Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Piano, Tuba
This work was composed largely during the summer of 2017, after a few attempts at writing shorter pieces for tuba and piano earlier in the year. It is not a programmatic work, as many of my works often are. Rather, it is my attempt at contributing to the tuba repertoire in terms “absolute music,” as Brahms so famously called it.
I. This movement is rather upbeat, and it is simple in terms of its harmonic content. There are a few moments of deviation, and interruptions of the melody, but performers and audiences should find it to be palatable overall. The beginning of this movement subjects a clear theme to a few harmonic shifts and brief developmental moments. The turbulent middle section of the movement was inspired by the Sturm und Drang style popularized by Haydn and Hozart in the Classical period. The end of the movement sees the return of the theme rather abruptly and confidently, and finishes triumphantly.
II. Bach has always been a large influence on me, as he has undoubtedly been to every other composer after him. This movement is somewhat of my homage to him. The melodic content is less theme-focused than the prior movement, allowing for longer stretches of melismatic writing in the solo part. The accompaniment in this movement is thicker than that of the first movement, and requires more pedaling, contributing a darker and heavier tone to the movement as a whole.
III. This final movement draws heavily on my love of French music, especially that of Bozza’s music for brass instruments. The movement begins with a dance like quality, and it is very jovial. The melodies then begin to stretch out, growing more dissonant as the movement progresses, until finally dissolving into a rather haunting section involving disparate notes in the piano and tone clusters. This section demands more of the soloist in terms of technique than any other movement of the piece. Eventually, after a brief cadenza, the main thematic material returns to finish out the movement “with a bang!”