Duet For Two Cats - G. Rossini - Len Jenkins
"Duet For Two Cats" is often performed as an encore to vocal recitals and operatic galas. It may be sung by two sopranos, male-female pairs, or even as a tomcat duet and can be accompanied by a piano or a full orchestra. The lyrics are simple; the single word 'Miaow', repeated with various styles of inflexion and attitude throughout the piece. Our arrangement is for a cornet and trombone. The piece is generally ascribed to Rossini, though there is some doubt as to its actual origins and whether it is an authentic work by that composer. It is believed that an English composer, Robert Lucas Pearsall under the pseudonym G. Berthold may have assembled the various elements from Rossini and perhaps other composers into the piece as we now know it. In order to achieve the correct balance between band and soloists, there is a need to mute most of the band instruments. Recognising that not all bands will have the larger mutes which are expensive and sometimes unwieldy, we suggest a form of muting made famous by a jazz trumpeter and which works well on most instruments. It consists of a circle of heat resistant padded table covering or felt, slightly larger than the bell diameter, with an elasticated edge like a 'mop-hat'. With 3 holes in it to let the sound out, the mute is then simply stretched over the bell to achieve the desired effect and folded up when not required.