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From the Robin Dewhurst collection, this multi-talented composer has produced a simply wonderful solo for trombone and concert band.
Premiered by virtuoso Brett Baker, this latin-styled work reaches its climax in
a stunning cadenza for soloist supported by percussion section. (Also available
with piano accompaniment).
The solo is a conflation of the original version, written for the 2002 Royal
Albert Hall Gala Concert, which followed the National Brass Band Championships
of Great Britain. On that occasion the combined talents of virtuosi David
Childs, Derick Kane, Steven Mead and David Thornton (with guests Robert and
Nicholas Childs) were on display, each personalising the cadenza section towards
the end. This version incorporates a published cadenza, though soloists should
feel free to improvise their own material at this point.
In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen combines two of composer Peter Graham's life interests - composition and 19th century popular fiction. Each of the concerto’s three movements takes its musical inspiration from extraordinary characters who have transcended the original genre and have subsequently found mass audiences through film, television and comic book adaptations.
The first movement follows a traditional sonata form outline with one slight modification. The order of themes in the recapitulation is reversed, mirroring a plot climax in the H.G. Wells novella The Time Machine (where the protagonist, known only as The Time Traveller, puts his machine into reverse bringing the story back full circle).
The Adventure of the Final Problem is the title of a short story published in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. This is an account of the great detective’s final struggle with his long-time adversary Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. The music takes the form of a slowed down ländler (a Swiss/Austrian folk dance) and various acoustic and electronic echo effects call to mind the alpine landscape. The final bars pose a question paralleling that of Conan Doyle in the story – have we really seen the last of Sherlock Holmes?
The final movement, The Great Race, follows Phileas Fogg on the last stage of his epic journey “Around the World in Eighty Days” (from the novel by Jules Verne). The moto perpetuo nature of the music gives full rein to the soloist’s technical virtuosity. As the work draws to a conclusion, the frantic scramble by Fogg to meet his deadline at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, London, is echoed by the soloist’s increasingly demanding ascending figuration, set against the background of Big Ben clock chimes.
In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen was first performed by Steven Mead and the Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band, conductor Kazuhiko Komatsu, in The Symphony Hall Osaka, Japan, on June 6, 2008.Available MultiMedia Files
The alto saxophone version of In League with Extraordinary Gentlemen was first performed by Tim Watson and The Band of the Royal Marines (Collingwood), conductor Lieut-Col Nick Grace, in St Mary's Church, Fratton, on February 25th 2010.Available MultiMedia Files
Applying indicated cuts and cues the work can also be performed as a Trumpet Solo.
The four movements provide musical mood pictures of various aspects of working life in Northern Ireland. 1) Industry opens the suite with the bustle of factory machinery, followed attacca by 2) Seascapes, which evokes the calmness of local waters during a fishing expedition. 3) Earth Dance references the mining industry where the blackness of the environment is mirrored by the darkness of the music. 4) Flight evokes the path of an aircraft on its maiden journey in this tribute to the aircraft industry.
Northern Landscapes was commissioned by the Ulster Orchestra Society, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.Recorded by The Royal Norwegian Navy band, conductor Nigel Boddice on Gaelforce DOYCD132
Available MultiMedia Files
Score Image (272K)
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Time-shift was commissioned by The Swiss National Committee for the 2015 National Quartet Championships, held in Colombier, Switzerland.
The work is cast in three movements and develops themes taken from the brass band work The Triumph of Time. The three movements are I – Intrada, II – Meditation, III – Toccata.
Available MultiMedia Files