From the composer:
Silver and Brass was composed by John Stevens in December, 2015 and January 2016 for the distinguished British tuba/euphonium quartet “Tubalate” in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The title pays homage to both the anniversary (silver) and the nature of the group’s instruments (brass). The five short vignettes are meant to be played separately, as an opening fanfare and subsequent interludes between more substantial works on a given program. The inspirations for this format are the Promenades in Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, with each interlude transporting the listener from one larger work to another. However, the piece may also be performed as a unified, five-movement work, with the first and fifth movements acting as a Prologue and Epilogue respectively.
The interludes are intentionally contrasting in tempo and style and can be performed in whatever order makes the most musical sense given the nature of the more substantial works on a program. If the movements are performed as a single work, they should be played in the order in which they appear in the score. The primary unifying aspect of the piece is the reliance on meters in five. Each movement begins in either 5/8 or 5/4, and the entire work is dominated by those meters. This is simply another way to pay homage to the Promenades of Mussorgsky’s great work.
I have been fortunate to have a long and wonderful relationship, of both musical collaboration and personal friendship with the members of Tubalate. Congratulations to them on the milestone of having been one of the world’s leading brass chamber ensembles for a quarter of a century.
- John Stevens
Score and parts included: 2 tubas, 2 euphoniums (BC&TC)