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    Set To

    “Set To” is dedicated to London Brass and arranged for brass band by Christopher Houlding. It was commissioned by the Aldeburgh Foundation and received its first performance on August 24th 1993 at the Maltings, Snape. Originally divided into two movements, a pensive and richly harmonic Blues and an aptly named Bacchanale, sometimes slow but mostly fast and furious. “I remember playing the original brass ensemble version of “Set To” numerous times in the early nineties with London Brass and always wondered if the composer would consider writing something for Brass Band. As Director of The Guildhall Brass Band, a possible performance opportunity arose in 2010 and I successfully approached Mark and gained his permission to scale it up for brass band with added percussion parts. I conducted the premier of this new Brass Band version at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in February 2011 with the composer present and he liked it. Although very contemporary compared to most brass music, I feel that Mark's easily accessible style makes this rhythmically quirky and harmonically 'bluesy' work a really interesting concert piece, suitable for any occasion” - Chris Houlding.Duration: 7:30 minutesPercussion: 3 players playing timpani, suspended cymbal, snare drum, hi-hat, triangle, claves, glockenspiel, vibraslap, xylophone, egg shaker, cowbell, temple blocks, wood blocks and lions roar.Grade 6: Very Difficult Championship Section Bands

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    Siegfrieds Rhine Journey

    Arranged by Duncan Wilson, this extended orchestral selection from “G?tterd?mmerung”, is one of the epic four-opera’s called “Der Ring des Nibelungen” by Wagner. “Siegfried's Rhine Journey" is often presented outside the opera house and is published separately. This excerpt includes especially composed endings by Richard Wagner himself so that the work is better able to stand on its own as a complete composition.Duration: 11:00 minutesPercussion: 3 Players playing timpani, glockenspiel, triangle and cymbalsGrade 6: Very Difficult Championship Section Bands

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    Tango de Buenos Aires

    Tango de Buenos Aires was written to celebrate the harmonic and rhythmic idioms used by the great Astor Piazzola, composer of dramatic Argentinian Tango music. This work attempts to capture the atmosphere with a modern adaptation of the dynamic rhythms and descending chromatic harmonies. It is a colourful addition to any programme and good for a quite serious or light concert.Duration: 3:00 minutesPercussion: 3 Players playing drum kit, xylophone and vibraphoneGrade 3: Medium 1st and 2nd Section Bands

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    The Raft of Medusa

    “The Raft of the Medusa” is a painting by Theodore Gericault and hangs in the Louvre, Paris. It depicts the true story of a shipwreck and of a hastily constructed raft upon which at least 157 people were cast adrift for 13 days and endured starvation, dehydration, cannibalism and madness. The work is a diabolical duel between cornet and trombone, a violent tone poem showing off the techniques of the soloists. There is no light in this piece, no triumph, only sadness.Duration: 6:00 minutesPercussion: 2 Players playing tom-tom, woodblocks and bass drumGrade 6: Very Difficult Championship Section Bands

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    Tientos y Danzas

    “Tientos y Danzas” is a suite in four movements and was written especially for Superbrass. It is not literally descriptive, but conjures up a breezy, festive atmosphere. The title “Tientos” stems from the fact that a lot of the brass writing is reminiscent of virtuosic Renaissance keyboard finger-work (a “Tiento” is the Spanish equivalent of a toccata). Only later did we discover that the word is also the name of a style of flamenco dancing, which links nicely with Danzas (dances). The first movement is an extended fanfare, with military rhythms on the tenor drums and dramatic cornet and horn calls. Next comes a witty waltz featuring the horn. The music builds in complexity; the main horn theme returns before a playful coda. The following Andante makes effective use of the mutes, both in the haunting opening “pyramid” chords, and in the elaborate, recurrent cornet duets; the two cornets have the last word. After a couple of false starts, the finale sets off at a cracking pace, with dislocated accents creating an irregular rhythmic pulse. There are opportunities for every instrument to shine (metaphorically) and the music gets even faster for a thrilling conclusion.Duration: 10:30 minutesPercussion: 3 Players playing tenor drum, side drum, tambourine, suspended cymbal, triangle, 2 tom-toms and castanetsGrade 5: Difficult Championship and 1st Section Bands

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    Wade in the Water

    A Euphonium feature, “Wade in the Water” is a Negro Spiritual. The song relates to both the old and new testaments and reflects the Israelites escape out of Egypt, There is a popular belief that Wade in the Water contained explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture. In this arrangement, Mark Bassey has been influenced by Norman Symmons fine arrangement for the Johnny Griffin orchestra and was recorded by Superbrass on their “Brass Taps” CD with Andy Wood as soloist.Duration: 5:00 minutesPercussion: 3 Players playing drum kit, bongos and tambourineGrade 3: Medium 1st and 2nd Section Bands