Gwyneth Walker

Beloved Bass

for Tuba and Piano (2012)

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The tuba is a "listener-friendly" instrument - lyrical, powerful, expressive and colorful. Truly, this is a Beloved Bass worthy of musical celebration!

When portraying a "Buoyant and Bright" character, the tuba assumes a rhythmic role. At the opening, an ostinato pattern supports the piano theme. Later, a second, quickly-articulated theme is introduced by the tuba. A dialogue between the players bounces along until the tuba asserts "supremacy" in a large cadenza.

O, but the tuba is a beautiful instrument as well! From the depths of the ocean, the tuba rises and then soars as waves. Finally, as a sunken treasure chest, the tuba floats down and settles on the bottom of the sea floor.

Yet, with humor and vitality, the tuba resurfaces to dance a "Soft Shoe" with the piano accompanist. Simply playing the instrument is not enough. One must explore accompanying oneself with tapping sounds and a few "soft shoe" slides!

Beloved Bass - three character sketches for Tuba and Piano - was composed as a gift for Sarasota, FL Tubist Jay Hunsberger, who has no trouble playing, tapping and dancing all at the same time.

Notes by Gwyneth Walker