Venetian Carnival Animals, Opus 20 by Neal Corwell
(a parody of Carnival of Venice by J.B.Arban)

solo euphonium with CD accompaniment*
solo trumpet with CD accompaniment*
or solo tuba with CD accompaniment*
or solo euphonium with band
solo with piano
Copyright: 1994 & 2014
Duration: 7:15 (4:30 for shortened versions)
Range: BB-flat to b-flat-1 for euphonium solo*
FF to f-1 for tuba solo version*
Difficulty: IV-V
Publisher: Nicolai Music
$15 for “special encore edition” with piano accompaniment (shorter version)
$20** for the solo versions with CD accompaniment.*
$45 for “special encore edition” with band accompaniment (shorter version)
$55 for solo with band accompaniment (full length version matches CD version)
Recorded by: Neal Corwell (Out Sitting in his Field CD, Nicolai Music)
Other Info: Dedicated to Chitate Kagawa and Hokkaido Tuba-Euphonium Association, and premiered in 1994 by Dr. Corwell at the Hokkaido Music Camp in Saporo, Japan.

*The version for tuba solo with CD is in a different key from the euphonium and trumpet versions. Therefore, when ordering, it is important to specify which version you wish to purchase. The euphonium version with CD accompaniment comes with both B-flat treble and bass clef parts.

a great opportunity to add to your music library!


Venetian Carnival Animals is a theme and variation concertpiece modeled on the old “war horse” solos from the early 1900s. Although the composition is clearly based upon the Arban variations on The Carnival of Venice, the variations have been transformed, and there are two themes instead of one. In addition to the melody titled Carnival of Venice, the listener is also treated to a treatment of The Elephant Song from Saint-Saens’ suite titled Carnival of the Animals. The title for this light and humorous composition is derived from the juxtaposition of the titles of these two tunes.

Technical challenges are what one would expect for a solo of this type and include double and triple tonguing, wide interval leaps, and some unexpected meter shifts. Dr. Corwell has used this crowd pleaser many times as a light and fun recital finale. For these performances he usually uses a double-bell euphonium for the penultimate variation and also often plays plays other instruments to include sousaphone, trombone, bass trombone, peck-horn, or baritone horn.

Because there are several versions, some explanation is provided below:

The version with CD accompaniment is the original full-length version of this solo. In this rendition, the big finale is highlighted by sound samples of various animals to include actual elephant calls, as a nod to the Saint-Saens Elephant Song theme. This version is available in two keys: one for euphonium and trumpet, and another for tuba (please specify when ordering).

The full length band version matches the CD version in length, and the solo part is nearly identical to the CD-accompanied version. However, no animal sounds are used. Instead, humorous intent is maintained during the finale by having various members of the ensemble stand and play brief duo passages with the soloist.

The version titled
“special encore edition” is available with either piano or band accompaniment. In these shortened versions, one has the option of adding a special audio effect (an elephant call) during the final variation for humorous effect. Instructions for creating this effect are provided. However, the audio effect is not a requirement, and my be omitted entirely. One also has the option of substituting a duck call, dog bark, cat meow, or other effect during the pause provided in the middle of the Finale. Also provided with this version of Venetian Carnival Animals is an optional original solo cadenza created by Dr. Corwell which, if played in its entirety, extends the length of the piece by a full minute (to a total performance time of five and a half minutes).

All versions feature markings to assist the soloist that wishes to use a double-bell euphonium for the penultimate variation.