Euphonium Concerto No 2

This concerto has been adapted by the composer from his Clarinet Concerto, which was commissioned by Linda Merrick, a long-time friend of Philip Sparke and married to fellow composer, Martin Ellerby. As part of a dynamic and forward-looking PhD thesis on works for clarinet and concert band, Linda has researched the existing repertoire in addition to commissioning several new concerti from leading British composers, including Martin Ellerby and Nigel Clarke.

The original concept was for a suite of short movements, each with its own character, but by the time the first movement was complete, it was clear that a conventional three-movement format was going to work out better.

The opening movement contains much syncopation and is almost rag-like in style. The slower second movement explores initially the unsurpassable ability of the euphonium to play lyrically, with a theme that is later taken up by the band whilst the soloist weaves a filigree descant. This leads straight into the third movement, which is almost bee-bop in style and shows off the jazzier capabilities of the euphonium.

The adaptation for euphonium was made for the virtuoso soloist, Steven Mead. A version for euphonium and piano is also available.