Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band
1. Allegro moderato dramatico - 15:45
2. Largo fantasia - 9:50
3. Allegro spiritoso - 6:15
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I–II, including:
- Crash Cymbals
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
Concerto for Tuba was commissioned in 2006 by Dr. Frederick Harris and the MIT Wind Ensemble. Although I have had many commissions, this was the first time I was commissioned to write a piece that I, as an instrumentalist, would premier. It has often been the case that my professional performing activities have had a strong influence on my composition activities and this was no exception. Sections of this work were directly inspired by recent performances I had of Thaïs with the Palm Beach Opera and The Rite of Spring and Also Sprach Zarathustra with the Minnesota Orchestra. Concerto for Tuba was completed on February 24, 2007, premiered on March 12.
Concerti featuring a wind instrument, especially a brass instrument, are usually relatively short compared to those written for strings or the piano. In setting forth to write a tuba concerto, I felt it was important to create a work for the instrument that is substantive as well as musically and programmatically marketable. The result is a composition that, at over 30 minutes in length, offers both the soloist and ensemble many opportunities for both dramatic and subtle expression.
The first movement, Allegro moderato dramatico, reveals itself in the traditional concerto-sonata form, complete with tutti and solo expositions. The dark, heavy character of the A theme leads itself well to being exploited on the tuba while a tender and lyrical B theme allows the tuba player to display a sensitivity and expressiveness not often associated with the instrument. The entire movement builds toward the last measure that elides into the Largo Fantasia.
The more fluid, almost improvisatory, motion and gentle temperament of the second movement provide a much needed contrast to the first. A haunting refrain on the piccolo serves to frame the movement’s many sections. The contrapuntal lines of this movement do not possess the disciplined singularity of purpose inherent in the contrapuntal lines of first. They enjoy a coexistence that is more musically independent. This gives the movement a sense of freedom deserving of the title Fantasia.
The Allegro spiritoso re-establishes the tone and weight of the first movement. Displaying characteristics of both a march and a dance, it unfolds in an expanded ternary form (rondo form) with a kinetic intensity that builds to a dramatic conclusion.
- Program Note by composer
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, conductor; Kenneth Amis, tuba) - 1 May 2010
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, conductor; Kenneth Amis, tuba) - 17 March 2007 *Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by this Composer
- a tonal fanfare (1996)
- The Art of Adagio (1995)
- The Art of Fugue (as transcriber) (1740s/2004)
- Bell-Tone’s Ring (1999)
- Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band (2007)
- Driven! (2002)
- Grenadiers of Liberty (1996)
- Islero (1994)
- Kirkos (2007)
- March of the Corn (2010)
- The Multimedia Construction Kit (1997)
- Music for Music (1992)
- The Playground Ball (1994)
- Rondo alla Kolo (1998)
- Seventy-Six (76) Trombones (as arranger) (1957/)
- Simphonie Militaire (as arranger) (1793/2013)
- Sinfonia Concertante (1993)
- Slavonic Dance No 1, Op 72 (as transcriber)
- Slavonic Dance No 3, Op 72 (as transcriber)
- Slavonic Dance No 4, Op 72 (as transcriber)
- Slavonic Dance No 6, Op 72 (as transcriber)
- Slavonic Dance No 7, Op 72 (as transcriber)
- Sonata in A (3rd Movement -- Rondo alla turca) (as arranger) (1783/1998)
- Spring Overture (2018)
- Symphonic Poem (1994)
- The Horizon Leans Forward, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 245.
- Kenneth Amis website