music and then in 1970, he discovered jazz, joining the Melbourne University Jazz Band. In 1974 Pip and his wife Roz went to England where Pip spent four years as the principal tubist in Her Majesties Coldstream Guards Band (London). On arrival back in Australia Pip was offered a teaching position with the Education Department, which he is still doing part-time. He joined The Maple Leaf Jass Band from 1979-1984 and was offered a position with The Society Syncopators, Australia’s premiere Jazz Showband, which he played with for ten years. Since he left the band in 1994, Pip has been working as a freelance musician, recording and touring with artists such as Tom Pletcher (USA), Judy Jacques (2004 Australian Female Vocalist of the Year), Fireworks Jazz Band, and Australian blues giant Broderick Smith.
This CD contains a great rhythm section backing up a tuba soloist playing the melody on every tune. What more could one ask for? The variety of songs on the recording keeps the listener’s attention while the playing is excellent. Avent includes everything from jazz standards such as Four to pop tunes like Killing Me Softly With His Song . Pip improvises on all the tunes and even sings on a couple of tracks. This is definitely a great CD to own to show that a tuba can be part of the horn line in a combo. Pip also provides some interesting information regarding the background of his instrument.
For serious tuba buffs, I bought my tuba from Phil Parker, London on September 1 st , 1974. It is an EE-flat Besson Orchestral tuba. There were five of these made. I know John Fletcher from the London Symphony Orchestra got the first one and Denis Wick bought the second one for his son, and I picked up the third and (according to Phil Parker) the best!
I would recommend this recording because it is a great example of the music that is possible with our instrument. We no longer are relegated to “oom-pah-ing” in the back line in jazz but we can move to the front line and take over the melody.
~Kelly Thomas, University of Arizona
Life is Good CD recording featuring Kent Eshelman, tuba, Jon Eshelman, B-3 organ, Tim Cummiskey, guitar and Dave Weinstock, drums. PKO Records 030 (pkorecords.com). Available through Kent Eshelman, 7510 Maxtown Road, Westerville, Ohio 43082. 2004. $15.
Having taught low brass in Ohio for nearly 20 years, the name Kent Eshelman is no stranger to me. A number of years ago my top high school students were battling for positions in the state honor bands and orchestras with some kid from Columbus. Then I hear that the person in question has won the 2000 Rich Matteson Jazz Competition. Add to this the long list of accomplishments both academically and professionally, and it is no surprise to find this CD hitting the market. And all I can say is “It’s about time!”
Mr. Eshelman is a wonderful musician and gentleman, and this recording does a spectacular job of highlighting his talents. His gifts lie not only on tuba but also as a world-class jazz pianist (okay, he is world-class on both). The playing through out is very clean and tasteful by all members of the ensemble. The solos are very inventive and fresh while still occasionally throwing in a snippet of familiar material. The treatment of the “Gigue” from Cello Suite No. 5 by J.S. Bach is exceptionally well played, demonstrating a wonderful fluidity.
The majority of tunes on this CD are originals by Kent and/or Jon Eshelman. The notable exceptions are the above-mentioned Bach, Wave by Antonio Carlos Jobim, and the ever-popular Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington. The originals reflect the various jazz styles and roots of the two gentlemen and are finely crafted.
My only criticism is a mechanical issue. The tuba is recorded with virtually no reverb or room sound, causing it to have a somewhat sterile sound at times. This by no means is a reflection on Kent’s playing; quite to the contrary, one of the most frightening places to play is in a dead room, and he has a spectacular control of his sound that allows him to overcome the issue. I just got the feeling at times that he would have been a little more free with his playing in a more live room.
~Timothy J. Olt, Bowling Green State University
If I Ran the Circus CD recording featuring compositions by tubist William Roper. Tomato Sage Consortium Records, 1002 Marcheta Street, Altadena, Ca. 91001. home.pacbell.net/kyanite. Available from CD Baby, cdbaby.com/home. 2003. $15.
West Coast artist/composer/musician William Roper has an extensive background as both a tubist and composer, having played with numerous artists and ensembles, including (but definitely not limited to) the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has received commissions from various L.A.-based dance companies and grants from such prestigious organizations as the American Composers Forum, Brody Arts Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The fifth major recording project for Mr. Roper, If I Ran the Circus , is a tour de force for new music aficionados. Ranging from small ensembles to solo instrumentals, the works showcase the extensive musical palette and artistic maturity of the composer. Mr. Roper is joined by a complement of wonderful musicians that include Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello, Dorothy Stone, flute, Alex Cline, percussion, Lesa Terry, violin, Zela Terry, cello, and Joseph Mitchell, percussion. It is evident from the opening of the recording that he has assembled a vastly talented cast. The nature of the music is very soloistic, and all rise to the occasion beautifully.
One of the greatest draws to this CD is the emotional content of the music. Even before reading the program notes it is clear that the compositions have a strong personal connection to Mr. Roper. From the flute’s depiction of Christ arguing with God in Three Guys on a Hilltop to Throttle-Up!-In Memorium 51L , a reaction to the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the angst is self-evident.
Hopefully listeners will take the time to truly explore the CD. Yes, this is new music, so there are some unusual sounds and not a lot of melodies will prompt you to go away whistling. I will counter this by saying that Mr. Roper does some wonderful playing on the CD which is well worth listening to in its own right. For those brave enough to invest the emotions there is a lot more!
~Timothy J. Olt, Bowling Green State University