Concerto for Bass Tuba

From Wind Repertory Project
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (arr. Wick and Chambers)

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General Info

Year: 1954 / 1992
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Denis Wick
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - £80.00


1. Allegro Moderato - 4:06
2. Andante Sostenuto
3. Allegro


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The work was premiered on June 13, 1954, by Philip Catelinet whom the piece was also written for. Philip Catelinet was the first chair tubist in the London Symphony Orchestra. Philip wrote about the premiere in an article titled, The Truth about the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto:

"Tuning was a problem. It appeared to me, in that hall, that I gave out a sound similar to that of a sick cow. It seemed to meet the approval of the conductor, and we were off. The first movement was not too comfortable. A lack of togetherness on my part, hopefully, was not noticeable to the audience. The cadenza came off, though I wasn't too satisfied with my intonation. There is little, if any, resonance in that hall, so your solo sound seems to stop at the end of the bell. The beautiful second movement was, to me, one of my best efforts. I didn't care if the audience, critics or anyone else, for that matter, disliked the tuba sound or not. I really enjoyed myself. The last movement rollicked along, musically sketchy, but somehow held together with the confidence coming from under-rehearsed orchestral players determined not to admit musical defeat under any circumstances. The applause seemed sincere enough; probably happy, along with me, that I had finally made a tuba concerto sufficiently plausible musically to be acceptable. Vaughan Williams came to the front of the stage and linked hands with Sir John Barbirolli and myself, and we took our bows of the audience."

This note is for the orchestral version of the concerto.

- Program Note from publisher


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • North Suburban Wind Ensemble (Libertyville, Ill.) (Don Shupe, conductor; Robert Black, tuba) – 10 March 2019
  • University of Nebraska Kearney Wind Ensemble (Duane Bierman, conductor; Yumi Oishi, tuba)– 12 April 2018
  • Southeastern University (Hammond, La.) Wind Symphony (Derek Stoughton, conductor; Charles Goodman, tuba) - 9 November 2017
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Mark Scatterday, conductor) – 30 November 2016
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Timothy M. Smith, conductor; Julian Dixon, tuba) – 30 October 2016
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Central Navy Band of Russia (Alexey Karabanov, conductor; Maxim Makushev, tuba) – 7 February 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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