Concerto No 1
This concerto has its origins in a
concerto for horn and brass band, commissioned by the River City Brass Band
(Pittsburgh) in 1992.
It was composed at the request of
British euphonium virtuoso, Steven Mead, and first performed by him with the
Breeze Brass Band in Osaka, Japan, in 1995.
In conventional three-movement form,
performed without a break, the concerto covers the panoply of the euphonium’s
range and character. The first movement is marked Moderato e energico and
is rhythmically energetic in style with many meter changes and much syncopation.
Only in the central section does the soloist relax in cantabile mood.
The second movement opens with tuned
percussion taking centre stage, laying for the foundations for a long cantilena
from the soloist in resigned mood, but with a touch of optimism. After a central
climax for the band, this melody returns, with soloists from the band answering
The finale is a 6/8 romp in caccia
style (betraying its origins as a piece for horn). Again, the central section is
more legato in mood, though the band keeps the eighth-note figures
present throughout. The movement ends in a bravura display from the soloist.