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Symphonic Variants

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Jim Curnow

James Curnow


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Subtitle: For Euphonium and Band


General Info

Year: 1984 / 1998
Duration: c. 19:20
Difficulty: VI (solo); V (ensemble) (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Curnow Music Press through Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $129.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00


Movements

1. Introduction - 1:10
2. Variant I, Allegro con brio - 5:20
3. Variant II, Lento con teneramente – 4:35
4. Variant III, Presto – 2:40
5. Variant IV, Adagio con calore - 3:25
6. Finale - 1:35


Instrumentation

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


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Through variations in tempo and tone, Symphonic Variants brings forth the sonority of the euphonium and the skills of the soloist. The work begins with an allegro con espressivo statement of the theme and alternates with adagio and allegro con spirito variations. Lento, presto, and pesante treatments add further interest to the composition.

- Program Note by publisher


Commissioned by Dr. Harry Begian, director of bands, and the University of Illinois Symphonic Band, this “tour de force” for euphonium and band was premiered by Philip Franke, principal trombonist with the United States Marine Band. The trombone and tuba solos are tailored to work with the accompaniment (band or piano) without any changes in the original accompaniment itself.

The piece opens with a statement of the theme (diminution) that should be very incisive and unrelenting. This same statement is also presented at the beginning of the coda. The first variation is presented in a rondo form and is based on the first five notes of the original theme. The use of the opening half-step and the first three notes of the theme for transitional, developmental and motivic material is important. The cadenza was especially designed to feature Mr. Franke’s ability to play multiphonics.

The second variation is based on the first three notes and motivic development of these notes including most of the harmonic structure of this movement. The third variation is a scherzo based on two themes derived from the original theme. The fourth variation is based mainly on the half-step between notes three and four, seven and eight and ten and eleven of the original theme. This variant gives a great deal of opportunity to showcase the espressivo quality of the euphonium. After a quick accelerando, the coda is introduced by a reiteration of the opening statement of the theme and the somewhat unusual introduction of a fifth variation. This variation is heard several times during Variant IV.

- Program Note from score


Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Band was commissioned by Dr. Harry Begian, Director of Bands at the University of Illinois. It was premiered by Phillip Franke, principal trombonist with the United States Marine Band. This “tour de force” is a four-movement work, artfully showcasing the range and flexibility of the euphonium.

Through variations in tempo and tone, the Symphonic Variants bring forth the sonority of the euphonium and the skills of the soloist. The work begins with an allegro con espressivo statement of the theme, and alternates with adagio and allegro con spirito variations. Lento, presto, and pesante treatments add further interest to the composition.

- Program Note from liner notes of Mark Records CD Gusto! Friends, Rhapsodies and Musical Relish, Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) Wind Ensemble (James Popejoy, conductor; Benjamin Helfrich, euphonium) - 9 March 2021
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Wind Ensemble (Lindsay H. Sandberg, conductor; Thanapol Phosut, euphonium) - 1 March 2021
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Anthony C. Marinello, conductor; Sean Breast, euphonium) – 27 April 2019
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor; Hiram Diaz,euphonium) – 12 March 2018
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor; Paul Dickinson, euphonium) – 18 September 2017
  • Symphonic Wind Orchestra (Clifton Garden, Australia) (James Pensini, conductor; Jonathon Ramsey, euphonium) – 28 October 2012


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources

  • Bone, L.; Paul, E. (ed.) (2007). Guide to the Euphonium Repertoire. Indiana University Press: Bloomington. pp. 142.
  • Curnow, J. (1998). Symphonic Variants: For Euphonium and Band [score]. Curnow Music Press: Wilmore, Ky.