Composition - Canzona Bravura

A fresh new and exciting euphonium solo that shows off the technical skills of the soloist and also their musicality in the beautiful middle section. Commissioned by Louise Martin for euphonium soloist Martin Smith. Circa 5'30". Soloist: Grade 6 ABRSM.       Section: 3+

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I always enjoy writing solos, because it is a new opportunity to compose a piece of music for an instrument to demonstrate its full musical capability. In ‘Canzona Bravura’ I was asked to compose something new and fresh for the euphonium that portrayed its technical ability and also the sonorous sound this fabulous instrument has to offer.

The piece is in ternary form with sections A/B/A (fast/slow/fast). I wanted to write music that sounded fun to play and also music that the audience would enjoy listening to. I also wanted to give the music a more modern feel and so the relentless quaver pulse from the ensemble provides a continuous heartbeat for the soloist to sit on and show off its technical capability.

The euphonium shows off its technical ability through the slurred quavers and running semiquavers. However, the lyrical playing which is prevalent throughout the slow B section gets an introduction during the fast A section at bar 38. It gives the listener a taste of the slow melody that is to come and also an opportunity to join the euphonium with its unfashionable cousin the baritone as they play a duet together.

‘Canzona Bravura’ definitely offers plenty for the soloist to get their teeth into and also allows them the opportunity to enjoy their lyrical playing to the full. There is a lot of musical material which is passed between soloist and accompanying ensemble which forges a strong musical link within the music. It provides an excellent opportunity for the music to connect with soloist, ensemble and audience.


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