Endgame

for tuba-euphonium quartet

Instrumentation
  • two euphoniums + two tubas
Duration
c 3'30
Listen to a recording
Eufonix Quartet
Information on the sheet music
Year of composition
2008
Program note

Endgame was intended to be the third and final movement of tba4tet (also published by Potenza), a work commissioned by a consortium of 48 participants made up of individuals and tuba-euphonium quartets.

Sitting at the composition desk as the music of Endgame began to take shape, I soon realized that it was begging to extend itself beyond the technical boundaries I had set for tba4tet.  Rather than trying to steer its evolution, I decided to follow wherever Endgame would lead.  Ultimately, this music needed to stand on its own, as a three-and-a-half minute virtuoso romp for tuba-euphonium quartet—a piece that is probably best put at the end, not at the beginning, of a program (hence Endgame, instead of Startgame).

Endgame, marked Giving it all you’ve got, is a tour de force display of syncopation, somewhat eccentric meters, frantic double-tonguing, and a brief episode of pagan raunch (whatever that is), all supported by a brutally relentless 2nd tuba bass line that views oxygen to be of no importance whatsoever.

Endgame is dedicated with thanks to Matt Tropman and Kelly Thomas (euphonium), and Mark Nelson and Don Harry (tuba), who premiered both tba4tet and Endgame—along with a number of other challenging new works—at the 2008 ITEC in Cincinnati, OH.