Completed on New Year’s Eve 1995, Philip Wilby’s Concerto has already established itself as one of the greatest concertos for the instrument written so far.
Its extended length seeks to explore that fine combination of sustained lyricism and explosive virtuosity which typifies the modern Euphonium in the most expert hands. There are two parts which divide into four movements.
Part One opens with a sonata structure movement which alternates between a melodic style and some rapid passage work. The intention of the music is a firm and cerebral development of the opening fourth-based motifs. At the tranquil conclusion of this music the second movement bursts in – Zeibekikos – a rapid and extrovert Greek Island dance complete with plate smashing!
Part Two re-examines some of the opening material surrounded by cadenzas, and centred upon a short and sustained adagio. The final movement opens with a rapid fugal section which moves inexorably towards a climactic return of the music and tonality of the opening bars of the work.
Available with Piano, Brass Band, Wind Band, and Orchestra, Concerto For Euphonium stands as a core element of the repertoire – a towering achievement, popular the world over.