The White Ghost (nimoloth) wrote in windbandmusic,
The White Ghost

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The Relative Merits of Tuba Concertos

Last night we played the Gregson tuba concerto (our resident tuba player, ezyena, who is at the Academy, is the soloist, and is extremely good). It's a really complex and fascinating piece, and very listenable too. Gregson's work is 20th Century, but not modern and minimalist minimalist like Glass, or his ilk. It's quite cinematic, actually. The harmonies and melodies are unusual, but pleasing to the ear (mine, anyway) and take you in all sorts of interesting an unexpected dimensions.

The tuba part is beautiful to listen too, with a lot of difficult high stuff in the second movement in particular, which ezyena played very well. The third movement, in true concerto form, is mostly fast ad impressive.

The first movement contains a six bars or so quote from the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto, in homage. I love the Vaughan Williams - I played the second movement for CSYS/Grade 8/RNCM audition and it's really beautiful. The other movements are lovely too, very melodic and very English, as Vaughan Williams always is. He's one of my favourite composers.
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Played the Gregson a few years ago in high school First Company/Wind Ensemble with Ken Amis as the tuba soloist... I remember how pretty it was (despite the lack of an interesting piccolo part after the opening of the 1st mvt!) The 2nd mvt is interesting... And I enjoy the melodies throughout, especially in the 1st mvt about halfway through (instroduced my the solo, answered by the flutes/oboe), which sounds like it belongs in some sci-fi drama.... not sure about some of the harmonies, but they've grown on me over the years.
I'm usually not the kind to like 20th Century music, but I really enjoy this concerto.
Too bad we're probably not going to cover Gregson or anyone active in the mid-20th Century at all (let alone Vaughn Williams!) in my music history courses.... *sigh*

Have fun with it!
>>>I'm usually not the kind to like 20th Century music, but I really enjoy this concerto.

Yet you're on a Wind Band discussion group, a 20th century ensemble.
I should've specified 'hard-core atonal music'. :-) hah
I knew what you meant :).
Sounds fantastic.