The solo tuba composition, “Tu-BAA or Not Tu-BAA” was created in the year 2011 by Francis Schwartz as the 11th composition in his “Literary Bagatelles” series. These short works for solo instruments are primarily inspired by the writings of such iconic figures as Shakespeare, Cervantes, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Celan among others. On this occasion, Schwartz utilizes Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as the fount of his inspiration. The atmosphere of anguish exhibited by moments of melancholic lyricism contrasted with splenetic, rapid passagework attempts to capture the uneasiness of Prince Hamlet and his struggle with earthly existence. The tuba soloist is called upon to perform certain histrionic acts that form part of Francis Schwartz’s music-theater philosophy.
“Tu-BA or Not Tu-BAA” was given its world premiere in 2011 at the University of South Florida in Tampa, by the distinguished tubist Daniel Perantoni, to whom it was dedicated.