This arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “Finale” from Symphony No. 4 was created for 6 tubas and percussion (opt) by composer and tubist Jim Self. Many years ago while searching for ancient artifacts in the basement of an artel in St. Petersburg, Russia I came across a dusty, water-stained music manuscript. It was a work for six tubas and percussion–without a title. After much magnification, I was able to piece together what was the original orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Finale to his famous 4th Symphony. I could hardly believe my eyes. Every tubist knows that Tchaikovsky loved the tuba and wrote great parts for us, but to have conceived such a masterpiece for six tubas and percussion was astounding. I made it my life’s work to restore the manuscript and record it. Denials of its authenticity were everywhere but “I know Tchaik Four” and this is it—same notes, same key, same tempi, same bass drum part.
Great musicians came from far and wide–Chicago, Cookeville, Chatsworth–to help me realize my dream. We formed a group called Los Tubas which recorded the work and gave its live premier in Los Angeles, on my birthday, August 20, 1995. Los Tubas is a group of “loose” tuba players from Los Angeles who specialize in revivals, rehearsals, recreations, retrogressions and reaching out. Our main connection is that we all studied with or were influenced by Tommy Johnson (except Tommy, of course). Recorded by Loren Marsteller, Ernie Carlson, Euphoniums; Norman Pearson, Jim Self, Tommy Johnson, Gene Pokorny, Tubas; John Magnussen, Percussion; R.Winston Morris, Conductor; Shawn Murphy, Engineer (on the Jim Self “Big Stretch” CD).
Score and Parts Included: Tuba 1,2,3,4,5,6 and Percussion (Opt)