In the Cathedral, Opus 48 by Neal Corwell

Instrumentation: solo euphonium or trombone accompanied by 4-part low brass ensemble. The accompanying ensemble may consist of all euphoniums, all trombones, tubas and euphoniums (with the tubas on parts 3 & 4), or any combination thereof.
Copyright: 2004
Duration: 9:30
Range: AA to c-2 for solo part
Difficulty: III-IV
: Nicolai Music
Price: $20 (full score & parts)
Other Info: Commissioned by R. Winston Morris and Brian Bowman for the inaugural CD recording of the ensemble called “Euphoniums Unlimited”
recorded by:
Brian Bowman with Euphoniums Unlimited (Music for Euphonium Choir CD, Mark Records, 2004)


Below are the liner notes written by composer for 2004 recording:
Because I find it easier to write a piece when I know the soloist, I was thrilled to write something for Brian, a man I’ve known and respected for more than 25 years. Both title and concept came to me immediately. I knew that I wanted to write something lyrical, a piece that would make the most of Brian’s beautiful warm sound and the expressive sincerity of his playing. Also, knowing of his strong devotion to the church, I decided to create a programmatic work inspired by a spiritual place: a cathedral. There is no specific detailed program, but I am trying to express, within the musical framework of the piece, the reverence, beauty, and exhilaration one is likely to sense upon entering a grand place of worship. You will also hear allusions to other things I associate with a cathedral, such as canters, chants, and bells.

“In the Cathedral” begins with a Gregorian-like melismatic chant stated freely by the soloist, in the manner of a church canter, over a simple and soft accompanying backdrop. The ensemble sometimes echoes the soloist during the opening section, which accelerates by bar 73 into a faster tempo. This contrasting section features a bell-choir-like ostinato, over which the melodic ideas already presented are further developed. The pace and volume are then diminished, giving the soloist a leisurely cadenza before a sudden switch to a very fast tempo, this time with the ensemble providing muted antiphonal bell effects to accompany spacious re-statements of the chant. The brief coda is a soft variant of the opening bars, and features the soloist fading away on a delicate and tender high note.

The solo part does not present significant technical difficulties, hence the relatively low difficulty rating. However, stamina is required because of the sustained nature of the melodic lines, the relatively high tessitura, and the lack of a substantial amount of rest for the soloist.