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20th-Century Tuba Concertos

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-1515 CD
Release date2008-09-30
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time58:14

Not many instruments have a birthday – the tuba, however, does: the 12th September 1835. It is true that more or less similar instruments were already in existence, but it was on that day that a patent for the instrument was registered in Germany. By the second half of the century, with the operas of Richard Wagner, it had become an indispensable colour in the orchestra, and was later to play a significant role in works by such composers as Richard Strauss, Stravinsky and Prokofiev. Tuba concertos started to appear in the middle of the twentieth century, and finally gave lie to the cliché that the tuba was heavy, clumsy and incapable of playing fast.

On this disc, the Norwegian tuba virtuoso Øystein Baadsvik explores some of these concertante works, including pieces by the Georgian composer Alexander Arutiunian and the Swedish composer Torbjörn Lundquist. The programme opens and closes with a Williams, however. Written in 1954, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba was at first considered a last eccentricity of an aged composer, but with the passing of time it has become recognized as a classic. 13 years later John Williams first included a big tuba solo in one of his film scores. Describing it as ‘an agile instrument, like a huge cornet’ he has been using the instrument ever since, for instance giving it the unforgettable theme of the movie Jaws. His Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra was composed for the centenary of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1985, and is a light and tuneful work well suited for such an occasion.

Noone could be better placed than Baadsvik to show the tuba in this unaccustomed role – throughout his career he has dumbfounded audiences around the world with his virtuosic and expressive performances. On his previous four discs on BIS he has given renditions of works as diverse as Kalevi Aho’s resolutely modernist concerto from 2004 and Vivaldi’s Winter ‘with a lissome fluency suggesting that anything a violin can do, a tuba can do too’ (Daily Telegraph, UK). On the present disc he is expertly supported by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anne Manson.
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$ 11.87
Extra material for download
  Composer: Vaughan Williams, Ralph
  Concerto for Bass Tuba 11:42
01 I. Prelude 04:04 $ 0.85 USD
02 II. Romanza 04:42 $ 0.99 USD
03 III. Finale – Rondo alla Tedesca 02:56 $ 0.62 USD
  Composer: Arutiunian, Alexander
  Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra 29:46
04 I. Allegro moderato 02:58 $ 0.62 USD
05 II. Andante sostenuto 05:26 $ 1.14 USD
06 III. Allegro ma non troppo 04:25 $ 0.93 USD
  Composer: Lundquist, Torbjörn Iwan
07 Landscape for tuba, string orchestra and piano 15:04 $ 3.16 USD
  Composer: Williams, John
  Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra 29:46
08 I. Allegro moderato 06:19 $ 1.33 USD
09 II. Andante 06:20 $ 1.33 USD
10 III. Allegro molto 04:18 $ 0.90 USD
  Album total 58:14
OrchestraSingapore Symphony Orchestra
ConductorManson, Anne
ComposerArutiunian, Alexander
Lundquist, Torbjörn Iwan
Vaughan Williams, Ralph
Williams, John
TromboneBaadsvik, Øystein

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