Tuba and Wind Quintet - a great combination!

Sunday, 17 July 2011 20:35 David Keeffe
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What can you do to improve a "classic" sound? Add a tuba!

The "classic" wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon) has been with us since the late 1700's, and despite a quiet period in the later part of the 19th century and early 20th, is now a popular ensemble with a growing repertoire. I've played in this sort of group on and off over the years. Add a tuba and you get a rich bass, and something to partner the horn in sound.

A local tuba player, Per Forsberg, has been promoting this ensemble for a little while now and I was asked to write something for them. Today I had the pleasure to hear a workshop of "Merry-Go-Round", a carousel-like waltz. It follows a classic form of sections, but is a "harmonious" 12-note piece, based on the row in Berg's Violin Concerto. Also, each statement of the row is a semitone lower than its predecessor, yielding a "big form" that interacts with the "small form".

It's been a challenge to write a work in a lighter style but using a "serious" methodology.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2011 20:38