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Topic: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

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  1. #1

    More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Friends:

    The link below is to your resident euphonium player doing a (then) new euphonium concerto by Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas. I just discovered the CD (and a million dust bunnies) in a pile of stuff I had forgotten about.

    The name Frigyes Hidas may not be known to everyone, but should be well known to wind ensemble devotees or Hungarians or devotees of Hungarian wind ensemble music or Hungarian devotees of wind ensemble music.

    If I was not THE first player to do it in the USA, I was one of the first two or three.

    The backing band was a mix of highschool and college kids and the performance was part of a low brass clinic I did in Ohio a few years ago (I have concertized extensively on BOTH sides of I-65)

    The piece is well written and interesting, melding several different moods into a coherent one-movement concerto. It's not the typical "theme and variations" piece that brass players used to be forced to do. I find the writing to be quite lyrical and very idiomatic for the euphonium.

    I particularly like the way Hidas uses texture when the euph is playing vs. when it isn't--I particularly came to like euph & saxes and euph & vibes. I played this piece several times and NEVER felt like I had to fight the ensemble, even when playing pianissimo. (and even when playing on one rehearsal as this was!)

    Hidas also uses some non-standard combinations of instruments to good effect...wind ensemble composers would do well to listen to some of the combinations in order to coax more variety out of the wind ensemble

    So...for an example of idiomatic writing for euphonium and writing that enhances--but doesn't compete with--a soloist, check this piece out. It's just short of 10 minutes, but it's listener-friendly

    I post live performances mainly so that the talented people here can acquaint themselves with the euphonium, in its traditional setting, as well as in different and unfamiliar contexts. It's a little-used and much underappreciated instrument, and my goal is to popularize it by my performances, especially those that put the euphonium in non-traditional roles such as brass quintet and pop/jazz music. If you wish, listen to anything in the "Snorlax's Performances" area that you can click on, as well as the concerto.
    Snorlax Live in Ohio
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  2. #2

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    WOW!

    Mr. Snor, I am very impressed! Very coooooool my friend!

    Best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  3. #3
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
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    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    I have just finished listening and quickly looked up Euphonium in wikipedia. Somehow I knew from the velvety tones that it had to have something in common with the cornet. What I just learned is that they are both conical bore instruments, with the tubing tapering along its length, as opposed to the cylindrical bore of the trombone and trumpet. I have listened to a great deal of music from the British brass bands and have always been in love with the beautiful sonority of the cornet. Now I have to add the Euphonium to my favorite brass instruments.
    I enjoyed this piece and Jim's playing very much. I'm so glad I caught this post. Thanks for sharing this. John (bigears)

  4. #4

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by jjloving View Post
    just curious where in Ohio this was, and if I'm familiar with the hall.

    will have a listen later this evening for sure - the euphoniums were our protection against the obnoxious trombone players who wouldn't play, but found pleasure in using their instruments to launch spitballs across the band...

    forever indebted

    Jon
    IIRC, Otterbein College. For many years I had an Otterbein connection that I really treasured.
    Afew years ago, I went on a tour with the Otterbein band to Texas, Alabama, New Orleans, Ohio, etc. (not quite in that order, though) and played it about 6 times
    My last appearance in Columbus, though, was at Cap.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  5. #5

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by bigears View Post
    I have just finished listening and quickly looked up Euphonium in wikipedia. Somehow I knew from the velvety tones that it had to have something in common with the cornet. What I just learned is that they are both conical bore instruments, with the tubing tapering along its length, as opposed to the cylindrical bore of the trombone and trumpet. I have listened to a great deal of music from the British brass bands and have always been in love with the beautiful sonority of the cornet. Now I have to add the Euphonium to my favorite brass instruments.
    I enjoyed this piece and Jim's playing very much. I'm so glad I caught this post. Thanks for sharing this. John (bigears)
    THANKS, John...this is EXACTLY what I hoped would happen...I really want to make eople aware of the euphonium, ESPECIALLY given all the talent floating around here, yourself included!

    Snor
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  6. #6

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Hi Jim,

    I am listening right now, and I feel myself becoming euphoniated already

    It sounds more mellow than a trombone, but with just a bit more edge when desired than a french horn, and a lower bottom range. A very pleasant sound, which I can imagine in a jazz setting as well as a traditional orchestral one. No wonder you are so fond of it. What is its range?

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Karen
    _____________________
    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

  7. #7

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Quote Originally Posted by KE Peace View Post
    Hi Jim,

    I am listening right now, and I feel myself becoming euphoniated already

    It sounds more mellow than a trombone, but with just a bit more edge when desired than a french horn, and a lower bottom range. A very pleasant sound, which I can imagine in a jazz setting as well as a traditional orchestral one. No wonder you are so fond of it. What is its range?

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Karen
    Karen...Welcome to the community of the euphoniated!!
    Your keen ears have heard several important points...

    About the "edge" when desired...earlier that day in the clinic, I told the kids that "sometimes the music needs to laugh and sometimes it needs to sneer." There are a couple places in the performance where a definite "sneer" was intended...thanx for picking up on that! Lets me know I'm communicating. That's always a concern!

    As to jazz, euphonium and saxes mix quite well.
    As to the parallel with the french horn, they are both conical brass, as is the tuba. That's what imparts the mellowness. If you are so motivated, scroll down to the bottom of the linked page & listen to the "Mozart euphonium concerto" & a couple of pop/jazz things in the "Snorlax's performances" area.

    Karen, it is the responsibility and solemn duty of all euphoniated composers to start considering it when they write.

    On a more serious note apart from any snorlaxes and euphoniation, we have here an instrument with great expressive capability as a solo voice as well as the ability to blend in any number of contexts, BUT composers are mostly unaware of it, and "Entrenchment at the Conservatories" has kept it largely out of the orchestra or jazz ensemble.

    SO my goal here is to get people aware of the instrument and instill a desire in composers to use it in their work.
    Thanx! (Back to Snorlax mode!!)
    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  8. #8

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Karen--

    Jim forgot to answer one of your questions, that is, what's the range of the euphonium? It has the same range as the trombone. Most euphoniums have 4 valves, which means its range matches that of the trigger trombone/bass trombone.
    Part of the beauty of its tone derives from the use of diaphragmatic vibrato (like a flute) instead of shaking the horn (like a trumpet) or jiggling the slide (like a trombone). Since the vibrato is produced more like a singer's vibrato, it can have a gorgeous sound.

    --Dean L. Surkin
    Dean L. Surkin
    Steinway A104030
    Sonar X2 (professional), Finale 2011, JABB 3, GPO

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    2,450

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Sounds great. I do like euphoniums – not sure the difference (if any) between one and a Wagner Tuba, but since I recently got GCMB I use the euph. A few months back I posted an orchestrated song that uses a euphonium (recently reposted on Karen’s thread about opportunities with Pike’s Peak area poets).
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: More Snorlax Live: Euph. Concerto

    Beautiful performance! and a very nice concerto, too, by a composer I'd never heard of before. Thanks for dusting this off for us!
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

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