Three Farewell Pieces, Opus 13 by Neal Corwell

Instrumentation: solo euphonium (or trombone, trumpet, clarinet, bassoon, or tenor sax) with piano accompaniment
Copyright: 1991 (although the 1st movement was written in 1982)
Duration: ca. 8:00
Range: G to b-flat-1
Difficulty: III
Publisher: Nicolai Music
Price: $15 (both B-flat treble and bass clef parts provided)
Other Info: The first movement, Elegy, was premiered by Dr. Corwell in a 1983 alumni recital at Frostburg State University, in Frostburg, Maryland. The piece was first performed in its entirety in 1991, during a faculty recital at Frostburg State University, again performed by the composer. The third movement, titled Lullabye, is also published separately in varied keys to accommodate many different solo instruments.

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The Three Farewell Pieces were composed in memory of Stephanie Ann Roper, a Frostburg State University art student who was murdered in 1982. Neal Corwell attended Frostburg State (in Frostburg, Maryland) at the same time as Stephanie and was an acquaintance of hers. The first movement, Elegy, was written just days after hearing the news of her death and is quite dark in mood. The middle movement, Intermezzo, serves as a transition between the somber mood and dissonant musical style of the Elegy and the lyrical consonant Lullabye, which brings the work to a quiet conclusion. The Lullabye, written nearly ten years later than the Elegy, was the composer's way of saying to Stephanie, "farewell, may you rest in peace."

The composition is brief in duration, modest in its technical demands, and clear in its statement of musical and emotional content. The 1st movement is sustained and dark, calling for dynamic contrast for full impact, and the 3rd movements is lyrical and simple. Some small technical challenges are offered by the middle movement which features many sixteenth-note passages, both slurred and tongued, at a moderately fast tempo. The piano part is also quite simple, with the exception of a few moderately tricky passages in the
Intermezzo. The intricate rhythmic interplay between the soloist and piano during the middle movement will present a modest challenge to both performers.