Perry Hoogendijk,

Tuba with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, is enthusiastic about wind bands. Why?

He writes:


Subj: Sonar

Dear Mr Reynish,

Thank you for interest in tj"Sonar".The coincidence is that, today I received the first edit of the recording of this new Tubaconcerto by Oliver Waespi, made on March 23, with the Dutch Militairy Band KMKJWF, conducted by Arnold Span. Some work has to be done but it is going to be a great recording.

This recording is part of my first solo CD with five new pieces for tuba and wind bands. The other pieces are writen by Kevin Houben( with Fanfare band), Paul Lovatt Cooper( Brass Band), Jaap Dijkhuizen(tuba euphonium duet) and Henk Meutgeert(Big Band).

Some three year ago, I started working together with Oliver and this has resulted in a good friendship and an ongoing process in creating this wonderful new piece for Tuba and Symphonic Wind band, almost up to the week before the recording. It truly is well written for Tuba although very challenging. The band has a role as very full fledged counterpart, with amazing colours and shapes. Oliver has done a marvoullous job.Hereby some more information on the piece.

SONAR by Oliver Waespi

Concerto for tuba and symphonic winds

The term „sonar“ means to sound an instrument“ in Italian, but also describes the technology that uses sound propagation in order to detect objects above or under water. Influenced by this imagery, I conceived the orchestral parts as some sort of sound environment which is being explored by the solo tuba in the course of the concerto. Large parts of the whole concerto are built upon the rhapsodic line of the soloist who develops a musical narrative throughout the piece. The solo line triggers several processes within the orchestra and is being reflected, harmonised, mirrored and accompanied by the orchestral instruments in multiple ways.

From a harmonic point of view, the piece is based on the simple, but very expressive central motive which Gustav Mahler entrusted to the orchestral tuba in his sixth symphony, consisting of the notes a – b –c – a. In my concerto, this motive is being treated simultaneously on an abstract and on an emotional level: It represents an abstract set of intervals, but also constitutes the emotional starting point of the dramatic narrative the tuba soloist is about to unfold. Furthermore, the motive finds itself explored from different stylistic perspectives and is thereby projected into the present time.

Formally, the concerto obeys to a four-part structure: It starts with a slow, yet feverish first section which already contains a short cadenza of the solo tuba. The ensuing second part requires an ever increasing virtuosity from the part of the soloist whilst the orchestra gradually builds up different forms of groove by expanding rhythmical patterns first exposed by the tuba. The third part is the only one to bear a subtitle, “Nocturne”. It contains dream-like features and widely spaced, lyrical lines by the solo tuba, as if the preceding and following music was mirrored in the black waters of a tarn at night.

Finally, in the last movement the soloist further develops the virtuosic gestures of the second part while driving the orchestra towards an exuberant ending. All sections are to be performed without interruption between each other.

The concerto „Sonar“ was written for the tuba soloist Perry Hoogendijk, solo tuba player in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and was kindly supported by the Eduard van Beinum Foundation and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

I hope I have provided some info in your interest and I would be happy to stay in touch for any other questions.

Kind regards

Perry Hoogendijk

PS the CD was planned to be released in the Fall of 2012. Bu there is some delay on the last to be recorded piece with Big Band. I hope for winter 2012.