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Pulcinella was commissioned by the Taiwanese euphonium player Tzu-Hsiang Lin. Lin is a renowned soloist and teacher and a Besson Euphonium Artist. He teaches euphonium at Taipei National University of the Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts, Shih Chien University and National Kaohsiung Normal University. Pulcinella continues Sparkes series of euphonium solos named after characters of the Italian commedia dellarte and opens with a long and expressive minor melody for the soloist over a brooding accompaniment. This is taken up briefly by the piano and is extended by the soloist after a change of key. A cadenza, accompanied by fragments of the main melody leads to a complete change of mood, tempo and tonality, introducing a Vivo section starting with a perky syncopated tune for the soloist. The piano then uses elements of this new tune to introduce a change of key, where the soloist introduces a more lyrical second subject over a pulsing accompaniment. The piano then takes this up and changes key to reintroduce the original Vivo melody, which leads to a short and acrobatic coda to bring the work to a spectacular close.
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