New Materials (Mark Nelson, Editor)
The T.U.B.A. 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 With rare exceptions, unpublished manuscripts are not considered for review.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 T.U.B.A. 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 T.U.B.A. 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 August 1- November 1 with thanks:
Heart o f the Wolf CD recording featuring Neal Corwcll, euphonium and Velvet Brown, tuba
Elegie in C minor by Gabriel Faure edired by Adam Frey for euphonium and piano
hiessun Donna from “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini eilited by Adam Frey for euphonium and piano
Vocalise from “14 songs. Opus 34” by Sergei Rachmanim:v edired by Adam Frev lor euphonium and piano
Fifteen Snulies for Fhrusinfr and Velocity for saxhorn, tenor tuba, or euphonium by Anthony Girard
Fifteen ComfJctition Studies tor saxhorn, tenor tuba, or euphtmium by- Anthony Girard
Two-Part Inventions by J.S. Bach arranged for tuba and euphonium by Jeffrey Lazar and Andrew B. Spang
Di«T.sifjn.s mi a Repeated Sequence far bra.ss quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle
Interludi’ from Crossinf; Brooklyn Ferry for brass quintet, by Elam Ray Sprenkle
An Auhade for brass quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle
Fantasia in C Major, BWV 570 by J.S. Bach itrrangetl tor bra.ss quintet by .Andrew B. Spang
Daydreams, Desires, and Diversiims CD recording featuririg the Lyric Brass Qitintet
Double Yellow C^D recording featuring William Roper, tuba
Flis I lumour by Giles Fartiaby arranged for 10 piece brass eivsemble by Elgar Howiirrh
The King’s Hunting Jigge by John Bull arranged for teii piece brtiss ensemble by Elgar Howarth
Mai Sims by Giles Farntiby tirranged for 10 ptece bra.ss en.semble. by Elgar 1 lowarth
Pavan by John Bull arranged for 10 piece brass ensemble by Elgar Flcavarth
Trepak by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky arranged for ten piece brass ensemble by Peter Ree’c
Funeral March o f a Marionette by Charles Gounod tirranged tor ten piece brass ensemble by Bram Wiggins
Five Miniatures by Pyotr Ilyich Tchiiikovsky arranged for bra.ss quartet by Bram Wiggins
Norwegian Folk-Song Suite by Edvard Grieg arranged for bra.ss i|uintet by Bram Wiggin.s
24 Etudes for Rhythm and Staccato for saxhorn, tenor tuba, or euphonium by Anthony Girard
Classics for Tuba collection tor tuba and pitmo selected and arranged by Gttvin Woods and Stewtirt Death
Tuba Power tor tuba (or euphonium) and piitno by Peter Smalley
Tuba Sauce Suite for Tuba Quartet by Peter Smalley
Finale from the William Tell Overture by Rossini itrrangeil tor tuba/eii]-ihonnium quartet by Peter Smalley M
agtietic Rags CD recording featuring the .Avatttr bra.ss quintet
A Requiem in Our Time CD recording fettturing the Swedish Brass Symphony, Hannu Lintu, conductor Norwegian Folk-Song Suite by Edvard Grieg arranged for bra.ss i|uintet by Bram Wiggin.s
24 Etudes for Rhythm and Staccato for saxhorn, tenor tuba, or euphonium by Anthony Girard
Classics for Tuba collection tor tuba and pitmo selected and arranged by Gttvin Woods and Stewtirt Death
Tuba Power tor tuba (or euphonium) and piitno by Peter Smalley
Tuba Sauce Suite for Tuba Quartet by Peter Smalley Finale from the William Tell Overture by
Rossini itrrangeil tor tuba/eii]-ihonnium quartet by Peter Smalley
Magtietic Rags CD recording featuring the .Avatttr bra.ss quintet
A Requiem in Our Time CD recording fettturing the Swedish Brass Symphony, Hannu Lintu, conductor PashmiL’ from Christmas Cancurtn hy
Arciinf.’L‘U) Corelli arranfieii hy Paul SdimiJr
REVIEWED IN THIS ISSUE:
Vnculisi! hy Seryei Raehmaniuov arraiitjeJ tor euphonium and piano hy Adam Frey
Lt’ Tuba Classujut; hy Frana’is Poullor Arban Complete Method for the Tuba, Second Edition edited by Jerry Young and Wesley Jacobs Legato Studies for Tuba from the Complete Solfeggi of Guiseppe Concone transcribed and edited by Wesley Jacobs
TieO’Part Inventions by J. S. Bach arranged for tuba and euphonium duet by Jeffrey Lazar and Andrew B. Spang Russian Sailors’ Dance from The Red Poppy by Reinhold Gliere, arranged for .seven-part tiiba-cuphonium eitsemble by Michael Weaver, edited by David M. Randolph
Cavalry Race by Mikhail Glinka arranged tor brass quintet by Conrad Ross h’amasia in C,’ .Mujor, BW’ 570 by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for brass quintet hy Andrew B. Sjiang Diversions on a Repeated Sequence for Brass Qu in tet by Elam Ray Sprenkle An Aubade for Bniss Quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle Interlude from ( Crossing Brooklyn Feny for Brass Quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle Brass Ensemble Andromeda (‘ersioti Brass Sextet) by- Dick Blacktord
I Killed M y Lips CD recording featuring Roland Szentpali, tuba -assisted by- Roger Bobo, tuba Deanna’s Wonderland ( . recording fearuring Deanna Swoboda, mba/vocals Meuimorpho.ses leaturitig the Cuyahoga Valley Brass Band conducted by Keith M. Wilkin.son with Rus.sell Tinkham, Eb Tuba Soloist SoiLsa Marches, Played by the Soicsa Battd: The Complete Commercial Recordings IS^)7 – /930CD recording Daydreams Desires &’ Diversions CL”) recording featuring The Lyric Brass Quintet Paul Freeman huroduces.. .David . Baker (V’i)lmnc’ .5) CD recording featuring Daniel Perantoni, tuba
The Contemporary Tuba by Barton Cummings (a reconsiilered review)
Vocalise by Sergei Rachmaninov arranged for euphonium and piano by Adam Frey. Athens Music Publishing, P.O. Box 81727, Conyers, GA 30013, 2000. Catalogue # E06. Approximate duration 5:00. Grade 4. $10.00.
Adam Frey, in conjunction with the release of his solo CD entitled “Listen to T H IS !,” has released a series of publications for euphonium and piano. One such publication is an arrangement of Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise. Composed by Rachmaninov in 1912 as the last of his 14 Songs (Opus 3 4 ), the Vocalise is unique because it was written as a song without words. Thus, the vocal element of diction is reduced to a minimum, emphasizing the elements of phrasing and expression. Frey does a good job of pointing this out in the foreword to the arrangement. Also pointed out is the need to demonstrate not only a flowing vocal style, but also an understanding of the colorful harmonic character of the piece, through proper note emphasis and phrasing. The range required for the euphonium is c to c^
Although the work has been published many times before, this publication is the first for euphonium and piano, and Frey’s editorial markings and comments are both informative and helpful, particularly for those who may be tired of reading from a trombone part. The parts in this arrangement are easy-to-read and printed on heavy paper. Furthermore, the accompaniment is spiral bound to enable easy page turning. Parts in both treble and bass clefs are included, and the print is dark and easy to read. This reviewer’s only concern is that the editing may be a bit intrusive for the more advanced performer. The keys of Eb major and c minor shouldn’t be a tuning problem, as long as the soloist has a firm grip on the 6th partial notes. If not, then this would make a good tuning exercise as well. Overall, this is a nicely produced edition of a well-known piece.
~ David Graves
Le Tuba Classique by Francois Poullot. Editions M. Combre, Paris with Theodore Presser, Presser Place, Bryn Mawr, PA as sole selling agent. 1999. Price: $27.95. This is a collection of ten well-known arias by W.A. Mozart, R. Wagner, G. Verdi, J. Brahms, C. Gounod, G. Bizet, J.S. Bach and G. Rossini. All are edited and transcribed by Francois Poullot who has become very familiar to brass players, especially euphonium and tuba players, over the past few years with his excellent original etude and method books and some excellent arrangement and transcription collections.
This collection is limited to the neoclassic period and has been created for younger euphonium and tuba players as a way to enrich their repertoire and to acquire experience in music from this era, when there were no tuba solos. Such familiar arias as O Isis und Osiris from The Magic Flute are typical of what will be found in this collection. It is well edited and both Bb and C parts are provided. Recommended as a good alternative to other such collections.
Arb a n Complete Method for the Tuba, Second Edition edited by Jerry Young and Wesley Jacobs. Catalogue number 9125. Encore Music Publishers. P.O. Box 786 Troy, Michigan. Phone/fax: 800-261’5676 USA. Outside USA dial US access code +810’643’6425. Web: www.encoremupub.com. $49.95 plus $5.00 U.S. shipping. 2000. 334 pages.
Back in 1996, Encore Music Publishers heralded the launching of a complete Arban method specifically transcribed and edited for the tuba. At the time of the release it received much praise for the completeness and thoroughness of the edition and for the updated pedagogical essays reflecting current tuba practices. It also received its share of minor complaints primarily over note mistakes and poorly conceived page turns. This new second edition corrects those oversights. It continues to be written for the CC tuba fingerings although the music can obviously be played on any tuba. The complete method in this version also has some interesting surprises that greatly contribute to a more thoughtful edition.
The primary complaints of the first edition centered around poorly conceived page turns. For those of us who literally grew up on the Thompson/Mantia trombone edition published by Carl Fischer in the 1930s, having to turn a page for such basic work as intervals studies, arpeggios, and gruppetto work seemed a bit much to take for a $50 price tag. The second edition eliminated virtually all of the awkward page turns of the first edition. One exception is the last song, “God Save the Queen,” of the 150 songs which has an awkward page turn not present in the first edition (and was titled “America” in the first edition!) Through creative uses of font size and selective compression of music and text, the second edition was also slimmed down from 396 pages to its current 334 pages without eliminating one measure of music. Secondly, there were some note errors (as there are in the trombone edition) which have now been addressed and corrected. Thirdly, the first edition Characteristic Studies are considered by many to be over-edited with rests for breathing eliminating notes from the original studies. The original notes have been restored in the second edition. Finally, the key and range choices of the duet section in the first edition seemed a bit “muddy” as these choices reflected more of an accurate transcription rather than the need to make the duets sound playable. New key choices of mostly a fourth or fifth above the first edition key signatures have greatly enhanced the playability of the duets and challenge the student and teacher with higher but not impossible tessituras. The addition of a standard fingering chart for both the BBb and CC tuba completes the second edition.
Jerry Young and Wesley Jacobs have listened well to concerns voiced over the first edition and have re-worked many key aspects of the Arb a n Complete Method for the Tuba to make this second edition a true masterpiece that is sure to stand the test of time. The price is still the same after nearly five years on the market! Save your first edition copies for posterity. They may be worth much on the E-bay auction site in a few years.
~Mark Nelson, Pima Community College
Legato Studies for Tuba from the Complete Solfeggi of Guiseppe Concone transcribed and edited by Wesley Jacobs. Catalogue number 9159. Encore Music Publishers. P.O. Box 786 Troy, Michigan. Phone/fax: 800-261-5676 USA. Outside USA dial US access code +810-643-6425. Web: www.encoremupub.com. $20.00 plus $5.00 US. shipping. 144 pages.
Wesley Jacobs has edited another winner in his growing collection of studies and methods designed for the tuba. TTiis edition contains the complete solfeggi etudes of Concone optimized for the tuba through tasteful editing and key transpositions. This complete edition includes the “Thirty Daily Exercises,” “Fifty Lessons,” Twenty-Five Lessons,” “Fifteen Vocalises,” and the “Forty Lessons.” Many of these exercises are very short and in some cases are abbreviated as to continuing with a similar pattern without actually writing out the notes. The lessons and vocalises are the true strength of the book as they are written in similar styles to the Bordogni etudes but are generally shorter and not filled with as many grace notes, gruppetti, and other ornaments. They also lie better in the lower range of the tuba without being so low as to be unclear. The basic tessitura of these etudes is within the bass clef staff and down to a comfortable G below the staff. The ranges are perfect for the BBb and CC tuba in the “cash register” of the instrument and are not so technically challenging that many high school students, as well as undergraduate college students, would find them useful and engaging. There are a couple of minor problems with page turns with the longer etudes that are no worse than any other etude book. Virtually all the etudes are on a single page and spaced appropriately. Of particular interest is that the editor purposefully left out all dynamic indications to help the student interpret the music without too many editorial considerations. As well, the editor suggests each etude be played on a high and low tuba to facilitate performing comfortably in the lower register with a high tuba. I concur that this is a great way to become comfortable playing in the lower register of an F tuba, for example.
These etudes are sure to be a favorite of many teachers and their students. They also are good examples of the legato playing style that are not as difficult to learn as some of the other repertoire currently available. Use it in conjunction with the Arban Complete Method for Tuba reviewed elsewhere and the combination of technical and lyrical styles go far to develop the complete musician.
Two-Part Inventions by J. S. Bach arranged for tuba and euphonium duet by Jeffrey Lazar and Andrew B. Spang. Lyric Brass Publishing 142 Willis Street, Westminster, MD 21157. www.lyricbrass.com/publishing LBP 0301-018. 2000. $17.50 plus shipping.
These duets are a great addition to the college level repertoire. We have all listened to and/or studied these inventions. Now, as the authors state in their preface, “TTiis collection makes for excellent college material when a professor teaches both tuba and euphonium students and would like to challenge them to the height of their ability during the lesson with duets.”
This is a straightforward transcription of these pieces into a challenging range for euphonium and tuba. The ornaments have been left intact, and the preface includes an explanation of the symbols used, with examples of each. The euphonium player is required to read tenor clef in two of the 15 pieces (as well as part of a third piece), and at times the tuba plays an entire line of sixteenth notes in the ledger lines below the staff. My struggle with the passage is not a flaw in the arrangement, rather, it is a sign that 1 need to work harder in this range.
Mr. Spang, who is responsible for the arrangement of all but two of these pieces, has a great book here. The voicing never gets really close between the instruments (and thus, no muddy sound that you get with a closer voicing), and so avoids some of the problems we have when we adopt bassoon or trombone duets. In those, I am never quite sure when to drop down the octave. In addition, the layout on the page is some of the finest music printing I have ever seen. It is very easy on the eyes, and makes the music just that much more enjoyable to play. T
he range on the euphonium part is F to c^ with most of the part above the staff. The tuba range is CC to c’ with close to half of that below C. It is not so much the range itself that challenges as where the part goes and stays.
~Michael Short, Drake University
Russian Sailors’ Dance from The Red Poppy by Reinhold Gliere, arranged for sevenpart tuba-euphonium ensemble by Michael Weaver, edited by David M. Randolph. Athens Music Publishing (P.O. Box 81727, Conyers, Georgia 30013), 2000. [www.soloeuphonium.com] $30.00. Approximate duration: 4:00; Grade 6. All profits donated to the David M. Randolph Memorial Scholarship at the University of Georgia.
The scope of repertoire for large euphonium-tuba ensemble has expanded considerably in the last ten years through both original compositions and arrangements of existing works. With the growing number of professional and university ensembles, the level of virtuosity called for by these works has matched the abilities of the musicians. One such ensemble is the group at the University of Georgia, directed for many years by David Randolph. With Randolph’s passing, the euphonium and tuba community has lost a significant advocate for the medium.
However, euphoniumist Adam Frey, a former student of Randolph, has launched a new publishing venture, Athens Music Publishing, which specializes in arrangements for euphonium as well as for euphonium-tuba ensemble. A recent addition to this catalogue is a very strong arrangement for seven-part euphoniumtuba ensemble of the Russian Sailor’s Dance from Reinhold Gliere’s ballet The Red Poppy.
Arrangements of this famous excerpt from Gliere’s ballet have existed for brass sextet and brass ensemble for years. This arrangement for four euphoniums and three tubas (a section of the first tuba part indicates, wisely, that the line might be performed divisi, thus requiring a fourth tuba) is well suited to this instrumentation, especially through its orchestration. The compass of the euphonium and tuba parts are as follows: euphonium 1, E to b’; euphonium 2, E to a’; euphonium 3, E to b’flat’; euphonium 4, A to a’; tuba 1, E to d‘; tuba 2, AA to a; and tuba 3, EE to a. The top three euphonium parts and the first tuba part remain in the upper tessitura for a significant portion of the work, yet are arranged in a way which helps prevent fatigue. The score and parts are computer generated, providing great legibility and clarity, and are printed double-sided on 11” x 17” folded sheets of durable cardstock.
Michael Weaver is to be commended on his arrangement, since the texture is clear and provides each part with interesting musical activity. The parts are technically challenging on several levels. A fiin arrangement to perform, advanced high school, collegiate and professional ensembles ought to seriously pursue this work to expand their repertoire.
~David Spies, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Cavalry Race by Mikhail Glinka arranged for brass quintet by Conrad Ross. Ensemble Publications, P.O. Box 32, Ithaca, NY 14851-0032. Catalogue #ENS065. Approximate duration 2:00. No price given.
This high-energy arrangement of Glinka’s Cavalry Race by Conrad Ross for the Ithaca College Faculty Brass Quintet makes for a fiery opening (or closer) to a quintet concert or “kiddy show.” Although a showpiece for both trumpets, there are moments for everyone. 16-bar rests are well placed in both trumpet parts in order to rest the lips.
The ranges of each part are as follows: trumpet 1, written b – N; trumpet 2, written b – g^; horn, written d#’ – e^; trombone, c – e‘; tuba GG – d. The score and parts are computer generated on quality paper and are easy to read. However, there are bad page turns for the tuba, trombone, and horn which may have been avoided if the staff size were smaller for the individual parts, allowing for more staves per page. TTie trumpet parts are not indicated Bb or C trumpet, which could make for interesting music if the piece were to be called up quickly on a gig. This arrangement would make a great educational piece (fiery, bouncy style) for college freshman or advanced high school quintets. It also makes for a decent snippet of fury for concerts by established groups, and would be a great addition to the “kiddy show” repertoire.
~ Andrew Miller, The Boston Conservatory Paramount Brass Quintet
Fantasia in C Major, BWV 570 by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for brass quintet by Andrew B. Spang. Published by Lyric Brass Publishing 142 Willis Street, Westminster, MD 21157. www.lyricbrass.com/publishing 0101 -005. 1999. $7.50.
It’s hard to go far wrong with J.S. Bach. Like Arban, he tells you all you need to know about music and its performance. Mr. Spang has provided us with a delightful Fantasia of about three minutes in length. Mr. Spang’s group, the Lyric Brass, has recorded this arrangement and done an admirable job (the review of the CD is printed elsewhere in this issue). A good high school group could be made to do justice to this arrangement, with a little work. They should learn about balance and the passing off of sixteenth notes from part to part, making it sound continuous. There is an optional E flat tmmpet part on the back of the Trumpet 1 part for those so inclined to use the instrument and thus complete the compass of brass voices from top to bottom. The layout of the printed music itself is very pleasing to the eye, and easy to read. The range on the tuba part is C to c’ and the other parts are comparable. The E flat tmmpet part ascends to a written a a2.
Diversions on a Repeated Sequence for Brass Quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle; Lyric Brass Publishing (142 Willis Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157), 2000. LBP 0102-003. [www.lyricbrass.com/publishing] $20.00. Approximate duration: 5:00; Grade 5.
An Aubade for Brass Quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle; Lyric Brass Publishing (142 Willis Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157), 1999. LBP 0102-001. [www.lyricbrass.com/publishing] $ 14.00. Approximate duration: 5:00; Grade 4.
Interlude from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry for Brass Quintet by Elam Ray Sprenkle; Lyric Brass Publishing (142 Willis Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157), 1999. LBP 0102-002. [www.lyricbrass.com/ publishing] $10.00. Approximate duration: 3:00; Grade 4.
Lyric Brass Publishing has dedicated a portion of their catalog to promoting the wotks of Elam Ray Sprenkle (h. 1948). Sprenkle is currently a member of the history and theory faculties at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where he has taught since 1972. His works have been performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Netherlands Brass Ensemble, Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, Annapolis Brass Quintet and the Lyric Brass Quintet. Reviews follow for three of Sprenkle’s works for brass quintet.
Of Diversions on a Repeated Sequence, Sprenkle writes: “Diversions was commissioned by and first played for an international convention of specialists working with DNA. The expression “repeat sequence” is commonplace in DNA studies and, as I had learned this beforehand, 1 wrote a piece that consisted largely of sequences as musicians understand the term. My memory of the premiere is that of having a scientist explain to other scientists the genesis of a musical work.” The ensemble that premiered the piece was the Annapolis Brass Quintet.
Much like DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid; self-replicating genetic material in which specific codes determine aspects of heredity in nearly all living organisms), this work evolves through mutation of an asymmetrical initial sequence stated in the opening measures. Formally the work utilizes a parallel framework similar to a double helix used in diagramming DNA molecules. The piece generates additional melodic information through the use of offset rhythmic and orchestrational displacement. A lighthearted work (the initial stylistic indication is “Whimsical”), Diversions requires a very tight ensemble with a strong sense of rhythmic precision for successful performance.
Ranges are not extensive for any of the instruments. Trumpet 1 ranges from concert pitch b to g-sharp^; trumpet 2 from concert pitch g to f-sharp^; horn from concert pitch d to b’; trombone from G to g-sharp’; and tuba from C to d’ (the tuba part doubles as a second or bass trombone part). Kudos to Andrew Spang of Lyric Brass Publishing for meticulous attention to detail with the editing of the final score and parts! The parts have been assigned a back-to-back format on two 8 by 11 inch sheets of cardstock, e.g. “Turn page 1 to show page 3,” a format which, according to Spang, “…allows for smooth and unobtrusive page turns during performance without fighting large sheets of paper or forcing the musician to photocopy pages for convenience.” In addition, the score is transposed to correspond with the parts, allowing for quick reference during preparation of the piece.
This is an accessible work for most levels provided that the quintet owns a strong sense of time and pulse. It is a quality piece which should be explored by collegiate and professional ensembles alike due to its very nature as a work which requires absolute rhythmic precision.
An Aubade, composed in 1988, was commissioned by the Astro-Physics Convention held that year in Baltimore. Sprenkle states: “…This is the group that sends things up on space shuttles and stuff. I couldn’t think of anything for them, musically speaking, so I just wrote a pastorale as if looking at the stars….” An aubade corresponds to a serenade. Whereas a serenade was originally intended to be performed in the evening hours, an aubade was intended to be played in the morning, typically for a specific person or group of people.
This tonal work has a lyrical, dreamy quality. Themes are stated quite simply with confidence and elegance. It is an intimate piece that provides relaxation for the second half of a program. Ranges are not extensive. Trumpet 1 ranges from concert pitch b-flat to g^; trumpet 2 from concert pitch a to g-flafr; horn from concert pitch f to c^; trombone from B-flat to g‘; and tuba from BB to gflat‘.
Interlude from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (1993), the centerpiece of a four-movement work for chorus and brass quintet, was originally composed for Friend’s School in Baltimore, Maryland. The work was subsequently rearranged for Columbia Pro Cantare with accompaniment provided by the Annapolis Brass Quintet. The final work ever performed by the Annapolis Brass Quintet in concert. Interlude is an organically lyric piece that features tonal and rhythmic simplicity similar to portraits by Copland, Thompson and Schuman. Ranges are not extensive. Trumpet 1 ranges from concert pitch c’ to g/; trumpet 2 from concert pitch a to g-flafr; horn from concert pitch f to c^; trombone from B-flat to g‘; and tuba from BB to g-flat‘. Both Aubade and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry are harmonically tonal, and although the pieces are not technically challenging, they are musically sophisticated works that demand a great deal of maturity from the performers. The scores and parts are immaculate and boldly printed on highquality card stock for durability. These works are good choices for college, professional and advanced high school quintet programs as well as a fitting way to pay homage to the efforts of the Annapolis Brass Quintet.
~David Spies, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Andromeda (Version Brass Sextet) by Dick Blackford. Broadbent and Dunn Ltd., London, #12801, with Theodore Presser Company as sole selling agent. 1997. Price: $27.95.
Apparently, there are two versions of this composition, the present as a brass sextet and a version for full brass band ensemble. Obviously, not having had the chance to go through the brass band version, one has to assume that this arrangement captures the essence of the piece since the composer has provided this arrangement.
Scored for three trumpets in Bb, horn in F, trombone and bass trombone or tuba, the piece is in one extended movement with numerous changes of tempo, meter, key center and dynamics. Each instrument does get to do some solo work, including the tuba, but as a work that calls for a lot of skill from the tubist, this work isn’t it. Generally, the tuba part is quite simple with very few demands in terms of technique and register, while the other instruments get some very nice licks, both technically and musically.
If you are in need of something of this type, it might be appropriate as a good student brass ensemble piece for college students and it would be an “okay” piece for professional groups who need something to fill a void in an otherwise demanding concert. This is not to say that it is a Grade 1 or 2 piece, because it isn’t, and in fact, will require some rehearsal and attention to detail to make it work properly. If it is your cup of tea, go for it. Recommended.
I Killed M y Lips CD recording featuring Roland Szentpali, tuba assisted by Roger Bobo, tuba; Marta Herdliczka and Zsoka Incze, harpsichord; Zsuzsanna Pinter and Fruzsina Kali-Fonyodi, oboe; Beata Simon, harp; Zoltan Kovacs, Laszlo Saran and Robert Gulya, keyboards and piano; Eszter Horvath, english horn; Zsuzsanna Lizik, organ; Tamas Barabas, electric bass; Peter Szendoti, drums; Peter Bokonyi, Adam Nagy, guitar; Gabor Pusztai, percussion; Katalin Kramarics, flute; Gabor Winter 2001 Csizmadia, trumpet; Ferenc Schreck, trombone; Istvan Elek, saxophones, flute; Roy Kohanszky, devil; Frgyes Sandor Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Levente Bako. Fenox CD-001, Fenox, H-4400 Nyireghaza, Vasvari P. u. 6, Hungary, email@example.com. 1999. TT: 53:53. No price given.
This is a great new recording by a young Hungarian tubist who is immensely talented and even at a young age, a virtuoso of the first order. The music performed on this disc includes W h y Do The Nations? by Handel, Es 1st Vpllbracht by J.S. Bach, Warum Willst D u So Zomig Sein? By J.S. Bach, Apre U n Reve by Faure, and the MoseS’Fantasy by Paganini. Burlesk by Guyla, Golden Bells by Kovacs, The Devil N ever Sleeps by Szentpali, Your Kisses Like The Fire by Szentpali, M i Amor by Szentpali and Variations For A Children’s Song by Szentpali.
His rendition of the Handel aria from the Messiah would make even the greatest interpreters of this role drop their jaws. He “sings” this aria with perfect accuracy and breathing. It is a pleasure to hear. His tone is rich, dark and appropriate for this music. The orchestra provides an impeccable accompaniment. Would that most singers of this music display such musicianship!
The orchestra also accompanies the arias by Bach and again we have a marvelous and musical performance of two beautiful songs that display the tuba to full advantage.
The other music on this album is superbly performed and since a lot of the music is the soloist’s own, one would have to assume they are authentic and approved by the composer. Indeed, there are some absolutely stunningly beautiful romantic songs with gorgeous melodies and harmonies, while others are jazz and rock and rock inspired, which, too, are well conceived and enjoyable to hear. Particularly notable are Golden Bells by Zoltan Kovacs, which also features Roger Bobo on tuba. This is a nice challenge for both players who do everything as though it were just a normal routine, assuming you must first be a virtuoso! Mi Amor by soloist Szentpali is a very fine composition and one that is eminently enjoyable to hear. This is
the kind of CD that all tubists should have in their libraries because of the quality of the playing from artists featured. It is a model of what tuba players should strive for in terms of tone quality, technique and musicianship. This CD is highly recommended in the strongest terms.
~ Barton Cummings
Deanna’s Wonderland CD recording featuring Deanna Swoboda, tuba/vocals; Sam Pilafian, tuba & bass tuba; Gail Novak, piano; Dom Moio, drums, bongos; Steve McCallister, trombone; Clarke Rigsby, trumpet. Summit Records, DCD 245. 2000. TT: 42:41. Price will vary.
This is one of the most delightful albums to come across this reviewer’s desk in ages. Not only does it feature wonderful tuba playing from Deanna Swoboda and Sam Pilafian, but it is one of the finest teaching tools to be found. The album features music by Deanna Swoboda, Keith Robinson, Mark Schultz, Alec Wilder and Raymond Luedeke.
First, the playing. Deanna Swoboda is certainly a virtuoso of the first order who has complete control of dynamics, phrasing, nuance, intonation and has a solid upper, middle and lower range with a fluent technique. She is plays most expressively in the Alec Wilder Elegy for a Whale, and T Rex by Mark Shultz while displaying dazzling technique in the three movements from the Suite N o . 1 for Tuba and Piano (aka: Effie The Elephant) from which she plays Effie Chases a Monkey, Effie Goes Folk Dancing and Effie Joins The Carnival. Whether it was a matter of a limited schedule or another reason, it would have been nice to have the entire suite recorded. In all respects, her colleagues are right there with her all the way, and it is a delight to hear her not only play one of the tuba parts, but to narrate the Wonderland Duets. These have long begged to be recorded, and they could not have been better played than on this disc. Now, for the teaching tools aspect of this disc… First of all, this lady is not only a superb player, she has one of the most remarkable malleable voices to be heard. From start to finish, one has to continually ask, just what voice is really Deanna Swoboda as she impersonates everything from an Iguanna to a Big Cat and as a rap artist. She thoughtfully provides a fully written book for teachers, parents and students to create and implement lesson plcins using not only her CD, but also other resource materials directly related to the lessons. For example, she involves visual/ language arts, science, social studies and health. A brief, yet pretty good dictionary of musical terms is also included giving parents and children some idea of what the terms mean and how they apply to music.
This is an important album that we all need to own and listen to and, if we are in the field of education at any level, use as a tool or resource material for a music education class. How many of us would have taken this chance? I wager few, if any. This reviewer congratulates Deanna Swoboda on her courage to, in the words of another dear friend, go “out on a limb” and do something so very different. For the playing and the overall musical success of this album, it is recommended in the highest of terms.
~Barton Cummings Metamorphoses featuring the Cuyahoga Valley Brass Band conducted by Keith M. Wilkinson with Russell Tinkham, Eb Tuba Soloist. CVBBCD’OOl. Cuyahoga Valley Brass Band, 47 Dodge Avenue, Akron, OH 44302. 2000. TT: 73:39. No price given.
This magnificent ensemble came into being in the Fall of 1997 and presented its inaugural concert in April of 1998 and since that time has grown and developed into a recognized premiere ensemble. The album contains music by Jim Cumow, Saint’Saens, and favorites such as music from Indiana Jones and The Temple o f Doom, The Phantom o f the Opera, Symphonic March by Hindemith and others of equal stature. What we are concerned with here is a composition by Leslie Condon called Celestial M om . Leslie Condon was himself a virtuoso tubist and gave the first performances of this work accompanied by the International Staff Band of The Salvation Army. This reviewer many years past also performed this solo on a number of occasions with Salvation Army Bands in and around the Boston area. The music is wonderful from the melodies to the harmony and rhythm. The writing is virtuosic in all respects and contains Christian hymns associated with entering Heaven on that “Celestial Mom.”
Hence, the title. It is an extremely glorious piece which is fun to play and inspirational to listen to. Perhaps some one might make an attempt to obtain permission to score the accompaniment for concert band. It would a nice addition to our tuba and band literature. The soloist, Russell Tinkham, who just completed his Master of Music in Tuba at The University of Akron where he was a student of Tucker Jolly, currently performs and teaches in that area. He is a fine tubist and displays great understanding and feeling for this music, which he performs with great aplomb. His tone is rich and full and dark and deep. He possesses great style and phrasing as well as complete control of the dynamic range. There are some other soloists playing such instruments as alto horn, comet and euphonium. All are talented musicians and they represent themselves well. This is a wonderful album that all should own. It is recommended in the highest of terms.
Sousa Marches, Played by the Sousa Band: The Complete Commercial Recordings 1897 – 1930. 3-CD set#CD461-3, Crystal Records: 28818 NE Hancock Rd, Camas, WA 98607 phone: 360-834-7022 fax: 360-834-9680, www.crystalrecords.com, list price $50.85 plus $2.00 shipping, (ordering this direct from Crystal Records entitles the buyer to a free CD out of the entire catalogue). Total playing time: 3 hours 13 minutes. 1999.
[Ed. note: significant items o f an historical interest such as these Sousa recordings may occasionally be included in this column as a general service to the readership]
This new release in the Crystal Historical Series is a valuable reference for players, directors and scholars, presenting a complete collection of Sousa’s marches actually played by the great band itself. Here is incomparable insight into issues including balance, phrasing, articulation, etc. But there is more.
The set consists of one recording each of 61 different marches, plus several recordings of The Stars and Stripes Forever, with a bonus track featuring the only known recording of Sousa’s voice. One of the selections. The Mikado March, is obviously based on source material by Arthur Sullivan, and is thought to be arranged by Sousa; it was certainly one of his more popular concert selections. Sousa did not like recordings of music, going so far as to pen an article “The Menace of Mechanical Music.” He reportedly viewed listening to a recorded concert as being comparable to watching a baseball game through the knothole of a fence. Still, during his time as director of the Marine Band, the Columbia record company made more than 400 recordings of that group (apparently due to pressure by the government). None of those very early, and very low fidelity, recordings appear in this collection. However, Sousa the civilian was also a businessman, and he recognized that sales of recordings would promote the things important to him; namely sheet music sales and concert attendance. Accordingly, he signed contracts with several record companies, and their collections of the Sousa Band comprise this set. It should be noted that due to both indifference and conflicting commitments, Sousa did not direct the group in all recordings. Here we can hear the efforts of assistants such as Arthur Pryor, Herbert Clarke and Walter Rogers, and hired directors such as Joseph Pasternack and five others.
When the listener comes to an anthology such as this, the question is “how was the music played during its time?” In this example, the listener also needs to be aware of the position of the recordings in history. Every track was preserved during the dawn of commercial recordings. Only the period’s most popular band, in the USA (if not the world), merited such a comprehensive effort; the result is literally preceded by silence and followed by the history of recording technology that leads to today’s digital stateof- the- art. The individual selections span a period of 37 years, and during that time great advances were made in the quality of sound recordings. The earliest examples come from faint Columbia and Edison wax cylinders, progressing through the Cimera process and eventually to 78 RPM discs on the latest. This means that the oldest selections are compromised somewhat by the limitations of the technology, including reduced number of players per chair (players needed to huddle in front of recording horns), reduced dynamic contrasts (too loud), elimination of certain repeats (too long), and reduced percussion (made the needles skip). Happily, the sound on most of the tracks is very listenable, and the best are downright rich sounding and hold up well when compared to modem recordings.
The three CDs are accompanied by a thick little booklet which is worth the price by itself. Each selection has entries for year of composition, director on the recording, format of the original (cylinder, disk, etc.), date and location of recording, the key of each section (intro, first strain, trio, etc.), and invaluable program notes. There are a number of photos of the Sousa Band, as well as pictures of the man himself. Sousa experts Keith Brion and Frank Byrne contribute articles on early recording history, a Sousa biography, and notes on the attributes of specific selections. The original copies used are all from the personal lifetime collection of Frederick Williams, and he contributes an interesting article describing how he came to complete the set. There are various pithy comments and quotations by Sousa on what makes a good march, and why recordings of them are bad. Finally, the Grammy Award winning engineer, Seth Winner, who has made a special career of restoring old recording collections from Ellington to the Metropolitan Opera, describes the years of careful processing used to bring this Sousa set up to its current condition. Where multiple copies were available, the best parts were sampled and merged. Digital cleaning programs were used instead of filtering that would have robbed the recordings of their essence. Pitch correction compensated for wow and flutter, as well as slightly ‘off’ playback speeds. I have already found this set to be worthwhile as a reference, and I highly recommend it to conductors and players alike.
~ Paul Schmidt, Heavy Metal Music
Daydreams Desires & Diversions CD recording featuring The Lyric Brass Quintet. Information available from www.lyricbrass.com/publishing . Order from www.amazon.com $14.22 plus shipping. 2000.
There is a wide variety of music on this album, the first recording of this group. They are to be commended for presenting music spanning the whole of Western culture. From Giles Famaby’s Fancies, Toyes & Dreams (made known to us by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble), through the Lament of J. J. Johnson and the Ewazen Colchester Fantasy, you could hardly find a more eclectic collection of music. I have but two wishes for this CD. First, I wish that the recording had been set up differently. The trumpet sound tends to be a bit diffuse and fuzzy, especially in the attacks. This seems to be the case with a lot of CDs lately. Also, it would seem that they used only one presence microphone in front of the group, and as a result it does not pick up the tuba very well at all. The tuba sounds woofy when I can hear him, and that does not seem to be the way he is playing at all. The horn also disappears at times. My second wish is that these folks would play with more excitement. They are showing us something new and interesting in programming, with music from Elan Ray Sprinkle (his Interlude from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Diversions on a Repeated Sequence and An Aubade), a J. S. Bach Fantasia (the arrangement is reviewed elsewhere in this issue) and Time to Say Goodbye by Francesco Sartori, as well as the Renwick Dance, a perennial favorite. The liner notes are very useful – 1 never knew who Wilke Renwick was until I read them. A good start, but a tighter ensemble might go a long way in making their performance more stimulating. They have a good arranger in Andrew Spang, their tubist, who did two of these charts. Let’s see where this group goes from here.
Paul Freeman Introduces .. .David N . Baker (Volume 5) CD recording featuring Daniel Perantoni, tuba. Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, Music Director. Albany Records Troy 377 (Albany Records US, 915 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207. Tel. 518.436.8814 – FAX 518.436.0643; Albany Records UK, Box 12, Warton, Camforth, Lancashire LA59PD. Tel. 01524 735873 – FAX 01524 736448.), 2000. No price given.
Most tubists are already familiar with David Baker’s music for tuba such as the SoTUita for Tuba and String Quartet dedicated to and inspired by Harvey Phillips. For those musicians unfamiliar with David Baker, he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department of the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana. One of the most important jazz educators in music today, David Baker is a virtuosic performer on several instruments, a renowned conductor, and a prolific composer, having been commissioned by over 500 individuals and ensembles and having written over 2,000 works in various genres. Having taught and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Japan, he has received numerous awards, including nominations for both the Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award. He has also received a lifetime achievement award as a trombonist from D own Beat magazine, as well as having been inducted into its Jazz Hall of Fame. This recording features four recent works by Baker in various genres, including a new concerto for tuba and orchestra. Alabama Landscape, the first selection on this recording, is a very vivid magnification of a text of the same name by African-American poet and writer Mari Evans. A single-movement setting, the work consists of four major sections, each punctuated by the words “black man running.” The imagery conjured includes that of a slave running away to freedom under hot pursuit to avoid lynching superimposed upon the modem context of modem life, demonstrating anger and injustice within the African-American community. The text culminates in a poignant yet chilling statement relating said experiences to those of another modem population: “There will be no one left for ovens.” Full of color and energy, every section of the orchestra is utilized for its maximum impact through Baker’s composition and orchestration. Jazzy, bluesy, lyrical, harsh, this work offers insight and compels the audience to share the struggles and challenges observed by people of color throughout America over centuries of oppression. A suite for string orchestra. Refractions was commissioned by and composed for Janos Starker originally as a cello quartet.
The work was first performed by a virtuoso quartet consisting of Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Emilio Colon, and Emanuel Gmber at Indiana University in 1994. Baker, a former student of Starker and a virtuoso cellist himself, under the realization that the immense level of difficulty of the original version would hinder the work’s accessibility, rescored the work in 1996 for eight-part cello choir. It was performed both in Bloomington, Indiana and at the Fifth American Cello Congress in Tempe, Arizona. The current version for orchestra, suggested by Maestro Paul Freeman, was rescored for the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Romantic and lyrical in nature. Refractions also reflects Baker’s background in jazz and blues. Each of the three movements – Crescent, Crepuscule, and Convergence, — are programmatic in nature, each exploring the refraction of light and energy. Life Cycles is a suite for tenor, horn, and strings composed for tenor William Brown. With the same instrumentation as Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, it is intended as a companion piece to Britten s work. American poet Terrence Diggory provides the text for this setting. Baker’s orchestration mastery is ideal for the word-painting of imagery found in the natural world illustrated in each of the five songs: Night Song, Surface, Autumn Moral, W h a t It Means W h en Spring Comes, and Saints and Hermits. William Brown, Zdenek Tylsar, who is principal homist of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra are to be lauded for their impressive presentation of this work.
The final work on the recording is David Baker’s Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra. Commissioned by and written for Daniel Perantoni, Professor of Music at Indiana University, the work was premiered at the 1998 National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. Along with Refractions, Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra displays Baker’s fondness for alliteration through the titles of each of the movements. The first movement, “B’s,” pays homage to three favorite composers of Baker: Brahms, Bartok, and Berg. References to these composers are made through the use of quotes, gestures, and harmonies. Perantoni’s consummate lyricism and tone are featured through nimble and agile line which pass between bebop figures and highly intricate technical passages. Some of the more explicit quotes include thematic material from Bartok’s fourth string quartet and Berg’s Violin Concerto, along with the passacaglia motif from Brahms’ Symphony N o . 4. The second movement. Berceuse, is a beautiful lullaby, which allows the tubist to express the gentle and introspective nature of the instrument. Mr. Perantoni is superb in his lyricism, and the ease with which he moves throughout the full compass of the tuba is displayed to the fullest extent. Blues begins as a blues-march and passes between classical and jazz idioms throughout the movement. Virtuosic in every aspect, the soloist presents material reminiscent of signature gestures by Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Cannonball Adderley, all of which Mr. Perantoni renders with stylistic integrity and accuracy. David Baker and Dan Perantoni have presented the tuba community with a work of quality and distinctly unique perspective. All tubists should become familiar with this work, as it is likely to become a standard work in the repertoire.
This recording is highly recommended by this reviewer. It has taken several listenings to fully appreciate the works on this recording. Every piece offers exceptional insight to aspects of orchestration; to those individuals who are attempting to master aspects of composition and arranging, it should prove invaluable. ~David Spies, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
The Contemporary Tuba by Barton Cummings. New London, CT: Whaling Music, 1984. 65 pages.
[Ed. note – while not exactly a review, the following editorial is nevertheless important as an historical footnote to an earlier review]
While preparing a file for a faculty performance evaluation, I recently had the opportunity to revisit my reviews contributed to the New Materials Section for the TUBA Journal. Overall I have been pleased with my work, with one exception, my review of The Contemporary Tuba by Barton Cummings (TUBA Journal, Vol. 14: No. 1, August 1986). If written today it would be quite different than the one published. This review was one of my first: an early effort to establish a name for myself and an opportunity for an unknown to take on an established name in the field. Fourteen years later, after dealing with university life, scholarly writing and academic politicizing, my perspective on this one review has changed significantly. I do not retract my criticisms; they were carefully considered when I wrote it. I do regret the judgmental and strident tone of the comments, written by someone who had not yet done battle with the system of “publish or perish.” The major problem with the book was that it simply tried to accomplish too many things. In the preface Barton identified three purposes for the project. First was to pay tribute to the composers who had written music especially for him. On the surface this may strike someone as somewhat narcissistic, but on reflection it actually serves a necessary purpose. At the time Barton wrote The Contemporary Tuba he was on the faculty at Delta State University. Modem academic life demands documented evidence to justify someone being retained in a college position. Barton has a notable reputation of commissioning works for tuba, and a published volume celebrating the composers who had written for him is of more value to more people than is a review file. The information may be of service to performers and scholars, therefore it makes good sense to share it. Barton’s second purpose was to briefly survey some of the contemporary techniques used in the compositions, making it a practical performance guide for the music described. With his experience in the performance practices in these works, this sharing of information would give performers a good start in preparing these pieces. Shortly after this Barton added a third purpose, an attempt to make the book a more complete guide to contemporary performance by describing techniques used in works written for others. The problem is that these three very fine ideas are too cumbersome in themselves to be handled adequately in one 60 page volume. Of all the “ifs” that we deal with the one that appears most often is “if 1 only had more time.” Had Barton been able to take more time, he could have either written more extensively in the one book, or perhaps expanded the whole project into two or three volumes. The reality more often than not is “we don’t want it good; we want it Tuesday.” The Contemporary Tuba has the look of a project under a deadline.
If there were more time the project could have had what it deserved, a good proof reading, preferably done by someone other than the author. Sometimes when one is immersed in a project it gets difficult to keep things in clear perspective. A good proofreader can give some valuable insights. Overall, the writing style and sentence structure was very complicated. Barton’s thought processes seem to out race the pen on the paper. I submitted a review that displayed the overzealous brashness of someone who had not yet “been there and done that” in the scholarly world. In spite of my review. Barton Cummings has always been a helpful and gracious colleague. I appreciated his assistance to me personally in the final days of my preparation of the discography for the Tuba Source Book. He is tireless as a composer, arranger, author, conductor and performer. He even finds the time to turn out a good student or two (the editor of the New Materials section comes to mind). I wanted to take this opportunity to say that if I wrote a review of this book today the result would be quite different from the one fourteen years ago.
~Ron Davis, University of South Carolina