Mini-Suite for Solo Tuba
Instrumentation: Solo Instruments: Tuba
II. Getting Around
III. Simple Song
IV. Off Waltz
V. Pompous March
VI. Faux Gigue
The Mini Suite for Solo Tuba was composed in 2015 for my good friend Dr. Richard Perry who is the Tuba/Euphonium professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Perry was preparing a recital of unaccompanied music for tuba, and he asked me for a new piece.
The structure of the Mini Suite is very loosely based on the idea of the Baroque instrumental suite. While the Baroque suite is based on a series of dances, this one consists of six movements which are fleeting impressions found in the character pieces that are common in the Romantic period. The last movement is the only one that gives the nod to an actual dance found in the traditional Baroque suite.
The first movement, Praeludium, has no programmatic title and serves the purpose of opening the suite.
The second movement, Getting Around, gives the impression of someone who is far too busy to take time for himself until the last measure when he succumbs to exhaustion.
The third movement, Simple Song, is just that; a simple melody that is delivered without any undue fussiness.
The next movement, Off Waltz, is muted throughout and the steady rhythm that embodies the waltz is obscured on several occasions so that the beat is “off”.
The Pompous March hints at a self-important individual strutting his stuff around town and unintentionally making a comical spectacle of himself.
The final movement, Faux Gigue, goes back to the model of the Baroque suite which generally ended with a lively gigue in compound meter. I decided to write this one in three-quarter time as opposed to one of the compound meters. The term faux is a nod to the fact that this piece does not have the contrapuntal texture that is characteristic of the gigue. It also has meter changes that occur here and there which throws the steadiness of the dance out of kilter.