Concertino, Op. 107

Composer: Chaminade, Cecile Arranger: Werden, David
Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Euphonium, Piano
Genre: Classical, Contemporary

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CM5634
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with Piano and originally for Flute 

In 1978, the United States Coast Guard Band made a special recording with some of our soloists and chamber ensembles. Our flute soloist performed the Flute Concertino, Op. 107, written by French composer Cécile Chaminade in 1902. The soloist played brilliantly, but even without such a fine rendition it would have been clear that the Concertino was a great work. In the years since then I often found myself playing the main theme by ear during practice sessions  just for the pleasure of it.

This arrangement was a project I have considered for many years, and once I had some free time I eagerly spent the energy to figure out how to adapt it most appropriately for euphonium. The first decision was whether to use the original key. My philosophy is to think what key Chaminade would have used had she written for euphonium. It is playable in the original D major key, but that would have put it a minor third lower in the euphonium range. To my ears, that caused it to seem "tubby" in too many places, so I opted for F major.

I chose to slightly modify a few of the technical passages so they fit the nature of the euphonium. This allows for a more fluid performance that will sound more natural on a large, mellow, brass instrument.

As with my arrangement many years ago of Schubert's "Arpeggione" Sonata, some musicians might question why I chose to devote so much work to a piece originally written for a very different instrument. The reason is that I want to help ambitious euphoniumists develop their musical skills to a deeper level. One can hear great flute virtuosos perform this piece with much emotion and musical insight. Those recordings can help guide our musical growth as we dig into the beauty and challenge of the Concertino. We brass players should not listen only to other brass players. It is very healthy for musical growth to hear, and to emulate, fine artists on other instruments. (For example, one of the first things I noticed in preparation is that I needed to break out of "metronome" mode and be more free with the ebb and flow of the musical lines.)

I hope when you play this, the music will warm your heart and inspire your performances.

Notes by David Werden

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Concertino, Op. 107
Concertino, Op. 107

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