The Waste Land by Neal Corwell

This work exist in two forms. The original piece, Opus 35, was completed in 1999 for tuba solo, accompanied by a four-part tuba-euphonium ensemble. An adaptation of this work for symphonic wind ensemble was created by the composer in 2011. To avoid confusion, the second version of the composition, has been given a separate opus number, 59. Both versions are described on this page.

1: The Waste Land, Opus 35
Instrumentation: tuba or bass trombone solo
accompanied by 4-part tuba-euphonium ensemble
Copyright: 1999
Duration: ca. 7:45
Range: DD to e-flat-1 for solo part
Difficulty: V
: Nicolai Music
Price: $20 for score & parts
Other Info: Premiered 1999 by Stacey Baker, tuba soloist, with her college tuba-euphonium ensemble at Morehead State University, in Morehead, Kentucky. Recorded by the professional tuba-euphonium ensemble, Symphonia, on their Symphonia Fantastique CD, with Daniel Perantoni as tuba soloist and Neal Corwell conducting. In 2012, the composer slightly revised this version.

2: The Waste Land, Opus 59
Instrumentation: symphonic wind ensemble
Copyright: 2011
Duration: ca. 7:50
Difficulty: high
: Nicolai Music
Price: $55 for score & parts
Other Info: completed Summer 2011. awaiting premiere.


This work is essentially a tone poem inspired by, and depicting, T.S. Eliot’s famous poem “The Waste Land”. The following line is indicative of the mental image held in the composer’s mind during the writing process:

“The wind crosses the brown land, unheard”

The original version of
The Waste Land was created for Stacey Baker, tuba soloist, and premiered by her in 1999. The scoring was for tuba solo, accompanied by a 4-part tuba-euphonium ensemble. The adaptation for band was created by the composer in 2011. It is the first of several works, originally written for a soloist, that the composer plans to re-shape into works for large ensemble. Just to be clear, this version of the piece does NOT feature a soloist, and the band doesn’t provide an accompaniment for anyone, Instead, it is purely an ensemble work.

The original work calls for a high-caliber soloist with great range and technique. The ensemble adaptation is also quite demanding. Many individuals within the ensemble will be technically challenged, and every section of the ensemble plays a crucial role at some point during the unfolding of the music.