Richard Lambert Music

Abigail's Jig for tuba and piano (Op.10 No.2k)

A lively piece for tuba and piano combining the atmosphere of an Irish jig and cowboy music!

The piece attempts to capture the atmosphere of an Irish jig, with a harmonically straightforward piano part using a mixture of 'vamping' and melodic imitation of the tuba part.

The introduction is intended to be humorous and rather musically misleading. It starts in F minor, but is immediately contradicted by remote chords, openly parodying the 'cowboy' music of Aaron Copland. Modal harmony helps to create the mood of pseudo-folk music.

The main theme starts in the tuba in the unexpected key of D minor and for 20 bars the two instruments take turns to present the melody, the piano vamping for the most part.

An angular (tuba) counter-melody is added when the introductory music returns, leading to the second theme, still in D minor, and based largely on arpeggios and scales. After 14 bars, the harmony modulates sequentially and builds up to a key change to E minor, which presents the first theme unexpectedly softly, in keeping with the humour of the piece.

The recap here is contracted before the climax where the tuba plays decorative triplets against a strong statement in the lower piano of the main theme in augmentation.

After a final reference to the introductory material, the piece finishes with a downward flourish on the tuba.


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