My Concerto Basso is based on the Baroque idea of contrast between a large and a small ensemble. The two ensembles in this case are made up of the same instruments. two tuba parts and two euphonium parts. In the large ensemble the parts are doubled, and in the small ensemble they are solo. In performance there should be no wide separation between the two groups so that the effect is a contrast between solo and ensemble and not antiphonal.
After the slow introduction of the first movement is completed, two themes, one agitated and the other lyrical, are presented, and these two themes return in varied forms throughout the movement.
The second movement, which is a funeral march, is in A-B-A form. The A section contrasts muted-solo and open-tutti ideas. The middle section is fierce and agitated in mood.
The last movement, as in the Baroque concerto, is in a light, rapid 3/8 meter, and there is much comic interplay brought about by rapid alternations from 3/8 to 2/4 meter.
Concerto Basso has been recorded by the Tennessee Tech. Tuba Ensemble conducted by R. Winston Morris on GOLDEN CREST RECORDS: QCRS-4139.
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