David Childs, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Bramwell Tovey
For many years since its invention in 1843 the euphonium was only to be heard in ensembles, but recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of the euphonium as a solo instrument. Today David Childs leads the way as the world’s foremost euphonium soloist, making the case for this once neglected instrument to growing audiences worldwide with his stunning virtuosity and extrovert musicality. Here, with Bramwell Tovey and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, he performs four important concertos by British composers.
Joseph Horovitz’s Concerto for Euphonium and Chamber Orchestra, commissioned by the National Brass Band Festival in 1972, was among the first euphonium concertos ever written and set the benchmark for future generations of soloists and composers.
Philip Wilby’s Concerto was composed in 1995 and has remained immensely popular ever since, especially for its fast and furious second movement, entitled ‘Zeibékikos’ after the plate-smashing Greek dance.
The other two works on the disc were commissioned by David Childs and represent a small part of his enormous contribution to the euphonium repertoire. Alun Hoddinott’s The Sunne Rising – The King Will Ride is full of the Welsh composer’s characteristic orchestral colour, while the solo part is dazzling in its virtuosity.
Perhaps the most popular of Childs’s commissions has been Karl Jenkins’s Euphonium Concerto from 2009. In its four character movements it encapsulates the essence of the solo instrument.