The piece “David” is a solo for tuba and brass band. In its four different movements it depicts some selected parts of King David’s life in the Bible.
In the Old Testament we read about how David as a young man chosen by God to be the future king over Israel. This is because God sees something good and godly in his heart and inner character. Despite this, edged his way to the power of difficulties and trials, but nothing gets David to release his trust and commitment to God that ultimately leads him to victory.
Once he became king and had many successes he makes the mistake of his life, he embarks on a secret love affair with the beautiful Bathsheba who was married to another man. In order to get their way without being detected David lets secretly murdering Bathsheba’s man – something that God did not look at with good eyes. God therefore sends a prophet to David revealing his sin and get him to repent and return unto the Lord with prayer, “Create in me, O God, a pure heart” (Ps. 51:12), and God forgives him.
This solo takes us on a journey from the moment when David gets chosen by God because of his good heart – through his case of adultery and murder – and to the renewal, freedom and joy that God gives him by his forgiving grace.
1st movement “The Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16: 7)
In first Samuel we read of how God sends Samuel, a prophet , to anoint and choose a new king for Israel. God made him understand that it was one of the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem who would become the new king, so he went there. Once he had arrived he thought he could quickly be able to determine who the prospective regent was, Eliab, one of the oldest sons. But God said: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16: 7)
One by one the brothers were lined up but God was clear that it was not one of those whom he had chosen. Eventually Samuel asked: “are this all your sons?” Then it emerged that the youngest son was not present, he was out herding sheep. Apparently no one in the family thought that he even needed to be there when his sons would be gathered, but Samuel asked to see the boy. When David came God pointed him out to Samuel who anointed him the future king.
Although David later in life would turn out to have many strengths and good qualities, it was not due to those he was elected king but to his heart, his inner character and attitude to God, conformed to what God was looking for.
The solo’s first movement presents the main theme that stands for all the good that God saw in David’s heart and the choice that God made when he let anoint him.
2nd movement ”Only a Step Between Me and Death.“ (1 Sam. 20:3)
Although David was chosen by God, his path to power became very difficult, not least because he fell into disfavour with the present King Saul. As David’s popularity grew and his success grew, Saul began to feel jealousy toward David. Eventually he decided to kill him and thus began a very difficult time for David. Several times he was close to losing his life, he had to flee, hide and go through many hardships, but he never left his God and his heart’s belief. The whole time God protected him and the terrible journey ended in victory. After several years Saul died and David became king.
The second movement depicts David’s tough road to power and his final victory.
3rd movement ”A Woman of Unusual Beauty” (2 Sam. 11:2)
King David had great success and won many victories. However, he proved to have a weakness. One day when he was out on the roof of his palace he saw in the distance a beautiful woman bathing. He inquired about who she was and it turned out that her name was Bathsheba and she was married to a man named Uriah. Despite this, David began a love affair with Bathsheba, a relationship that was not blessed by God.
In the third movement the first part describes this love relationship in the music where the soprano cornet portrays Bathsheba and the tuba portrays David. A beautiful and at the same time sad duet between both of them showing a deep and sincere love, but at the same time blame and grief over the impossibility of their relationship. A good example is the emotional bars before letter V, which describes how they shut out the rest of the world from their love but suddenly are remembering what their relationship really is and stands for.
One thing led to another and Bathsheba became pregnant. Now a crazy and dark thought spread in David’s head. Here we are at the letter W and the music describes how David decides to send out Uriah in the war with the orders to his commanders to set him in the midst of the hottest battle, and then leave him there alone with the enemy. The plans were put into practice and Uriah was killed by the enemy. This brutal death as described in the end of the movement is a climax in the solo.
4th movement “Create in Me a Pure Heart” (Ps. 51:10 –12)
David, Israel’s largest king ever, chosen by God , had become an adulterer and a murderer. He took Bathsheba to the palace and married her and she gave birth to a son. He probably thought he had outsmarted everyone and got away with his honour intact, but as it says in 2 Sam 11.27b – ” … what David had done displeased the Lord” . The fine and pure heart that once made God chose David as king had cracked.
Sometime later, God sent a prophet named Nathan to David to deliver a very important message. The Prophet said:
“There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him”.
David was furious and said to Nathan:
“As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.” Nathan then said to David, “You are the man!” (2 Sam. 12: 1-7)
When David realized what he had done he confessed: “I have sinned against the Lord”.
In the beginning of the movement there is a sharp muted tone of the cornet and trombone emerging, a tone that symbolizes the prophet’s straight message to David , a message and rebuke that reaches all the way to his heart and that causes him to tremble and realize what he has done. The soloist’s following cadence describes the confused and doubting feelings in David’s mind.
In Psalms, chapter 51, we read a song that David wrote in connection with the Prophet’s painful visit and in the song he acknowledges his guilt and his sin and pray to God with the words : “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me “. (Ps. 51:12 ) Furthermore , he realizes : “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings… “. (Ps. 51: 18-19 ) God chooses to forgive David and restore the good and godly heart that had once been so characteristic of him.
This turnaround in David’s life is found in the music at the letter double A and double B. Then, the solo ends with an energetic finale that describes the joy and happiness that can only be experienced by the man who has become completely forgiven and freed by God.
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Ps. 32:1-5)
Description: Solo, tuba
Score size: Large
Price: 61,5 € (+ 6% VAT in the European Community)
Swedish price: 599 SEK