Opus 355

Dream Etudes, Book III (2002)

for Tuba

  • Interrupting
  • Folding
  • Prancing

Duration: 7 min.

Dedication: for Mark Nelson

Commission: Commissioned for Mark Nelson

Publisher: Lauren Keiser Music Publishing

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Dream Etudes, Book III (2002) for tuba was commissioned for and is dedicated to Mark Nelson, and was inspired by his playing of and support for the contemporary tuba repertoire. It is a set of three brief pieces for tuba.

Like the first two books of Dream Etudes (Book I for solo clarinet, 1999; Book II for solo piano, 2001), each movement has an “action title” which inspired its musical content and procedures. The overall title of the work refers to the overlapping and juxtapositions of elements of the basic materials (which run throughout all three movements), as if remembered through a dream.

The first movement, Interrupting, opens with a stately fanfare theme. However, before the theme can be presented in its entirety, there is an interruption. The pattern continues, with the fanfare trying to reassert itself and being interrupted each time. There are three interruptions of varying character, although all within the same tempo as the fanfare.

The second movement, Folding, is a simple aria, presenting a lyrical theme consisting of “inward-folding” gestures. The movement explores various musical “foldings” of its initial material.

The last movement, Prancing, is in three sections. The work opens with a fast, triple-meter dance—quickly roaming through various tonal areas. A middle section emerges suddenly—of a different dance temperament—a sort of grand waltz with the tuba accompanying its singing high register with rhythmic punctuations from its lowest register. In the final section, the opening triple-meter dance returns, with greater vigor and the piece presses on to its conclusion.