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Wonderful old sea-faring tunes
I sought to provide tuba players with an opportunity to sing out the wonderful old sea-faring tunes that I had loved since childhood. I assimilated these melodies into my own particular compositional style, however, altering and developing them as the spirit moved me.
The first movement, Intrada, is based on the mysterious song ‘The Keel Row,’ which is transformed into a march with a contrasting somber central section that is itself a variant of the tune. By contrast, the second movement is a flowing Intermezzo based on two British folksongs: ‘Just as the Tide was Flowing’ and, by way of contrast, the lively shanty ‘Ward the Pirate.’ The Elegy is the expressive heart of the suite, a meditation on the haunting American song ‘Shenandoah,’ which speaks of love, memory and loss. The finale, a vigorous Hornpipe based on an original melody, alludes to the well-known shanty ‘What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor.’
The Suite on Old Nautical Airs is dedicated to two of my former students, Douglas Tornquist and Jason Atkinson, tuba players from whom I gleaned a deep appreciation of the wide expressive range of this engaging instrument.
- I. Intrada
- Editions Bim