Concerto for Tuba: Three Furies — Mvt. III

or Three Furies for Tuba and Orchestra

  • 2222 | 4230 | timp+2 | solo tuba | strings
c 4'15
Fury III relentless 4'15
Information on the sheet music
Commissioned by
  • Original work for solo tuba commissioned by Mark Nelson
  • Orchestral concerto commissioned by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, William Hudson, Music Director; Michael Bunn, solo tuba
Year of composition
Program note

Three Furies for Tuba and Orchestra is an extension of an earlier work, Three Furies for Solo Tuba, which was composed in January and February of 1993 at the request of tubist Mark Nelson, to whom that work is gratefully dedicated. Both the solo and orchestral versions of the piece reflect  the surprising — indeed, remarkable — flexibility possessed by the tuba, and offer a music that is immediate, good-natured and fun, requiring of the soloist both keen musicianship and physical stamina. 

This orchestral version of the Three Furies was penned in February of 1995 and is happily dedicated to the musicians of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, with special kudos going to principal tubist Michael Bunn, who did the heavy lifting.          

Each of the Three Furies is virtuosic in its own right, offering a multiplicity of distinct rhythms, melodic figures and articulations: 

Fury I is marked “decidedly jocular” and is a pleasant ramble through the registers of the tuba, featuring angular arpeggios and tonguing demands that one does not usually associate with the instrument.

Fury II, in form somewhat reminiscent of a minuet with trio, contrasts series of long, arching arpeggiated figures with an amicable waltz marked “gently inebriated.”

Fury III is relentless and powerful, exploiting the full dynamic and articulative range of the tuba.  Again, the performer is met with virtuoso demands not normally encountered in the tuba literature.


(1) The Concerto for Tuba: Three Furies also exists in a version with wind ensemble accompaniment.

(2) The solo part also exists in arrangements for either bass clarinet or baritone saxophone.  For information, contact James Grant.