- Concerto for tuba
- Tuba Concerto, for tuba & orchestra
- Tuba Concerto in F minor
- Tuba Concerto, Op. 46
The good news is that James Gourlay's affectionate yet virtuosic performance of Vaughan Williams' magnificent "Tuba Concerto" is every bit as good as his performances of the tuba concertos of Edward Gregson, Roger Steptoe, and John Golland that fill out this disc, British Tuba Concertos. The bad news is that the tuba concertos of Gregson, Steptoe, and Golland are nowhere near as magnificent as Vaughan Williams' tuba concerto. Gourlay's performance ideally projects the robust exuberance, the nostalgic sentimentality, and the deep humanity of Vaughan Williams' immortal work, but what can even a virtuoso do when the three remaining concertos fail to match that level of achievement? While all three of the other works are persuasively played by Gourlay, only Golland's concerto's straightforward melodies and direct emotions come close to being memorable, but Gregson's concerto's facile fanfares and commonplace tunes and Steptoe's concerto's gray themes and austere harmonies fall short of that distinction. Gourlay is ably accompanied by Gavin Sutherland directing the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and his performance of Vaughan Williams' concerto is well worth hearing by anyone who loves the work or loves great tuba playing. Whether they'll feel the need to listen to the concertos of Gregson, Steptoe, and Golland more than once is open to debate. Naxos' sound is clearer, deeper, and rounder than usual.