The Romantic Tuba is a compilation or works arranged for tuba by Joe Caldarise.
Melodie – Taken from Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher, this popular violin work fits in quite well with thick melodic low voice of the tuba. The original work began life as the second movement of the famous Violin Concerto, however the composer chose to discard and recast it in a more intimate setting for violin and piano. The lyrical melodic line, characteristic of Tchaikovsky, gives the performer a great opportunity to demonstrate how the tuba’s power and flow can be applied to truly sing on the instrument. And the more technical moments allow the player to show off just how deft and nuanced the instrument can be as well.
Allerseelen – Strauss composed this “All Soul’s Day” song to fit the poetry of the Austrian Hermann von Gilm. This popular art song has since been arranged for various settings, from orchestras to brass bands, but suits the tuba’s voice just beautifully. The held notes give time for the tuba’s sound to fill the room while the harmonies shift in that gorgeous late-Romantic style. And the climax provides the instrument with the great operatic moment that it so deserves.
Zueignung – Originating from the same Strauss song set as Allerseelen, this song takes a much more operatic turn. The opening rolling triplets give the piece a strong sense of forward momentum, carrying it as a performer might traverse across the stage. History has proven this to be one of Strauss’ best-known songs, and the climactic statement in the final measures certainly gives the tuba a great moment to take center-stage.
Abendlied – The ever-moody Schumann originally composed this piece for violin and piano. Its slow and halting accompaniment allows the soloist to demonstrate their skills with rubato and nuanced phrasing. As with most Romantic music, care should be taken to bring out the accidentals, so as to heighten the dramatic tension-release of this seemingly simple piece.
Liebestraume – As one of Liszt’s most popular pieces of all time, this piece is quintessential Romantic love song. No aspect of the tuba or tubist is left unexplored here. It begins with a simple, yet confined melody, taking advantage here of the tuba’s warm middle-low register. The brief quasi cadenza section gives the player a sparkling moment to give the listener a glimpse of the tuba’s technical capabilities. The accompaniment then gradually grows in intensity while the tuba elaborates on the main theme while ramping up the passion and strength of the instrument’s voice. By mm. 41 and 54, the player should be commanding the room with the full power of the instrument, poured into a sweeping melodic phrase. After a dazzling display of technical fluency with the cadenza, the piece shrinks back to its most intimate form. The final bars of the solo part afford the player the chance to display the instrument’s most delicate and poignant voice, before sliding back down into the lower register for final tonic note.
Score and Parts Included: Tuba