Scarbrough - Dying and Dancing for Euphonium and Piano
Arranger: Original Composition
As the title suggests, Dying and Dancing for Euphonium Solo and Piano Accompaniment is in two parts, which are played without a pause between the two. The first part, an Adagio, is not necessarily meant to be evocative of the actual act of passing away, but more perhaps of the contemplation and reflection upon one’s life as that time approaches, particularly of sorrow over regret and disappointment. The unsettled mood of the music reflects this bitterness, and stands in contrast to the expansive peace of the grave, heard at the beginning and end of the adagio. The Dance, with ironic wit, the second part, is the other side of the same coin; perhaps “humor of the gallows” describes its spirit. At once fatalist and mocking, it brings to mind the words of the ancient teacher Koheleth, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” I was pleased to compose dying and dancing in 2013 for Mark Kellogg, a superb Euphonium artist and my former Trombone Professor at the Eastman School of Music.