Materials Received February-May 1 with thanks:
Pioneers in Brass CD~ROM by Glenn Bridges
The Dragons and Dance CD recording featuring the Contraband Tuba/ Euphonium Quartet
Chaconne for tuba and piano by Paul Hayden
Blue Plate Special CD recording
featuring Joseph Skillen, tuba Marches4BassClef: 20 marches in four parts for bass clef instruments arranged by Clifford Bevan
The Music of David Gaines CD featuring the Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra, Jifi Vydra, euphonium
20th Century Concerti CD recording featuring Marc Easener, tuba
The Art of Brass CD recording featuring
the Potsdam Brass Quintet Brass Performance and Pedagogy text by Keith Johnson
On the Sensations of Tone CD recording featuring Tom Heasley, ambient tuba
Nutcraker Suite Dreams Holiday Music
CD recording featuring the Clarion Brass Choir
Musings for Unaccompanied Euphonium
or Baritone by Thomas C. Woodson Canticle for Unaccompanied Tuba or Bass Trombone by Thomas C. Woodson
REVIEWED IN THIS ISSUE:
Rondo Concertante for euphonium and piano by William Mac Davis
Concertino No.1 in B,flat Major, Op. 7, first movement, by Julius Klengel arranged for euphonium and piano by Leonard Falcone
Fantasia para tuba y orchesta by Adriana I. Figueroa Manas
Chaconne for Tuba and Piano by Paul Hayden
Pines of the Appian Way from “The Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Resphigi, arranged for low brass ensemble and percussion by Micnael Forbes
The Cheesy Tuba Quartet for tuba/euphonium quartet by Dan Goeller
Renaissance Choral Mttsic, Vol. 1 and 2 for tuba-euphonium quartet or four- part ensemble arranged by Ken Drobnak
BEAST! by Greg Danner for eight,part euphonium~tuba ensemble
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, a Polish carol, arranged by Eric Henry for tuba-euphonium quartet
Marches4bassclef: 20 marches in four parts for bass clef instruments arranged by Clifford Bevan
Salvation is Created by Pavel Tchesnokov arranged for eight,part tuba~euphonium ensemble by Lisa Gol
as Fantasia on “God of Our Fathers” for four euphoniums by Jamie Van Valkenburg
Litaniae de Beata Virgine Mary by Giovanni de Palestrina transcribed and edited by Doug Bristol for five part tuba/euphonium ensemble
Brass Quintet/Chamber Music
Duo for Violin and Tuba by Victor Yoran
Three Miniatures for tuba and cello by Rodger Vaughan
Michael Davis: Brass Nation CD Recording
Blue Plate Special CD recording featuring Joseph Skillen, tuba, and Jan Grimes, piano.
Euphoria CD recording featuring Ryuji Ushigami, euphonium, Yumi Sato, piano, and Tamao Araki, euphonium
Brass Player’s Warm-up and Practice Guide (for Trombone, Baritone Bass Clef and Tuba) by John C. Gage
Pioneers in Brass CD-ROM by Glenn Bridges
Rondo Concertante for euphonium and piano by William Mac Davis. TubaEuphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com. 1995. $12.00. Approximate duration 8:00.
I’m surprised that this piece has been around for seven years and I haven’t heard it performed. This is a lively, reasonably challenging, and very easy to listen to tonal work. It was written for Donald Palmire, a member of the U. S. Army Band.
A short maestoso opening introduces the “allegro con spirito” rondo theme. This theme is marked by mixed meters and irregular pulses of duple and triple rhythms that energize the piece throughout. The slurred, mostly scalar passages of this theme flow easily in a lively dialogue with the piano. The contrasting sections alternating with the rondo theme include a very pretty, relaxed, lyrical section and a darker section, characterized by building rhythmic ostinati. The closing material consists of a series of short sections, starting with a dramatic rubato and building in tempo and intensity to a spirited prestissimo close.
You don’t have to be a virtuoso to play this piece, but it does require solid high chops. It covers a range from high C above middle C to E-flat below the staff and stays above the staff a good part of the time. Fortunately, there are enough piano interludes so that endurance is not a problem. The piano accompaniment requires a good player, but is not terribly difficult. The tempo of the con spirito rondo theme would be a factor in determining the piece’s level of difficulty. The brisker the tempo, the more exciting the performance will be.
I would liken the style of the Rondo Concertante to works by Philip Sparke, but without some of the technical challenges. Its bright and happy-go-lucky style offers the player the opportunity to demonstrate the euphonium’s capabilities in tone, agility and lyricism. It would make a good opening or closing piece to any recital program. The audience will enjoy hearing it, and the performer will have fun playing it. I wish that this piece were written for my instrument, the tuba. I will certainly be teaching it to my students next year. All euphonium players should order this piece and then enjoy playing it.
~Mark Mordue, Ball State University
Concertino No. 1 in B-f/at Major, Op. 7, first movement, by Julius Klengel arranged for euphonium and piano by Leonard Falcone. Copyright 1942 (Renewed 1970) Belwin, Inc. Used by permission of CPP/Belwin, Inc., Miami, FL. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 1994. $10.00.
Originally for violoncello and in the key of C, this arrangement will suit the college level and advanced high school euphoniumist fairly well. It has been transcribed into the key of B-flat and has a range of F to d. It is better suited to the advanced performer because of the agility and endurance required. It incorporates the use of all the standard articulation styles learned in the Arban method book
(i.e. slur-two, tongue-two, tongue-one, slur three, etc.) and also goes through the gamut of rhythmic interpretations including eighths, triplets and sixteenths. And, while the thematic material is primarily composed in conjunct fashion, the soloist must be agile and adept at performing large intervallic leaps such as 6ths, 7ths and octaves, with the largest interval being a 13th.
This movement is marked Allegro with a metronome marking of 128-132. That speed will be necessary to make the long phrases, at least those typical of transcriptions such as this, in one breath. Work on your sniff breaths in order to facilitate a true rendition of the notes on the page. Otherwise, do what most have been taught -edit notes out and put in some extra breaths. A few other concerns are the lack of measure numbers and rehearsal letters. The accompaniment can be capably handled by an advanced pianist, as it is mostly provides a harmonic foundation. Aside from the lack of rehearsal numbers and places to breathe in this piece, this work is recommended.
~Raul I. Rodriguez Southwest Texas State University
Chaconne for Tuba and Piano by Paul Hayden. Magnolia Music press, 6319 Riverbend Blvd., baton Rogue, LA, 70820. 1999, rev. 2000. Duration, circa 6’30”. Professional difficulty. www.paulhayden.com. 225) 769-9604. no price specified.
Dr. Joseph Skillen, of Louisiana State University, commissioned Chaconne for performance at the 2000 ITEC in Regina, Canada. An outstanding rendition of this composition was recorded by Dr. Skillen on his compact disc Blue Plate Special, available from the Mark Custom Recording Services label. Hayden has received awards, grants and recognition from numerous musical organizations, including the grand prize in the Delious National Composition Competition.
As the title suggests, C haconne is based on a recurring harmonic progression. In this case, six polychords, each created by combining two triads, form the basis of repetition. Unity and sonority are preserved by the use of the note C to start each chord progression. In the composers’ words, “The opening theme is followed by eleven variations. Most of the variations are played with no pause whatsoever between them. The variations are sometimes quite short (a few seconds long) and sometimes extended (variation 9 is a canon between piano and tuba; variation 10 is a march that makes extensive use of a motive heard at the beginning of the piece). Variation 11 is a recapitulation of variation 1 and serves as the work’s coda.”
Most of this composition is scored in the staff, or above. The composer warns that the piece was written with F tuba in mind, although it would work just as well on Eb tuba. The note gl occurs several times, as does the note Cc. Hayden does a wonderful job of utilizing this extremely low note not just as a novelty, but rather as a recognizable part of the harmonic structure of the composition. Chaconne is clearly a 20th century work in terms of compositional devices, yet Hayden manages to maintain a sense of melodic contour and thus the attention of the listener. The use of octave slurs, repeated notes, and the regular harmonic pattern of the chaconne form all contribute to a sense of musical coherence that provides the player with an opportunity to clearly communicate with the audience.
~Dr. Thomas Bough Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Fantasia para tuba y orchestra by Adriana I. Figueroa Manas. Available from the composer: Darwin 1281, Dorrego, Guaymallen, Mendoza 5519 Argentina. E-mail: email@example.com.Price: $150 US includes shipping, score and parts. Piano reduction available for $40 US. 1999.
This new (1999) Fantasia for tuba and orchestra is the product of a vibrant, up and coming young woman who is composing and teaching in Argentina. Adriana Figueroa Manas is a graduate of the School of Music at the National University of Cuyo. She is a flute and saxophone performer as well as a member of the West Jazz Band. Since 1992, she has taught music classes and flute at the “Konrad Lorenz” School and has composed music for her students there. Her professional accomplishments in the Argentina music world are impressive with an incredible amount of music composed primarily for symphony orchestra and various brass and wind chamber groups. Performances of her music have been noted in many locations in both Argentina and in the United States.
The score and parts are beautifully inscribed and quite easy to read. The Fantasia is in two sections, the first being an adagietto that takes the tubist through several tempo and key changes with a clever allegro moderato featuring some interesting syncopation and melodic ideas. The mood is at times somber and at other times, more uplifting. This section closes with a return to the original tempo.
The second section has a definite pop music flavor. The tuba is much more active and the time signature of 6/8 belies the fact that the bass line is mostly a feel reminiscent of mariachi band music, although the orchestration and rhythmic vitality of the work goes much beyond that! The tuba also has a more active role as a solo instrument again playing upon extensive syncopation and arpeggios as the main vehicles of musical expression. The orchestration of both sections is lush and full of added note chords, interesting rhythmic diversions, and characteristic writing for the orchestra instruments. The score calls for single woodwinds: piccolo, flute, oboe, English hom, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, and a small brass section of two horns in F, 2 B-flat trumpets, and a
trombone. The percussion section includes tympani, battery, and xylophone. Harp and strings round out the orchestration. The tuba part is quite playable and has a rather modest range of BB-flat-f. The characteristic playing range and the bass clef staff make an E-flat or F tuba the ideal choice of instrument. What is striking and different about this Fantasia is that the style is so fresh and current. Rarely do we have an opportunity to play music written for our instruments via the popular music movement. In this case, we have the added benefit of a finely crafted work. I highly recommend this work and I think it is a perfect vehicle to feature a solo tuba with both profeSSional and community orchestras. The orchestration
is not massive and the rewards are many for both soloist and orchestra. For more information on Ms. Manas’ work, check out selections from her MP3 website: www.mp3.com/adriana.This MP3 site contains her children’s music, however, readers may contact the composer to hear a recording of the Fantasia.
~Mark Nelson Pima Community College
Pines of the Appian Way from “The Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Resphigi, arranged for low brass ensemble and percussion by Michael Forbes. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. No price given. Approximate duration: 5:30.Grade 6.
Michael Forbes has been an active arranger and composer ever since his years at the University of WisconsinMadison. Particularly notable are his arrangements for tuba-euphonium quartet from his involvement with Sotto Voce, the award-winning tuba-euphonium chamber ensemble that formed while he was in Madison. Currently Forbes is serving as tubist with the U.S. Army Band.
This arrangement of Pines of the Appian Way is a sizeable undertaking, scored for a minimum of 18 players with two or more players for each part. Although it is scored in order to omit percussion, the essence of the work would be greatly enhanced by adding a timpanist with three drums as well as a battery percussionist playing suspended cymbal, bass drum and tam-tam. This arrangement, premiered by the 2001 United States Armed Forces Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, is originally scored for tenor and bass trombones, euphoniums, tubas and percussion. Alternative instrumentation is suggested for tuba/euphonium ensemble and trombone choir with tubas.
Specific textural doublings maintain the integrity of the work, with multiple divisi in each section and mutes specified in nearly every part. Forbes appears to reverse the order of cylindrical and conical choirs from the orchestral score, perhaps to allow euphoniums to play the technical passages. The scoring is effective in any event, maintaining an onstage choir and two antiphonal offstage choirs.
It should be noted that the trombone and euphonium parts are often in tenor clef. The ranges for each of the parts are as follows: Trombone 1 (f-dZ); Trombone 2 (B-flat-b-flatl ); Bass Trombone (BB-flatg- flatl); Euphonium 1 (f-dZ); Euphonium 2 (B-flat-d); Euphonium 3 (B-flat-gl ); Tuba 1 (BB-flat-f); Tuba 2 (FF-a); Tuba 3 (BBB-flat-e-flat) .
The parts and score are very clear, easy to read and meticulously annotated. This is a very powerful work for a band concert or for low brass ensembles with the specified number of players.
~David Spies Instructor of Low Brass Southeastern Oklahoma State University
The Cheesy Tuba Quartet for tubal euphonium quartet by Dan Goeller. TubaEuphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com $10.00. 1996.
How about “Corny”? “Tacky”? “Dopey”? Anyone of these words could have been used in the title, but the composer chose “Cheesy”. Well, that’s artistic license for you. What we have here is really a mass of cliches. For what it is (and it doesn’t claim to be more than that), it does a decent job. The work is in three movements. The first sounds like an introduction to a vaudeville act, and before you know it, the tubists are telling a “knock knock” joke to the accompaniment of a riff played by the euphoniums. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling the joke, but you can probably guess what it might be.
The second movement is a jazz waltz that reminds me of music I heard as a kid on the old television variety shows of the 1960’s. Tuba 1 is required to sing, and after a little dialogue and more Tuba 1 singing, there is a “Sweet Adeline” ending (tongue in cheek, of course).
The third movement is a peppy dotted rhythm in 6/8. One euphonium and one tuba speak a dialogue while the other two in the quartet keep playing. Then a vocal duet worthy of Moe and Curley Howard closes out the tune.
This obviously won’t be performed at Carnegie Hall. Some people would make the case that this does as much damage to the reputation of the instruments involved as does the violin -tuba duet I have reviewed elsewhere in this issue. I can think, however, of some venues that would be appropriate for the performance of this opus. We could have used this piece, for instance, when we had a euphonium player in our ensemble swallowing goldfish during the performance. Maybe that’s as seriously as The Cheesy Tuba Quartet needs to be taken. The range of the Euphonium 1 part is B flat to gl; Euphonium 2 (aside from the singing part) is G to b flatl; Tuba 1 (again excepting the vocals) FF to a; Tuba 2 FF to b flat.
~Michael Short Drake University
Renaissance Choral Music, Vol. 1 and 2 for tuba -euphonium quartet or four -part ensemble arranged by Ken Drobnak. Tuba -Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org $15.00 each volume. 2001.
Your reviewer has recently seen a lot of music transcribed from this particular era for tuba ensembles, including the music of Giovanni Gabrieli and Giovanni Bassano. These volumes, which include music by a variety of composers, are a welcome addition to the club.
There are six tunes in each of the volumes. Each individual piece is about three minutes in length. I recognized the names of Lassus, Pergolesi and Vittoria, but the others were unknown to me.
What makes these pieces work so well for tuba ensemble is the way Mr. Drobnak has voiced all the parts. There are some voice crossings between Euphonium 2 and Tuba 1, but they are unobtrusive. These are excellent sets and are very appropriate for nearly any sacred service. They might be a bit of a stretch for a high school group, as the Tuba 1 part stays near the top of the staff for most of the time, but a college group would do a fine job with this music. I highly recommend it for your ensemble. The range of the parts: Euphonium 1, B flat to f; Euphonium 2, A flat to f; Tuba 1, D to cl; Tuba 2, GG flat to f.
~Michael Short Drake University
BEAST!, by Greg Danner for eight-part euphonium-tuba ensemble. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com 1996. $24.00. Approximate duration 4:00.
BEAST! was written on commission in 1995 for the Tennessee Tech Tuba Ensemble’s fifth performance at Carnegie Hall. In the words of the composer, “the composition merges an octatonic tonality with extended instrumental techniques, including such timbral effects as coin taps, air effects, half-valve gli sandi, and chant.” This piece may be heard on the Tennessee Tech ensemble’s CD Unleash the Beast!!!, which i available through their web site.
This is a short, but exciting piece. Marked by many accents and strong rhythm, it is driving and intense throughout. The dark and threatening mood predominating most of the work aptly fits its title. The piece is in an A-B-A form. Rhythmic and melodic motives and dense chordal sounds characterize the outside sections. The larger middle section makes use of the special effects the composer mentions, mostly as rhythmic ostinatos, and has brief melodic lines passing among the players. The chant is spoken, not sung. The total effect of the piece is one of fast, pulsing energy within a tension of textures and timbres.
The individual parts in BEAST! are not terribly difficult in range or technique. The euphonium parts cover a total range of B-natural above middle C down to E just below the staff. The tuba parts cover a total range of E-flat above middle C to D five ledger lines below the staff. The tempo at which the piece is played would require work on esnemble precision, but there could be some flexibility in that tempo and still have an effective performance as long as energy and spirit were present.
It might take some rehearsal time coordinating the rhythmic effects of clapping, chanting, and tapping coins on the instruments (a very neat percussive sound), but it would be well worth the effort. This is a piece that only works with a group like a euphonium-tuba ensemble. It shows off the unique qualities of the ensemble’s resonance, power, and weight. I definitely recommend adding this composition to your ensemble’s library and repertoire.
~Mark Mordue, Ball State University
-Dr. Michael Fischer, Boise State University
for mature players. The range of the firs euphonium part is f# to ai, second The euphonium is c to ai, first tuba is F to b, tempo at which the piece is played would and the second tuba is AA to g. require work on ensemble precision, but Recommended. there could be some flexibility in tha
tempo and still have an effective performance as long as energy and spirit were
Marches4bassclef: 20 marches in four parts for bass clef instruments arranged by Clifford Bevan. Piccolo Press Limited Edition, 10 Clifton Terrace, Winchester,
S022 5B], UK; also P.O. Box 50613,
the instruments (a very neat percussive Columbia, South Carolina 29250, USA;
sound), but it would be well worth the firstname.lastname@example.org, 2002. Catalog
effort. PP0059. Grade 3-4. £24.80 (US$42.00, q
with a group like a euphonium-tuba A50.00). i
ensemble. It shows off the unique qualities of the ensemble’s resonance, power and
This diverse publication contains the weight. I definitely recommend adding
following twenty marches: A. Javaloyes’ this composition to your ensemble’s
EI Abanico, Wagner’s Bridal Choruse library and repertoire.
(Lohengrin), The British Grenadiers -Mark Mordue, Ball State University (Traditional), Sousa’s EI Capitan and The Washington Post , Andre Messager’s Entry
Infant Holy , Infant Lowly, a Polish carol, of the Gipsies, Bizet’s Entry of the Toreadors,
arranged by Eric Henry for tuba
Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette,
euphonium quartet. Tuba-Euphonium Verdi’s Grand March (Aida), Grieg’sPress, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge
Homage March, Weber’s Huntsmen’s
Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone Chorus, Handel’s March in Scipio, Mozart’s703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com.
March of the Priests , Schubert’s Marche$10.00
Militaire , Carl Teike’s Old Comrades,
Eric Henry has done a nice job of Robert Planquette’s Le Regiment de Sambre creating distance between the voices of et Meuse, Scotland the Brave (Traditional), this melodic carol, which allows for the Tiger Rag (Original Dixieland Jazz Band), tuba-euphonium ensemble to sound clear Mendelssohn’s Wedding March (A and distinct. Four players may perform Midsummer’s Night’s Dream), and Arthur the arrangement, although there are three Sullivan’s With Cat-Like Tread (The Pirates measures in the second euphonium part of Penzance) . written as divisi. There are few, if any, The publication is accurate, informatechnical difficulties in this arrangement. tive, and well organized. Each part is However, the high tessitura, especially in written in the accessible ranges of the the euphonium 1 part, combined with no instruments. The range for part 1 is c-gl, rests, and the “moderato-in slow three” however, it seldom spans higher than el. tempo creates an endurance problem even The ranges for the other three parts are: part 2 from f-cl, part 3 from CC-cl, and part 4 from AA-d. Despite dense voicing, Bevan successfully achieves clarity through effective use of accompaniment and harmonic figures that allow melodic passages to be heard. In addition, there are vocal lines for parts 1, 2, and 3 in Tiger Rag, and occasional split parts are used throughout the publication. Attention to articulations, dynamics, phrasing, and also overall aspects of originality towards the adoption of these marches for
low brass ensembles makes this a highly successful endeavor on the part of Bevan.
Bevan states in the liner notes: “Many of the marches are given here complete, others have been somewhat abbreviated. Occasionally melodies have been slightly modified, though a policy of sometimes placing the tune in parts other than the top has also been followed.”
The collection belongs to Piccolo Press’ Fun4brass series that is intended for intermediate brass quartets. This particular publication is based on a previous publication entitled Marches4brass, which is available for brass quartet as well as concertino band. Bevan, Phil Humphries,
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Shirley Hopkins-Civil (ophicleides), and Craig Kridel (early cimbasso) premiered selections from these bass clef arrangements at the Darlington International Summer School (Rome, Georgia) in August 2001. Considering the quality and practicality of the publication, it would prove an essential addition to anyone’s
tuba/euphonium ensemble library.
Bevan is continuing to accomplish great things for low brass instruments, especially with regard to the history of the tuba, euphonium, and their predecessors. All low brass musicians should own his book, The Tuba Family, which is currently available as a second edition through Piccolo Press (ISBN 1-872203-30-2). He is also a frequent contributor to the ITEA Journal with insightful articles on historical instruments.
-Jason Roland Smith Ohio University
Salvation is Created by Pavel Tchesnokov arranged for eight-part tuba-euphonium ensemble by Lisa Golas. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, ed itor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com. 1995. Grade 3. $8.00.
Among transcriptions of this work, this publication is notable for its orchestration for four euphoniums and four tubas. Originally a Russian Orthodox chorale, the work is very simple in terms of style and compositional traits. A very beautiful work, it has been incorporated into an array of inventive instrumental settings, which include horn choir, cello ensemble, brass band, concert band, and brass quintet. A rarely heard composer, Tchesnokov (1877-1944) was a Russian choral conductor, teacher, and composer.
As with other adaptations, the ensemble functions as two choirs, euphoniums versus tubas, which alternate in their verse statements and then join for climatic statements. Although orchestrated in eight parts, there is frequent doubling of parts. For example, the euphonium three and four are nearly identical throughout. The most interesting aspects of this particular arrangement are the timbre contrasts that result from the divi ion of choirs.
Score and parts are computer generated except for supplemental markings such as dynamics, phrasing, rehearsal-markings, which are marked by hand. The ranges for the parts are euphonium 1 from f-f, euphonium 2 from B-flat-f, euphonium 3 and 4 from D-b-flat, tuba 1 from F-cl, tuba 2 from E-flat-g, tuba 3 from GG-eflat, and tuba 4 from (BBB-flat) FF-G. Tuba 4 has the option of dropping to the pedal B-flat in the final measure.
The effectiveness of this arrangement has been proven and maintains audience appeal; thus, it would be a useful addition to an ensemble program. The World Honors Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble at the 2001 ITEC in Lahti, Finland gave a noted performance of the work.
-Jason Roland Smith, Ohio University
Fantasia on “God of Our Fathers” for four euphoniums by Jamie Van Valkenburg. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711.$12.00 .2001.
Composed in 1999 for the George Mason University Euphonium Quartet, this piece is not for the faint of heart. It will demand the most out of its performers and its listening audience. Fantasia is a contemporary composition, loosely based on the well-known hymn, that is quite imaginative and characterized by lots of dissonance, exaggeration and elusiveness that results from its departure from normal stylistic and structural norms. While starting out in common time, it transforms itself through different time changes, though nothing out of the ordinary. Its fast pace generates an intense feeling through the use of chromaticism and scored in bass clef. As with other vocal transcriptions, extreme attention to articulation is important for clarity of the lines. Much of the clarity can fade with a strictly legato approach. Equally playable by mature high school ensembles and college ensembles, it is a very good example of the sonorities produced by our instruments when played with a full sound and in tune. The phrasings and dynamics have been well marked. This is a very good piece for the study of intonation, but, due to the scoring and voicing, many lines may become hazy unless more attention is given to articulation. If you’re looking for sonorous recital material this is one piece of music to buy.
~ Raul I. Rodriguez Southwest Texas State University
Brass Quintet/Chamber Music
Mercifully, I draw a veil over the rest of the composition so I won’t have to detail the silliest sixteenth note runs I have ever seen -eight bars long and in octaves with the violin! The composer seems to have consulted a textbook to throw in every compositional trick anyone has thought of over the last 200 years.
There are three more movements. The second movement looks more like a duet in the accepted sense of the word, but it is very atonal. Lines that look as though they would go together end up being a whole step or half step off -or even a tritone. The third movement is similar to the first, with several violin cadenzas. Th last movement is a Lento that has the tuba intoning long notes while the violinist plays a melody over them. Halfway to the end, the tables are turned, and the violinist plays long double stops over a slow tuba melody.
Both parts are a challenge, but I wonder if this challenge is worth taking up. When you consider the first movement for at least the first five minutes the tuba part seems clownish, and is an insult. There are enough people who expect this where the tuba is involved. I don’t think we need to give them more ammunition. The range of the tuba part is AAA to f sharp!
~Michael Short, Drake University
driving rhythmic motives. When you think it’s about to ease up, it just keeps going and drives to an exciting finish like many of the contemporary pieces we hear being composed for larger groups such as the symphony orchestra or wind ensemble.
The score and parts are well edited and easy to read. All parts are in tenor clef the majority of the time except for the fourth euphonium, which reads in bass clef with a few excursions into tenor clef. The writing also calls for all members of the group to be well advanced in their studies. There is a lot of cross voicing, so that makes for an interesting read in the score. The range of euphonium 1 is from BB to d-flat2, euphonium 2 from D to dflarZ, euphonium 3 from AA to d and euphonium 4 from BB-flat to c-flat2• While many of us have turned to performing trombone quartets because of the beautiful music one can find in them, I am sure many euphoniumists will appreciate a piece such as this for its inventiveness as well as the pioneering efforts it will help to foster for the euphonium choir. Recommended.
~ Raul I. RodrIguez Southwest Texas State University
Litaniae de Beata Virgine Mary by Giovanni de Palestrina transcribed and edited by Doug Bristol for five part tuba/euphonium ensemble. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org $10.00. 2000. Performance Time: 5:30.
Transcribing Medieval and Renaissance music has always been a fun project for those involved and is a great introduction into the realm of arranging and, perhaps, composition. The counterpoint is fairly simple and one must only consider voicing and ranges as the primary problems. This Litany is one of three pieces by Giovanni de Palestrina that Mr. Bristol has undertaken as a transcription project. All three are published by TubaEuphonium Press.
This piece is written for as-part ensemble. The ranges are as follows: euphonium 1 from g to g!, euphonium 2 from c to b-flat, euphonium 3 from F to aflat, Tuba 1 from E-flat to f, and Tuba 2 from BB-flat to d-flat. The score and parts are very easy to read and all parts are Duo for Violin and Tuba by Victor Yoran. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: email@example.com $24.00. 1995.
My misgivings started the moment I opened the music up. “@#$% publishers,” I thought. “They forgot to send me the tuba part!” But my second look took in a single tuba note -an AAA in the 26th bar! “But look at all the sixteenth notes in the violin part”, I thought. Turning the page, my eyes were met with another 80 bars of mostly sixteenth note runs to be played by the violin and SIX tuba notes, all below AA. The violin note: tuba note ratio by bar 105 stands at about 30: 1. Although this is not unusual in most standard orchestral music, in an orchestra, there is usually something else going on. At bar 105, the tuba finally gets to take up something resembling a melody, now in eighth notes. But it is at bar 175 before the tuba and violin play at the same time. This may be a dialogue, but a collaboration it’s not. After another flurry of sixteenth notes from the violin, we now have a duet. The tuba part, though, is quarter notes, AA -D, AA -D for 10 bars, a few bars to recover, a few bars of E -AA, E -AA. Then we’re really having some fun -how many ~s can you play in a row? If you answered 33, and can do them in four different octaves, you may be ready to perform this piece -if you want to.
Three Miniatures for tuba and cello by Rodger Vaughan. Tuba-Euphonium Press, David Miles, editor, 3811 Ridge Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Phone 703-916-0711. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1992. Duration
c. 5 minutes. Difficulty level: medium.
I have had the pleasure of reviewing a number of works from composer and tubist Rodger Vaughan. Three Miniatures is shorter and simpler than some of his other compositions, but it is quality music all the same. It was:written as a birthday present for cellist Mattie Robinson (on her twelfth birthday, July 1982) and her father, Jack Robinson, professor of tuba and low brass at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (recently retired). As the title suggests, the individual movements last only a minute or two, but each has a great degree of musical character, especially the third movement,
subtitled “Greeley jazz.” The tuba part Recordings late balance and blend.
spans a range from C to B-flat below middle c, which places it well within the range of advanced high school students. Three Miniatures can be performed by two tuba players by making two small editing changes in the cello part: first, read the tenor clef notation in the second movement down an octave to place it in a more comfortable range; second, play the upper note on the double stops in the third movement. Vaughan wrote this piece in 1982, it was published ten years later, and reviewed ten years after that. Why the delay? I hope that if the composer has more witty, melodic compositions for the tuba in his vaults he will publish them sooner rather than later.
~ Dr. Thomas Bough
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale [Ed. Note: as an on-going multi-year project, many works published some time ago by Tuba-Euphonium Press have been in the process of being reviewed]
Michael Davis: Brass Nation CD Recording. Hip-Bone Music MI08. Hip-Bone Music, 119 W. 71 St., #8B, New York, NY 10023 USA, 2000. Website: www.hipbone music.com. $16.95 + $3.00 shipping and handling ($5.00 for international orders.)
(888) 633. 2663 [(888) 633.BONE.] [A catalog of compositions featured on this recording is also available from the above mentioned source.]
If you haven’t already heard about this recording -the publicity for it has been very thorough -it is a veritable who’s who of studio, jazz and orchestral brass playing in the United States. It is remarkable on several fronts. First of all, it includes fifty-five of the world’s finest brass players in multiple ensemble compositions. Secondly, all the works on this recording were composed, arranged and produced by Michael Davis. Finally, the recording is beautifully recorded, engineered and mixed, enabling the listener to instantly discern the players on any given track while maintaining an immacu-
The brass musicians of record on the disc include Randy Brecker, Phil Smith, Jerry Hey, Malcom McNab, Dale Clevenger, Bill Reichenbach, Gene Pokorny, Joe Alessi, Chuck Findley, Jim Hynes, Vince DeRosa, Charles Vernon, Gary Grant, Tommy Johnson, Chris Botti, Phil Myers, Lew Soloff, Charlie Loper, Birch Johnson, Tim Hagans, Dick Nash, Larry Farrell, Jeff Kievit, John Clark, Greg Gisbert, Ralph Sauer, Herb Besson, Lloyd Ulyate, Scott Wendholt, John Hagstrom, Marcus Rojas, Andy Martin, Alan Rubin, Michael Mulcahy, Peter Gordon, Chris Komer, Rick Todd, Jerry Peel, Phil Teele, Mark Gould, Tom Smith, Warren Deck, Tony Kadleck, Jerome Ashby, Brad Warnaar, Bob McChesney, Dan Gingrich, Steve Holtman, Bob Carlisle, Channing Philbrick, Dave Griffin, Stewart Rose, George Roberts, and Sam Pilafian. The album was r~corded by Joe Arlotta and Butch Jones in New York; Fred Breitberg in Chicago; and Koz Masumoto and Robert Read in Los Angeles. The assistant engineers were Tristan Leral and Yohay
Ben-Dov. The album was mixed by Joe Arlotta. I mention the recording, engineering, and mixing staff because this reviewer believes that this album received as much care from these folks as from the musicians and that they ought to be acknowledged for their outstanding efforts in this project.
Leading off the album is Zach Attack, a straight-ahead 4/4 rock brass choir tune which features Lew Soloff and Michael Davis. Marcus Rojas is the E-flat tubist. Brass Nation opens with a pyramid introduction throughout the choirs and then proceeds to a New Orleans streetbeat contrapuntal march. A chorale style featuring conical sonorities features Randy Brecker and Michael Davis, followed by a return to the original march style. Not only are the various families of instruments featured in choir fashion, but the New York and Los Angeles studio sections are recorded with a stereo spectrum setup much like the revered Philadelphia/Cleveland/Chicago Gabrieli brass recording. Warren Deck and Tommy Johnson are the respective section tubists.
Day One is a brass quintet/percussion vehicle for Randy Brecker, which features some amazingly tight playing and a solid bass by Sam Pilafian. Heartland is a beautifully tranquill0-piece trombone jazz chorale-ballad. State of the Art is a three trumpet, three trombone up-tempo, in-your-face affair featuring tight section sounds and solos by Chuck Findley, Michael Davis and Bill Reichenbach. The bebop-styled trumpet trio Three Wise Men allows Scott Wendholt, Greg Gisbert and Tim Hagans to blow some very lengthy, sophisticated solos. New York musicians Phil Smith, Tom Smith, Phil Myers, Joe Alessi and Warren Deck perform a sonorous quintet called Gotham. The ten piece brass choir Painted Desert is a smooth, placid work with a Chris Botti trumpet solo; Marcus Rojas is the tubist on this work. The final two works on this album are Big Pig, a trombone octet jazz march featuring solos by Michael Davis and Bill Reichenbach; and Bilbao, a chorale-like brass octet featuring an outstanding Chicago brass section anchored by Gene Pokorny.
This jazz album displays magnificent studio playing with very compelling solo work. The recording fidelity and balance is phenomenal. The colorful compositions, although featuring stunning textures, tend stylistically to remain very similar in nature and tend to blur together during a single comprehensive listening session; a better strategy may be to listen to selections interspersed with other albums. There are multiple manners of appreciating this recording which this reviewer finds continuously rewarding, such as orchestration; section playing; regional studio brass styles from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York; recording fidelity; improvisational structures; and sound concept.
However, as for a critical evaluation, Brass Nation leaves one with mixed feelings. The playing is absolutely incredible and the sound quality is superb; yet the compositions, although of quality, somehow lend a sense of predictability to the album, with static forms, similar styles and settings, and an unexpectedly homogenous dynamic spectrum. Perhaps this reviewer had higher expectations than were justified. In any event, this effort was definitely warranted, and I look forward to future projects by Michael Davis. Hopefully, they will offer a greater stylistic variety to the audience.
~ David Spies Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Blue Plate Special CD recording featuring Joseph Skillen, tuba, and Jan Grimes, piano. Mark Custom Recording Service, 10815 Bodine Road, Clarence, NY,140310406, 2002. Catalogue # 3964-MCD. Approximate duration 60 minutes. www.markcustom.com (716) 759-2600.
Readers of the ITEA Journal will recognize Joseph Skillen as an Associate Editor and frequent contributor of reviews. His credentials as a Fulbright Scholar, Chair of the Brass and Percussion Area at Louisiana State University, and recipient of multiple grants verify his prowess as an academic; Blue Plate Special confirms his status as an outstanding soloist. He and pianist Jan Grimes present fine performances of staple works written for the tuba, as well as a transcription of the Schumann
Adagio and Allegro.
Skillen reprises his performance from 2000 at the Regina, Canada ITEC with a recording of the Paul Hayden Chaconne, also reviewed in this issue. Skillen plays with so much life and energy on Chaconne that it is my favorite selection on the disc. His performance of the Mutability Fantasy for Tuba and Piano by Dino Constantinides was equally convincing, although the piece held less melodic appeal. The Eric Ewazen Concerto for Tuba or Bass Trombone sounds robust and vigorous, not only due to Dr. Skillen’s fin musicianship, but also the large F tuba he plays. Likewise, his performance of the Wilhelm Concertino for Tuba and Piano made great use of the expressive, technical and even humorous capabilities of the tuba. Readers will also enjoy the composer’ scoring of the accompaniment of the Concertino for band, which expertly deploys wind and percussion tone colors and dynamic ranges around the tuba sound. Blue Plate Special opens with the familiar Three Miniatures for Tuba and Piano by Anthony Plog, which proves fertile ground for Skillen’s facile technique
The recording quality lives up to the high standards typical of Mark Custom Recording Service. Skillen displays admir able tone, control, and interpretation throughout the disc. I will eagerly await his next release and recommend this one highly.
~ Dr. Thomas Bou Southern Illinois University, Carbonda
Euphoria CD recording featuring Ryuji Ushigami, euphonium, Yumi Sato, piano, and Tamao Araki, euphonium. Victor NCS-193. $20.00 (available at this price at the following web site: www.soloeuphonium.com). 2000. Total time: 65:03.
Selections included on this recording are: Philip Sparke’s Party Piece and Song for Ina , Derek Bourgeois’ Euphoria, Tadeusz Kassatti’s Kino Concertino, Jiro Censhu’s The Window Opens toward the Ocean for 2 Euphoniums and Piano , and John Golland’s Euphonium Concerto No.
1 . This music represents a wide range of styles, all of which·demonstrates the performers’ impressive abilities. It is also the world premiere recording of the works by Kassatti and Censhu. Possibly unfamiliar to some, Censhu composed other works for euphonium that include Fantasy for Euphonium and Piano (premiered by Ushigami in 1990) and As Wonderful Things Drift By.
Ushigami (b. 1966) currently resides in
Japan and has won prizes in various competitions including the 1989 Leonard Falcone and 1999 TubaMania Competi
tions. His teachers have included Steven Mead, Toru Miura, Teruo Miyagawa, Fumio Goto, and Brian Bowman.
This CD represents performances of both standard and new repertoire, and will undoubtedly reside among the most notable recordings for the euphonium. Ushigami illustrates great musicality and versatility in each work. Technical passages are executed with clarity and ease. Another admirable trait is the performer’s effective lyrical approach and musicality. The CD has an overall pleasant sound quality. A great number of low frequencies are quite prominent, which results in a slightly uncharacteristic bass sound in the lower registers of the piano and euphonium. The CD is truly special and is highly recommended. As well, the duet for two euphoniums and piano by Censhu is an effective work, and deserves appropriate attention from the euphonium community. Individuals interested in this CD should visit Adam Frey’s website: www.soloeuphonium.com
~ Jason Roland Smith Ohio University
Gage, John C. Brass Player’s Warm-up and Practice Guide (for Trombone, Baritone Bass Clef and Tuba). Bakersfield, CA: John C. Gage, 2000. 20 pages with accompanying compact disc. $19.95. Distributed by Pine Lake Music Company / 5336 Snapfinger Park Drive / Decatur, GA 30035 (Telephone: 1-800-241-3667; Web Site: www.pinelakemusic.com).
An area that has seen recent growth as an outlet for instrumental performance is the “Contemporary Christian” church orchestra. These orchestras are now a thriving part of many music ministries, and composers and arrangers such as Camp Kirkland, David T. Clydesdale, Geron Davis and many, many others are constantly producing new works for them. Promotional CDs provided by their publishers are recorded in the studio with professional musicians, and the writing is heavily stage band oriented, regularly utilizing syncopated swing and rock rhythms. To complicate matters the top priority in these choral/orchestral works is given to the voices, so the instrumentalist is often relegated to playing these rhythmically challenging parts in awkward keys, beyond four sharps and four flats. Many of players who populate church orchestras are amateur musicians who perhaps played in college or high school, put the instruments away years ago, always with the hope of getting them out again someday. Church orchestras provide that opportunity, and churches are appreciative of their members who volunteer their time and talents. The reality is that there is often a significant gap between the abilities of the lay musician and the technical demands of the orchestra music. These players need to not only establish a good sound and technical foundation; they need to gain confidence in all keys and they need to condition themselves to play in time with a rhythm section.
John Gage is a well-respected church instrumental director and orchestra arranger, serving for years at First Baptist Church of Atlanta and presently at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California. With the needs of the church brass player in mind Mr. Gage created the Brass Player’s Warm-up and Practice Guide, a concise collection of exercises with a compact disc containing fully orchestrated accompaniments for each exercise. These books are available for trumpet and for trombone/ baritone/tuba. Thought initially created with the church brass player in mind, the Guide has a potential for a far wider application.
The first studies are for the development of sound and flexibility. Each exercise is provided with a rhythm section track on the CD. Trombonist Mannie Fonte, a free-lance player from Bellevue Washington, demonstrates each study. He plays a statement, and the player immediately imitates what he or she has just heard. This is an excellent approach because it addresses several elements simultaneously. Mr. Fonte sets a fine standard for tone quality, projection and style, so the “instrument in the head” hears a good role model. The support of the rhythm section on the CD exercises the player’s ear, strengthening ensemble playing through listening. Another plus is that the long tones and slurs are not just technical sounds to master. With the accompaniment they become part of a larger musical fabric. We are encouraged to care more about how good they sound. The scale study on pages 6-9 drives home two facts. First, there should be no “easy” or “hard” sounding keys; all of them can sound good, as demonstrated by Mr. Fonte. It is an unfortunate revelation for many players that the audience doesn’t care whether the instrumentalists are staring at two flats or five sharps. The audience does know wrong notes when they hear them. Second, major scales are not simply exercises; they are melodic fragments that have musical direction and connection. Again, we are encouraged to go beyond simply getting all the right fingers down.
Later in the book are more advanced studies, very challenging for most players, very worthwhile to master. Mr. Gage includes the whole tone study as one of the essential scales required for jazz improvisation. The chord study on page 15 is probably the most challenging exercise in the book. In B-flat major you play the major, augmented, minor and diminished seventh arpeggios, then the
entire pattern is transposed up chromatically through all twelve keys. The CO accompaniment removes the temptation to stop and correct as you go.
For the church musician who wants to improve, and to the free-lance player who wants to be ready to confidently step in as a hired player, pages 19 and 20, the Eighth-note Rhythm Study is indispensable. This is a series of 24 syncopated twomeasure rhythms in rock, swing and Latin styles. You listen to each rhythm demonstrated, then you imitate it on the repeat. Another great way to practice this study is to play along with Mr. Fonte the first time through. It gives you experience at being a section player, and if there are any inaccuracies in your rhythm performance they become obvious immediately. The “Swing Eighths Etude” at the end is a fun finish for the whole book. For further development of sound, practicing while wearing headphones is recommended.
Several caveats: The pedagogical comments before each study are geared more for high brass, particularly in regard to breathing and embouchure. It appears as if the trumpet book was produced first in a computer application, then the bass clef book was generated with a few mouse clicks. In the trumpet book everything is printed in C major, so as you progress through the various keys all of the accidentals are shown in relation to C. In the bass clef book all of the accidentals are shown in relation to B-flat major, which looks a little strange. It would have better to simply present each key change with its own key signature. In Mr. Fonte’s demonstrations there are a few occasions when he arrives at downbeats slightly ahead of the rhythm section, and some of
the tuning in the chord study is slightly off in the remote keys. But in all honesty,
if church musicians played at the standard of Mr. Fonte’s musicianship there would
be little, if any, complaining from anyone.
Several players I know are using this Guide , and their response has been enthusiastic. I have used it with my own private students and a few of them have experienced some eye-opening “a-ha!” moments. If you are looking for a fresh approach to the basics I encourage you to take a look at this Guide.
-Ronald Davis University of South Carolina
Pioneers in Brass CD-ROM by Glenn Bridges. Trescott Research, 2001. ISBN 0916262057. Available from BookBay.com, PO. Box 520, Freeland, Washington, 98249-0520,360-331-5404 or in the US: 1-800-386-0061 FAX: 360-331-7414, website: www.bookbay.com. $29.95.
This CD-ROM is the latest version of an enduring book first released as a rather thin paperback in 1965 and subsequently revised in 1968. It appeared in its final print version in 1972. Some special copies were printed on demand with further revisions until 1988 when it went out of print permanently. The CD-ROM adds much more material including 45 sound files in MP3 format of various period recordings from the author’s collection of brass artists, additional photos, scans of old programs and posters, and the historic cornet talks from 1918, 1921, and 1923 by Herbert L. Clark first compiled and published by the author in 1970.
In a real sense, this CD-ROM collection is the latest testament to Glenn Bridges and his wife, Althea, who continued to print versions of the book
on demand after Glenn’s death in 1981 until the entire collection was donated to the International Trombone Association in 1988. The prime mover in locating additional material, getting copyright permissions, and organizing the book into a CD-ROM format is Paul T. Jackson, who wrote the forward to the electronic edition. This is a project long overdue and hopefully will continue to be expanded in the multimedia format as additional sources, recordings, and biographies are
researched. The CD-ROM features biographies of seventy-seven distinguished brass players from the last century. The players are featured alphabetically with a very easy menu to select from. Each player has a photo, a biography, and in some cases, audio files of their playing, reproductions of concert programs or posters, and other interesting trivia. Many luminaries such as Jean Baptiste Arban, Herbert L. Clarke, instrument maker Frank Holton, composer
Karl King, Simone Mantia, Arthur Pryor, Del Staigers, H.A. Vandercook, and many more are listed. It is a pity no tuba players
are represented although a few euphonium doublers like Simone Mantia do have a few biographical lines devoted to our instrument. Other items on the disc include a section on “women cornetists.” I personally find it amusing that they could not be listed with the men. There is also an addendum of “other trombone and euphonium players” including rare recordings of Jaroslav Cimera, and the series of cornet articles written by Herbert
The layout of the CD-Rom allows one to print any page, create a slide show of pictures, use a keyword search, and enlarge the print by clicking on the text. Teachers using an overhead computer projector will find these tools invaluable for presentations. The CD-ROM loads on Windows using any format from 3.1 2000 without loading any resident program onto your hard drive. It is also compatible with MAC computers that have PC emulation software such as Soft Windows or Virtual PC or Blue Label. My experience with the CD-ROM is that it is a RAM memory hog. It will run slowly without at least 128 megs of memory. The layout is easy to use, and almost simplistic in its format. Unlike many commercial CD-ROMs, this one does not have many search features or any kind of music or graphics that load with the program. It is almost as though each biography was cut and then pasted into the multimedia format.
The information in the CD-ROM is faSCinating. From biographical notes to period photographs, to actual programs and posters, to recordings from the early 1900s, this format is a wonderful glimpse into our past. There are a few caveats, though. Many recordings already available of artists in this CD-ROM are not included although mentioned in some of the biographies. Some artists have multiple recordings within their biography. Many have none. There are absolutely no footnotes, a bibliography, or a list of any additional resources other than mentioning a few people’s names in some of the biographies. It is a good start but far from being a comprehensive, complete edition. However, what it does have is presented well and in a convenient format not possible in the print world. We all owe it to ourselves to examine the past and remember the many luminaries who came before us!
~ Mark Nelson Pima Community College