of the Water, opus 36 by Neal Corwell
a euphonium concerto in two movements
(each movement may be performed separately as a stand-alone piece)

Instrumentation: euphonium solo with orchestra, or band accompaniment
Copyright: 1999
Duration: 15:00 (8:00 for 1st movement, 7:00 for 2nd movement)
Range: GG to d-2 (GG to c-2 for mov. 1, D to d-2 for mov. 2)
Difficulty: V
: Nicolai Music
Price: $55 for band or orchestra version (full score & parts)
Other Info: Orchestral version premiered in the Summer of 1999 with Neal Corwell as soloist, accompanied by the Deep Creek Symphony, Jesse Levine conducting, as part of the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival in McHenry, Maryland. The version with band accompaniment was premiered, again by the composer, during the 2000 International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Regina, Canada. The accompanying ensemble for this performance was the Canadian Air Division and Central Command Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.


of the Water was originally conceived as a multi-movement euphonium concerto, but either of the movements (Into the Depths, and The Water’s Journey, respectively) may be performed independently. The first movement is rather dark and brooding in character, though certainly not without excitement and drama. The energetic second movement is fast-paced and is constantly propelling both listener and performer forward, driving hard without let-up toward the final bars.

Although the euphonium is clearly the principle voice of the work, the ensemble does much more than simply provide an accompaniment. Because of the importance of the ensemble's role, one could regard the work as a blending of the solo concerto and tone poem genres.

The first movement, titled
into the depths, has clear programmatic implications. The most obvious concession to the implications of the title may be found in the liberal use of the lower registers of the instruments. This is particularly noticeable during the movement's closing moments.

The Water's Journey may be thought of as a musical narrative of the travels of a single drop of water, tracing its path from a modest source stream to a dramatic terminus. The fast tempo and asymmetrical meters make it clear to the listener that the water is not taking a leisurely or predictable path down a babbling brook, but instead is swept along by a current that grows ever deeper and more powerful as it works its way downstream.