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Dr. Henning Vauth, piano
Dr. Andrew Necessary, trombone
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree in euphonium performance. Ms. Williams is a student in the trombone/euphonium studio of Dr. Michael Stroeher
Film composer Rolf Alexander Wilhelm, born in Munich in 1927, is often referred to as the John Williams of Germany. After a brief stint as a prisoner of war during World War II, at the age of 19 he secured his first commission and began writing for the 'new' medium called television. Wilhelm went on to compose for more than 250 radio plays, 350 television shows and 300 commercials. Among the most well-known of his works are the 08/15 trilogy (1954) and Die Nibelungen (1966). Though he experienced immense success as a film composer, his works for solo brass instruments with wind band accompaniment are also widely successful. Wilhelm composed Concertino after a chance meeting with euphonium virtuoso Steven Mead while both were attending the 1997 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Italy. Wilhelm was so enamored with Mead's musicianship, as well as that of other international instrumentalists at the conference, that he felt compelled to write a companion to his Tuba Concertina of 1983. Written in three movements, Wilhelm strives to express a love of music in his Concertina for Euphonium.
Mazurka for Solo Euphonium is not only one of the first unaccompanied pieces composed for the instrument, but one of the most popular as well. Written by clarinetist Nicholas Falcone, brother of famed baritone horn virtuoso Leonard Falcone, Mazurka is dedicated to longtime Michigan State University trombone professor Glenn P. Smith.
The work, though composed in the mid-twentieth century, is indicative of a much earlier style, containing rapid sixteenth note sections that are reminiscent of the violin caprices of Paganini. In Rondo form, the piece is a flowing melody interspersed with brief technical passages.
Regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the early 20th century, Herbert L. Clarke made vast contributions to the field of music as both a performer and a composer. Clarke, a reformed violinist, toured with the Sousa band in the late 1890's as the cornet soloist. He also performed with the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera, playing cornet and sometimes trumpet, despite his aversion to the latter instrument. A virtuoso on the cornet, in the early 1900's Clarke began composing solos to perform with the Sousa Band; little did he know his works would become staples of the repertoire. Among these compositions are monuments such as The Carnival of Venice, Bride of the Waves, and Cousins.
Composed in 1904, Clarke wrote Cousins as a cornet and trombone duet with band accompaniment, for himself as the cornet soloist and Sousa Band member Leo Zimmerman as the trombone soloist. The work opens with an extended joint cadenza highlighting the similarities, while simultaneously contrasting the differences, between the timbre and capabilities of each instrument. A lyrical meno mosso section provides stark contrast to the aggressive tendencies of the opening section. After a recap of the opening, the final section is written in typical Clarke style, with both instruments racing to the finish.
Øystein Baadsvik is the only tuba performer to create a career exclusively as a solo artist, having never accepted a full time position as a teacher or an orchestral musician. Known as a virtuoso on the instrument, he is hailed for demonstrating that anything a violin can do, a tuba can do too. After studying with both Harvey Phillips and Arnold Jacobs, two of the world's most celebrated tuba players, Baadsvik's international career began in 1991 when he was awarded two prizes at the prestigious Concours International d'Execution Musicale in Geneva. Since then, he has performed worldwide, including a debut recital in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2006. Aside from his active roles as a soloist, chamber musician, lecturer, and recording artist, Baadsvik also works to expand the body of repertoire for the instrument. His own composition, Ordner Seg, is one of his first contributions to tuba repertoire.
Originally written for tuba and piano, Ordner Seg is a simple, yet lyrical, melody with both classical and jazz inflections. Rooted in Baadsvik's Norwegian heritage, the title translates "It'll be alright" and the tempo is marked "calm and relaxed."
"In Trondheim [Norway], where I live, the sun is absent during large stretches of the winter. One day in February I was in my kitchen cooking as the sun shone through the window for the first time that year. Along with the sun a simple, peaceful melody appeared - like a gift, ready to be orchestrated." - Øystein Baasdvik
Written in 1984, Symphonic Variants won the American Bandmasters Association's Ostwald Award for the best wind band composition in the same year. In the 58 years of the award’s existence, James Curnow's work is the only composition for solo instrument with band accompaniment to earn the prestigious award. Curnow, known primarily for his concert band works, began his musical career by studying euphonium at Michigan State University with legendary baritone horn and euphonium performer Leonard Falcone. Since earning his M.M. at Michigan, Curnow has been commissioned to write over two hundred works for concert band, brass band, orchestra, and choir, among other various ensembles. His total published works tally well over four hundred.
Symphonic Variants is one of the most demanding works ever written for the euphonium, a trait that has earned the work a spot among the instrument's core repertoire. The four-movement piece is built upon a simple three note motive that is first heard in the opening and pervades the remainder of the work. Curnow utilizes this motive for transitional and development material throughout the piece and also constructs larger thematic material around the motive.
Though contemporary composer Steven Bryant is best known for his wind band compositions, his works span a variety of mediums, including electronic pieces like Hummingbird. Commissioned by euphonium performer Robert Benton, Hummingbird is a lively, energetic work that showcases the full range and capabilities of the instrument.
From the composer: "Hummingbird is a happy, lively little piece I wrote over one weekend, primarily as a test drive of a new piece of software. Every sound in the entire piece is from my own voice (I didn't use synthesizers, drum machines, samplers, etc.). I'd never attempted anything quite like this before, and found it incredibly fun to do."
Smith Recital Hall
recitals, euphonium, arrangements
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Williams, Brianna, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Master's Recital, Brianna Williams, euphonium" (2014). All Performances. 263.