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Thread: "First Concerto"

  1. #1

    "First Concerto"

    Hey all,

    I know that the Horovitz is touted as the first full-scale concerto for euphonium.....

    but recently I checked the back of my Barry Kilpatrick CD and noticed that Alec Wilder's Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Orchestra was performed, and it was listed as being composed in 1971.....anyone doing the math???

    -John

  2. "First Concerto"

    You're right that the dates don't line up quite right. I've always thought of the Horovitz concerto that, though it being such an early concerto for euphonium, it was just as significant for being particularly accessible in the way it was written. The fourth valve is not "required" at any point in the work (not all horns had four valves at this point), and if you've ever noticed, many of the most difficult passages are preceded by a change to a slightly slower tempo (I admit that I fully realized this after re-reading Steven Mead's article on preparing this piece (http://euphonium.net/articles....paring-47857)).


    Keep in mind as well that the British/European style of euphonium was virtually non-existent in the United States until 1939, but it was prominent in Britain much earlier than that. Therefore, I would have to think that a euphonium concerto coming out of England was going to have much more clout than one coming out of the US. It was also written as part of a national brass band competition by a composer that was decently known in Britain.

    The fact that the Horovitz is given more prominence, and maybe as a result credited as the first euphonium concerto, ultimately has to do with how well it is written. Is it also possible that, though the Wilder was written in '71, it was not played until later on? I know that doesn't make its date of composition any later, but it could explain why we knew about the Horovitz sooner.

  3. #3

    "First Concerto"

    I looked up the Wilder quickly and it seems to be a rental, which makes it much less accessible and thus played much less:

    http://www.schirmer.com/Defaul...rkId_2874=34441


    Whereas the Horovitz has been recorded many times by different players and can be bought for not very much money in piano reduction.

    Plus, until recently, the UK has been the center of the euphonium world and their composers and performers have dominated the mindshare which has grown up around the instrument, especially since the web has introduced so many to the possibilities of the euph as a solo instrument.

    But I think that is shifting and the American composers and solo performers growing out of the American conservatory/studio tradition, yet infused with a strong grounding in the UK brass band tradition, may take the instrument to the next level (if only by virtue of sheer numbers).

  4. #4

    "First Concerto"

    Perhaps the Horovitz was the first PUBLISHED concerto. Suppose I told you I had written a euphonium concerto while I was in high school, which was never published. That predates either the Wilder or Horivitz. Do I win the prize, then? I say this to bring up the issue of works that have never been published, but may have a claim to being the first "written" concerto.

    There was one written in 1928 by Noble Howard, although details are sketchy. Here is the listing. (From the Euphonium Music Guide)

    Also, Rule Beasley wrote a concerto in 1967, which I don't believe has been published.

    But we should not forget Hovhaness' Concerto No. 3 ("Diran, the Religious Singer"), which was written in 1948 for euphonium and orchestra.

    And should we consider Concerto per Flicorno Basso (1872) by Amilcare Ponchielli? One could argue that it was written for a close relative of the euphonium, but that may be a stretch for this discussion.

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. #5

    "First Concerto"

    Did not know about the Hovhaness Concerto. Here's the 3rd movement played beautifully on bass trombone. Would love to hear it on euphonium.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...THMQ7Q&feature=related

  6. #6

    "First Concerto"

    The Ponchielli has been laid claim by both trumpeters and euphoniumists, as I see both sides announcing performances on various recitals.

    I'd be curious as to the first concerto written for the modern euphonium, i.e. one that employs all the techniques that use the euphonium at it's fullest capability. The Ponchielli could be played by any valved or unvalved instrument (trombone, flute, clarinet, etc.). What about the concerti that could ONLY be played effectively on euphonium?

    Ken F.

  7. "First Concerto"

    It's not a "concerto" but the Jan Bach Concert Variations sort of fits that bill. Oddly enough, it comes just a few years after the Horovitz. The 70s were a big decade for euphonium repertoire.

  8. #8

    "First Concerto"

    Originally posted by: knuxie
    I'd be curious as to the first concerto written for the modern euphonium, i.e. one that employs all the techniques that use the euphonium at it's fullest capability. The Ponchielli could be played by any valved or unvalved instrument (trombone, flute, clarinet, etc.). What about the concerti that could ONLY be played effectively on euphonium?.
    Maybe I'm not understanding the question, but, in theory, anything that could be played on a euph could be played at pitch on an F tuba, a Bb or F Wagner Tuba, or a valve trombone, for example, or even a Bb or C bass trumpet. The sonorities would be somewhat different, but are there any techniques specific to euphonium that could not be executed on any of those instruments?

  9. #9

    "First Concerto"

    Now there's a question for the experts.

    Ken F.

  10. #10

    "First Concerto"

    Originally posted by: fsung...but are there any techniques specific to euphonium that could not be executed on any of those instruments?
    How about sounding really, really pretty?

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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