Metamorphosis CD Liner Notes

In METAMORPHOSIS, their first recording, The Monarch Tuba-Euphonium Quartet performs fifteen specially chosen pieces of music. Each piece reflects aspects of the group's superb musician­ship and hard work.

Accomplished musicians individually, euphoniumists Roger Behrend and David Miles, and tubists Marty Erickson and Keith Mehlan, combine their talents to achieve the distinctive blend, balance, and sonorities that are the trademark of The Monarch Tuba-Euphonium Quartet.

The MTEQ strives to pursue and perform the highest quality literature for tuba-euphonium quartet, and many of the pieces on this recording have been written for or inspired by them.

Ralph Martino's Fantasy is an exciting new composition for tuba-euphonium quartet. The virtuosic setting juxtaposes driving multi-meter rhythms and soaring lyrical melodies against a backdrop of jazz-inflected harmonies. Its five sections are written as one continuous movement.

Three 16th Century Flemish Pieces was transcribed for tuba-euphonium quartet by Kenneth Singleton. This music effectively combines the drive and light­ness of sixteenth century music with the sonority of twentieth century brass instruments. The energetic first and third sus­tained second movement.

Sousa's El Capitan march, tran­scribed by R. Winston Morris, is an exam­ple of a traditional march set for tuba quartet. He has captured the true spirit of one of Sousa's most popular works.

Bottoms Up Rag, an original com­position by Keith Mehlan, pays tribute to the ragtime era. Traditional in form, the piece takes advantage of the idiomatic characteristics of the tuba and euphonium.

A mainstay in the repertoire of The MTEQ is the Quatre Chansons Pour Tuba Quatour by Raymond Dempsey. These fresh settings of four well-known French melodies are a welcome addition to quartet literature. The first movement is the popular and "Ma Normandie" (My Normandy). "V7a lbon vent" (The Good Wind) features a rapid 16th note accompa­niment to the main theme. Each member of the quartet is spotlighted in a challenging cadenza which includes well-placed impish musical jokes. The lovely sentimental bal­lad "Le Temps des Cerises " (The Time of the Cherries) features the first tuba. The final movement, "Aupres de Ma Blonde,' (Compared to my Blonde) begins with the melody being whistled in unison with the solo euphonium. After a short section of contrasting material, the melody returns as the subject of the fugue. This leads to a final technical display which ends the piece with a flourish.

Rossini's Petit Caprice In The Style Of Offenbach was arranged by Ronald Davis and provides a demanding yet lighthearted recital selection for the tuba-euphonium quartet. Originally written as a piano piece, Rossini wrote this music as a parody on Offenbach's music after Offenbach had parodied Rossini in one of his own operas.

Massenet's "Le Cid" is the source for Aragonaise, arranged by M.S. Erickson. This arrangement features the first eupho­nium in a popular encore piece.

Londonderry Air remains a crowd favorite and is a natural choice for The MTEQ. Keith Mehlan's treatment ranks among the best settings of this melody. Starting with a lyrical euphonium solo, each member of the quartet is featured in turn. The interweaving of melody and counter-melody brings the arrangement to an emotional climax and to a serene final conclusion.

Fanfare No. 1, by Jeffrey Taylor, was written especially for The MTEQ and serves as a vehicle to demonstrate the abilities of the ensemble. Bold statements, rapid technical flourishes, and driving rhythms are the highlights of this work.

Now Hear This!, an original work by Raymond Dempsey, was written to exhibit the technical and musical capabilities of The MTEQ. Originally conceived as a fanfare, the music is useful for a variety of programming situations.

A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square is a transcription by Keith Mehlan of the familiar Maschwitz and Sherwin ballad. The MTEQ's version em­phasizes the lush harmonies and singing style which breathes new life into this old standard.

David LeClair's Carnival Of Venice is a cheeky, innovative new arrange­ment of this established standard. After a traditional theme and first variation, the listener is treated to a Latin setting, a swing variation, and a final technical tour-de-force.

Transcribed from Mozart's Piano Sonata K. 331 by Keith Mehlan, Turkish March requires smooth feath­ering of parts as the melody is traded between the various voices.

The Marriage Of Figaro is a new transcription by Al Fabrizio. Rapid tech­nical passages display the virtuosity of the ensemble, while maintaining the sensitivity necessary to perform Mozart's music.

Eine Kleine Schrekens Musik (A Little Fright Music) finds arranger Keith Mehlan at his tongue-in-cheek best. By combining classical melodies with movie and television themes, he weaves fun and mischief into one of The MTEQ's perennial crowd-pleasers.

Quartet Personnel


March 31...Application Deadline
May 1...Semi-Finalists Notified
August 10-13...Festival Competition 

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