The Beast Awakens! (2022) - Fantasia for Solo Tuba and Brass Band
The Beast Awakens! is a 10-minute Fantasia for solo tuba and brass band written for the 2023 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference (ITEC) Composition Competition, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA). As someone who has been immersed in brass bands since 2012, I have always loved the range of timbres and atmospheres that can be created within a brass band. I also greatly adore the tuba, being a euphonium player myself. As a solo instrument, the tuba is flexible, having the ability to be extremely aggressive and angular as well as soft, gentle, and sweet.
My goal with The Beast Awakens! is to showcase the versatility of both the soloist and the brass band through several distinct sections, each with their own unique mood, and to display the tuba as a heroic figure attempting to defeat the force of nature that is the Beast. Following a bombastic introduction, a dynamically diverse “Decisive” section leads into an extended Cadenza, showcasing the virtuosic capabilities of the solo tuba. The cadenza leads into a bright and rhythmic “Determined “section with a steady pulse in the temple block and a mixed-meter angular melody emanating from the solo part. A brief “Longing” segment showcases the lyrical side of the tuba, with a more sparsely orchestrated chorale-like melody, as if the hero has lost their army to the Beast. Another brief section, “Foreboding”, is more dissonant, and conveys the hero’s realization that they must now face the Beast alone. That fear quickly turns into determination, with a restatement of the mixed-meter angular melody and temple block pulse. The piece ends with the hero victorious in battle; they have defeated the Beast.
Duration: Approx. 10 minutes
Format: PDF Score and Parts (solo tuba and traditional British brass band instrumentation) and MP3 file of MIDI Audio Reference Recording
Copyright © 2022 Ian Lester