Tuba Concerto

Philip Sparke’s Tuba Concerto was commissioned by the German brass instrument manufacturer, Miraphone; it was composed for, and dedicated to, the composer’s long-time friend, Markus Theinert, who gave the first performance on 30th April 2006 in Sigmaringen, Germany, accompanied by the Brass Band Oberschwaben-Allgäu. The premiere of the version for concert band was also given by Markus, this time on 3rd October 2006 in Wenden, Germany, accompanied by the Deutsche Bläserphilharmonie conducted by Walter Ratzek.

The idea for a tuba concerto had been discussed many times between the soloist and composer, who wanted to be sure that the piece really was a concerto for tuba and that its material would suit the instrument in the role of a soloist without resorting to caricature. To this end the solo part covers almost 3½ octaves and uses the instrument’s technical and vocal qualities to the full.

The concerto is in two joined movements, which can both be programmed individually. The first movement starts slowly with a noble tune and gathers momentum until a cadenza heralds the return of the opening material. The second is in the form of a scherzo, which starts in determined mood and gradually lightens in character until, again, the opening material closes the work robustly.