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Philip Sparke's Tuba Concerto was commissioned by the German brass instrument manufacturer, Miraphone. It was dedicated to the composer's longtime friend Markus Theinert, who gave the first performance in 2006 with the Brass Band Oberschwaben-Allgäu. The idea for a tuba concerto had been discussed many times between soloist and composer, with the goal of the piece being a true concerto with material that would suit the instrument without resorting to caricature. To this end the solo part covers almost 3-1/2 octaves and uses the instrument's technical and vocal qualities to the full.
The concerto consists of two connected movements, each of which can both be programmed individually. The first movement starts slowly with a noble tune and gathers momentum until a cadenza heralds the return of the opening material. The second is in the form of a scherzo that starts in a determined mood and gradually lightens in character until, again, the opening material closes the work robustly.
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