4 Pieces For Tuba & Piano (1987)
movement "Barcarolle" available online at
sibeliusmusic.com!This composition was
begun at the request of San Francisco tubist Victor Talley,
who premiered "Polka" and "Barcarolle"; but the other two pieces, which feature
extended performing techniques for the tuba, were completed with the invaluable
assistance of Austin tubist Jay Rozen, who premiered the
whole set in New Haven, 1988. Jay and I went on to become the
ROZEN-NELSON DUO, guilty of dozens of performances and
premieres, not to mention a NEW C.D. (see
SONGS is energetic,
witty, dramatic, and virtuosic, especially for the pianist. The 2nd and 4th
movements make extensive use of half-valve playing, in which the tubist controls
the pitch with his lips alone, creating glissandi and other interesting sounds.
(You may need
1. Polka. 2-1/2 minutes of manic energy, this has often been described as a polka on electro-shock. Click to hear a Real Audio file of the entire piece:
2. Reggae. A sort of unconscionably goofy/surreal takeoff on the Jamaican rhythms and "dub" techniques; using a lot of the half-valve playing described above. Click to hear:
music for this available online here) Generally considered to be
exceptionally beautiful, this is also the easiest of the 4 pieces to perform,
so is frequently played by itself. Sort of the "slow movement", but with
a dark & stormy middle section, this "Barcarolle" is also available in
an arrangement for French horn & piano (link coming soon) Click here
for the first minute or so:
4. Piece For John Merrick. The finale is a desolate piece in memory of the Elephant Man, beginning with an extravagantly violent piano intro and then mostly half-valve tuba playing. To hear the first half-or-so of the piece, click on this 3/4 view of the back of John Merrick's skull:
To obtain a SCORE and PARTS for
Killer Tuba Songs, e-mail me here!
My colleague JAY ROZEN has his own publishing
company, THE TUBA OF TODAY AND TOMORROW, with lots of great & interesting
stuff for tubists. e-mail him here
to inquire, and tell him he should make a web page like mine.
Besides the "Easter Show" CD of Vern Nelson's early compositions, Killer Tuba Songs is also available on an all-tuba-&-piano CD entitled...
"Killer Tuba Songs: The Rozen-Nelson Duo Play Music of John White and Vern Nelson"
---This CD includes fascinating music by the eccentric British "avant-garde" composer John White.
To hear the beginning of Mr. White's "Seven Concert Duos", click here (this is how the CD starts!)
The CD is available from Jay Rozen.
TUBISTS!!! THERE'S MORE!!! I have also written: MUSIC FOR TWO TUBAS.
I WANNA GO HOME, TO THE "COMPOSITIONS SHOWCASE" PAGE!