The Edel Rhapsody

Stephen Caudel It was 1993 in Carlisle City Cathedral in the North of England: composer Stephen Caudel (left) was present at the World Premiere of his "Edel Rhapsody".

This is believed to be the first time that a work for Solo Bb Tenor Wagner Tuba and Orchestra had ever been performed in the UK or indeed anywhere in the world. (Photo: Stephen Caudel)

Read Wikipedia's page about the Edel Rhapsody.

US Premiere

Following a revision of the score, the work has since been performed in the United States including its US Premiere (2018). Click here to read a Special Feature about these performances and the Wagner tuba soloists involved.

tren cheshierExtract from the review of the performance in Cleveland Heights:

"The Wagner horn sang like a world-famous balladeer. References to composers from Holst and Vaughan Williams to Grainger, Mendelssohn and Mahler, floated by as the soloist spun out melodies in brief contrasting sections. A deftly handled shift in key near the end concluded the performance with a glimpse of the beautiful and unexpected."

(Photo: Tren Cheshier performs the Edel Rhapsody with the Cleveland Heights Orchestra)

Recital Performance

Caudel has also produced a piano reduction version for solo Bb Tenor Wagner Tuba and piano. This has proven popular with horn players around the world, from music students interested in learning the Wagner tuba to internationally acclaimed horn players who enjoy the opportunity to play the instrument in a recital context. The Edel Rhapsody has to date been performed in recitals as far afield as Australia, the United States, The Netherlands and Germany.

Composer's Notes

Here are the composer's notes from the 1993 World Premiere:

"It is not every day that a composer has the opportunity to create a 'world first' and for me this was a challenge I could not refuse.

The Wagner Tuba was developed by Adolphe Sax and first exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1851 but, since that time, has mainly been used only in sections of four in large orchestral works, notably those of Richard Wagner.

When I first heard the instrument at close quarters I was immediately struck by the richness and fullness of its tone and to me this suggested a work in which the Wagner Tuba would be featured in a lyrical and romantic vein.

The Edel Rhapsody, therefore, along with most of my musical output, represents a return to the 'late romantic' ideals of melodic and emotional intensity, values coincidentally championed by Richard Wagner who first made good use of this wonderful instrument. - Stephen Caudel May 1993"

To contact Stephen Caudel or for more information regarding The Edel Rhapsody send an email to:

Wagner TubaThe Wagner Tuba

The Wagner Tuba (right) is probably one of the least known orchestral instruments in the modern orchestra. Its name is colourful yet ambiguous and causes confusion as to its true identity. The history of the Wagner Tuba is relatively short yet the background to its creation amongst the most notable ever.

The leading resource for this fascinating and lyrical instrument is here:

Wagner Tuba