Sample taken from:

Tuba Tribute to Fletch: details


4003 – Four by Fletch

4 pieces for Tuba Quartet arranged by John Fletcher

1. Ouverture Miniature (Nutcracker)
P.I. Tchaikowsky (1840-1893)

2. Sweet and Low
Joseph Barnby (1838-1896)

3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker)
P.I. Tchaikowsky (1840-1893)

4. Grand Galop (Orpheus in the Underworld)
Jaques Offenbach (1819-1880)

Difficulty: Hard

Price: £27.50

Programme notes:

Before John Fletcher the reputation of the tuba as a musical instrument was not altogether grand. It was considered almost entirely as a bass instrument for the brass section of bands and orchestras. Any use of the tuba in a solo capacity was normally in order to gain a laugh.

John Fletcher changed all that by treating the instrument as a vehicle for his remarkable musical talents and establishing that it was after all capable of expressive and technical virtuosity. It was, in his hands, capable of producing the whole gamut of musical expression. His special talent though was not so much what he could do technically but how to use his ability to master the instrument in the service of the music. He had no time for empty flamboyance but loved to provide just the right sound and style for whatever music he was playing.

As a teacher he hated pomposity and avoided the ‘master-class’ situation. He preferred to explore the instrument with his students, avoiding quick-fix answers in favour of discussion of the possibilities. He always managed to present his views with humour and gave the impression that he was gaining as much from the sessions as his students were.

Whenever possible he like to demonstrate through enjoyable performance. The four pieces presented here are examples of the sort of music he liked to use: challenging and rewarding for the player and fun for the audience. He would expect a full commitment to the spirit of the music but without taking oneself too seriously; he enjoyed the sense of the ridiculous and revelled in the idea of a group and tubas attempting to play music apparently not suited to it but nevertheless bringing the audience to its feet.

The profits from the sale of this music will be donated to the John Fletcher Trust Fund.

The John Fletcher Trust Fund

The John Fletcher Trust Fund was created in the memory of the great tuba virtuosos who died prematurely in 1987. Friends and colleagues from all over the world contributed to set up a fund with the aim of providing bursaries for impecunious young brass players. The fund has supported young people attending course run by The National Youth Orchestra, whose profound influence on the musical development of young players was a case very dear to John’s heart. The fund has also supported young brass players in the National Youth Wind Orchestra and the National Youth Brass Band.

"The Best of Fletch" a CD showing the superb artistry of John Fletcher; a reminder to those who heard him and an education for those that didn’t.

“A Celebration. John Fletcher, Tuba Extraordinary”. A book of reminiscences and tributes by his family, friends and colleagues and some for his own inimitable articles.

"Tuba Tribute to Fletch"

A special recording of a range of repertoire from solo tuba to massed ensemble featuring the cream of London's tuba players and repertoire old and new.


Available from: BrassWorks