The Concerto for Tuba: Three Furies exists in versions for orchestra (1995) and band (2011). Both are large ensemble incarnations of the 1993 Three Furies for Solo Tuba. That original unaccompanied work was composed at the request of tubist Mark Nelson, and it spawned an ongoing series of commissioned works for low brass composed over the last two decades. All three versions of the Furies (unaccompanied, the concerto versions with wind ensemble or orchestra, and this version with piano accompaniment) celebrate the surprising — indeed, remarkable — flexibility possessed by the tuba, and offer a music that is immediate, good-natured and fun, requiring of the soloist both keen musicianship and physical stamina.
This version of the Furies with piano accompaniment is intended for concert use as well as to aid preparations for performance with orchestra or band.
Each of the Three Furies is virtuosic in its own right, offering a multiplicity of distinct rhythms, melodic figures and articulations:
Fury I is marked “decidedly jocular” and is a pleasant ramble through the registers of the tuba, featuring angular arpeggios and tonguing demands that one does not usually associate with the instrument.
Fury II, in form somewhat reminiscent of a minuet with trio, contrasts series of long, arching arpeggiated figures with a congenial central waltz marked “gently inebriated.”
Fury III is relentless and powerful, exploiting the full dynamic and articulative range of the tuba. Again, the performer is met with virtuoso demands not normally encountered in the tuba literature.
A recording by tubist Aaron Tindall of the Concerto for Tuba: Three Furies is available on the Potenza label.