Concerto in F minor for Tuba and Winds

From Wind Repertory Project
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (arr. Robert Hare)

General Info

Year: 1954 / 1992
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: VI / V(see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. Prelude
2. Romanza
3. Finale


Full Score
Solo Tuba
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Vaughan Williams composed his Concerto for Tuba for the golden jubilee of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1954 with the orchestra's own tuba player, Philip Catelinet, as the soloist. While the three-movement piece is relatively short, it still demonstrates Vaughan Williams' own harmonic and rhythmic style.

Initial reviews of the premiere were mixed. Some called the work an "elephantine romp" and remarked that it was "humorous and salty." History has shown this first reaction was far too superficial. The technical difficulties of writing an effective concerto for an instrument whose compass lies even lower than that of the cello or the bassoon proved to be a stimulating challenge, and Vaughan Williams took great pains to discover the tuba's capabilities.

The concerto's first and final movements highlight the tuba's playful and deceptively agile capacity. With its solid melody surrounded by shimmering, playfully dancing strings, early critics insisted that the final movement was an instrumental representation of Falstaff and the Fairies. For the middle of the concerto, the composer fashioned a Romanza movement that is breathtakingly fresh and poignant, dramatizing the instrument's lyrical potential in the hands of a masterful player.

- Program Note from Appalachian Wind Ensemble concert program, 20 February 2016


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Golden Gate Park Band (San Francisco, Calif.) (German Gonzales, conductor; Jonathon Seiberlich, tuba) - 7 August 2022
  • Lakeshore Wind Ensemble (Manitowoc, Wisc.) (Marc Sackman, conductor; Marty Erickson, tuba) – 19 October 2019
  • Atlanta (Ga.) Youth Wind Symphony (Scott A. Stewart, conductor; Brian Fecht, bass trombone) - 7 October 2019
  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Derek Stoughton, conductor; Charles Goodman, tuba) - 9 November 2017
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Wind Ensemble (John Stanley Ross, conductor; Bethany Wiese, tuba) – 20 February 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works