Garth Knox – Jonah and the Whale

Garth Knox – Jonah and the Whale September 28, 2017

Here is video of Garth Knox’s piece “Jonah and the Whale” for viola and tuba:

From the composer’s website:

Jonah and the Whale
For viola and tuba

Written for Gérard Buquet, tubist and friend. The idea came to me to write a piece for the seemingly outrageous combination of viola and tuba based on the story of Jonah and the Whale as told in Moby Dick by Hermann Melville. It struck me that the viola could portray the character of Jonah, a frightened fugitive on the run, and that the extraordinary seascape sounds that Gérard could draw from his tuba could conjure up a very convincing whale.

I think that the tuba does an incredible job of conveying whale song!

I thought a while back that it would be interesting to compose a setting of the text from Jonah 3, and to incorporate actual whale song into the piece, akin to Alan Hovhaness’ famous work, “And God Created Great Whales”:

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