Perhaps the worlds first tuba solo recording in the SACD format.
It plays great on a regular CD player, but with a SACD player the listener can enjoy superior multi channel sound quality.
Really a good reason to buy the disk rather than a standard stereo download.
Did You Do? is a word-play on ‘didgeridoo’, the name of an instrument which belongs to the oldest in the world, possibly developed c. 1.500 years ago. As it is played more or less like a tuba, I bought one during a visit to Australia. The difficult part wasn’t playing it but finding music which could be played with others, which is why I composed this piece for didgeridoo and wind band. As the instrument only has a single, more or less fixed pitch, the whole composition is centred around D flat.
Anna Baadsvik was born in 1966 in Sweden and wrote her first music, for solo piano, at the age of five. She went on to study the violin at Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and composition and arranging at the Trondheim Conservatory of Music in Norway. As a violinist she has played Swedish, Irish and Norwegian folk music, rock and jazz, as well as the classical repertoire, thereby showing an openness towards different musical styles which has greatly influenced her own music. Her production includes compositions and arrangements for symphony orchestra and smaller ensembles as well as numerous chamber works. One of her more spectacular compositions is Freja’s Song, a fifty-minute piece for cathedral, four hundred female singers, tuba and violin with improvisation as an important element. In her own comments to The Memory of a Rose she relates that the piece was conceived ‘after a very lifelike dream about that most unthinkable thing: the loss of that which one holds dearest in life. I was absorbed by the idea, and feeling deeply for all those who have actually experienced this, I set down down my dream in music: an all-enveloping personal disaster which encompasses moods ranging from fury, the darkest sorrow and chaos to happy memories, heart-breaking loss and resignation.’ The Memory of a Rose first existed as a piece for tuba and brass quintet, and was developed into a concerto for tuba and fanfare band for the present recording.
Born in Amsterdam in 1948, Rob Goorhuis studied music theory as well as piano, organ and conducting at the conservatories of Utrecht, Arnhem and Tilburg. For many years he was active as a conductor and organist/harpsichordist, performing and participating in numerous radio and television broadcasts in the Netherlands and abroad. He has also been active as an adjudicator of wind band and choral competitions. Since 1977 Rob Goorhuis has focused increasingly on composing, with wind music and choral music making up a prominent part of his production. He is composer-in-residence with the Dutch National Youth Fanfare Band, and in 2006 was made Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Goorhuis wrote his concerto for me and the FKKL as a one-movement composition in sonata form, with the typical, classical contrast between the two main themes. During the development (the middle section) the composer has created a slow movement, similar to his procedure in works such as ‘Sonate’ and ‘Passion et Tendresse’. This method gives the piece an arch structure while avoiding a clear division into separate parts.
The tuba part is fleet and virtuosic, with an important lyrical element to balance the different elements, with cadenzas adding moments of introspective beauty as well as playfulness. The orchestral writing is colourful and adventurous, and the extensive interaction between the soloist and the band makes the piece a challenge for both.
Robert Jager was born in Binghamton, New York, in 1939, and graduated from the University of Michigan. After serving for four years in the United State Navy as staff arranger/composer at the Armed Forces School of Music, he went on to teach for thirty years at Tennessee Tech University, where he is now professor emeritus. His large production comprises more than 140 published works for band, symphony orchestra, chorus and various chamber combinations, including commissions from prestigious ensembles and organizations, including the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the Republic of China Band Association and all four of the US military academies: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy. He has conducted and lectured throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan and the Republic of China, and has received numerous awards for his compositions.
Robert Jager composed his Concerto for Bass Tuba in 1981 as a commission from the tuba player Daniel Perantoni, and the première performance took place the same year, with the University of Illinois Symphonic Band conducted by Harry Begian. The composition consists of a single movement, but is cast in five distinct sections, each of which derives its material from the four-note motif first heard in the lower instruments during the introduction. The composer has described the style of the music as Neo-Romantic, following the wish of the original soloist for a piece which leaves the audience ‘on their feet applauding and not leaving’.
Bass in the Ballroom was the first tuba solo I ever played. It consists of two parts: a tango and a waltz. The tuba part is of a well-judged virtuosity, and the clear-cut melody and elegant rhtythms has made it into one of Roy Newsome’s most popular pieces. As a composer and conductor, Newsome (1930-2011) was an influential figure, especially on the British brass band scene. I met him several times, and he also made an arrangement of the piece for tuba and symphony orchestra which I performed at a New Year’s concert with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.
Minuano (Six Eight) is a piece from the album Still Life (Talking) by Pat Metheny Group. Metheny (b. 1954) is one of the greatest among jazz guitarists and composers and has been an innovator both musically, in the development of his instrument and through his collaborations with musicians from other genres than jazz. He wrote Minuano together with Lyle Mays (b. 1953), the keyboard player of the group, naming it after a cold wind that blows in the South of Brazil and in Uruguay. The piece is in 6/8 and begins with long, cool melodic lines floating above a propulsive accompaniment. The English brass band conductor and arranger Ray Farr has made a tremendously effective adaptation of it for brass band band.
The Dutch composer and conductor Maurice Hamers (b.1962) currently teaches at the Augsburg University. Chameleon was the first piece he composed, and won first prize as best international solo composition in the entertainment section the 1991 European Brass Band Championships. The work describes the ability of the chameleon to change colour depending on its surroundings and mood, and personified by the tuba, it here changes from emerald green to an aggressive red colour. After a cadenza, the music and the chameleon both changes character once again and the piece ends as it began, in a peaceful, green colour.