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Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Piano, Tuba
Sonata for Tuba & Piano, originally titled “Andante & Allegretto”, was written for Jay Norris, a colleague and good friend from our time with the United States Army Field Band and premiered at the US Army Band Tuba/Euphonium Conference at Fort Myer, VA in (or around) 1992.
The title is changed from “Andante & Allegretto” as that didn’t quite accurately describe the piece. After taking far too much time deliberating over what to call it, I settled on the hardly original “Sonata” with the subtitle “Prayer & Supplication”. The two movements are linked by a brief quasi-cadenza with thematic material from the first section restated toward the end of the piece.
The subtitle “Prayer & Supplication” is taken from Philippians 4:6. While sacred music does make up a good portion of my fairly modest output, I don’t recall consciously thinking in those terms while writing the piece (though may have been subconsciously). In any case, it does suggest some rather intense emotional, even spiritual struggle, concluding with eventual resolution.
In December 2016, there was the remarkable opportunity to work through the piece with New York Philharmonic tubist Alan Baer at Juilliard. (This was after a rehearsal with the NY Phil brass and percussion for their annual Holiday concert that included a piece Phil Smith had commissioned). Al had some very helpful suggestions, not necessarily big things but little things that made a difference.Learn More