For Solo Euphonium & Piano
Duration: 14 minutes
Commissioned by David Thornton
In 1911, the artist Wassily Kandinsky (along with the German painter Franz Marc), founded a society called "Der Blaue Reiter" (Blue Rider). Named after one of Kandinsky’s paintings, the aim of the society was to promote new ideas in the arts and “destroy barriers between the different forms of art".
This piece is written in three, distinct movements, although some of the melodic and harmonic material is shared. Throughout the work adheres to the concept of the Euphonium soloist as the “artist”. The initial musical motifs and structures are introduced through the solo Euphonium and then developed by both soloist and band.
Each movement bears the title of one of Kandinsky's paintings.
Several Circles (1926)
Composition VIII (1923)
Dave Thornton premiered Blue Rider at the RNCM Festival of Brass, RNCM, Manchester, England, with Brass Band Bürgermusik Luzern, conducted by Michael Bach, 30 January 2012
Distributor: J. W. Pepper
Solo Bb Euphonium
Born in Moscow in 1871, Kandinsky began a career in law, graduating with a law degree in 1896. By 1900 his interest in painting was such that he entered the Munich academy of art under the tutelage of Franz von Stuck, and embarked on a prolific career that would see him become a central figure in the Bauhaus movement and internationally recognized as a leading exponent of abstract painting.
Kandinsky’s entire artistic and teaching philosophy was underpinned by his belief that music and painting were inextricably linked as art forms. He spoke of the "inner sound of color" (synaesthesia), and this piece is essentially a musical reaction to that idea.
As I do not yet have a recording of the Piano reduction, the Soundcloud link above is to the recording with Brass Band.