An Age of Kings (Mezzo-Soprano Solo with Brass Band and optional choir - Score and Parts) - Gregson, Edward
The origins of this work date back to 1988, when I was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to write the music for The Plantagenets trilogy, directed by Adrian Noble in Stratford-upon-Avon. These plays take us from the death of Henry V to the death of Richard III. Later, in 1991, I wrote the music for Henry IV parts 1 and 2, again in Stratford. All of these plays are concerned with the struggle for the throne, and they portray one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the British monarchy.Much of the music used in these productions was adapted into two large symphonic suites for wind band – The Sword and the Crown (1991) and The Kings Go Forth (1996). An Age of Kings is a new version for brass band incorporating music from both the symphonic suites for wind band. It was specially composed for a recording made by the Black Dyke Band, conducted by Nicholas Childs, in 2004.An Age of Kings is music on a large-scale canvas, scored for augmented brass band, with the addition of harp, piano, mezzo-soprano solo, male chorus, as well as two off-stage trumpets. The music is also organized on a large-scale structure, in three movements, which play without a break – “Church and State”, “At the Welsh Court”, and “Battle Music and Hymn of Thanksgiving”.The first movement, “Church and State”, opens with a brief fanfare for two antiphonal trumpets (off-stage), but this only acts as a preface to a Requiem aeternam (the death of Henry V) before changing mood to the English army on the march to France; this subsides into a French victory march, but with the English army music returning in counterpoint. A brief reminder of the Requiem music leads to the triumphal music for Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of Edward IV and Richard III (the opening fanfare transformed). However, the mood changes dramatically once again, with the horrors of war being portrayed in the darkly-drawn Dies Irae and Dance of Death, leading to the final section of the first movement, a funeral march for Henry VI.The second movement, “At the Welsh Court”, takes music from the Welsh Court in Henry IV part 1 with a simple Welsh folk tune sung by mezzo-soprano to the inevitable accompaniment of a harp. This love song is interrupted by distant fanfares, forewarning of battles to come. However, the folk song returns with variation in the musical fabric. The movement ends as it began with off-stage horn and gentle percussion.The final movement, “Battle Music and Hymn of Thanksgiving“, starts with two sets of antiphonally placed timpani, drums and tam-tam, portraying the ‘war machine’ and savagery of battle. Trumpet fanfares and horn calls herald an heroic battle theme which, by the end of the movement, transforms itself into a triumphant hymn for Henry IV’s defeat of the rebellious forces.- Edward GregsonDuration - 22'00"Optional TTBB available separately.Estimated delivery 12-14 days
Incredible as it seems today, Bizet's operaCarmenwas met with a lukewarm reception at its premiere at the Paris Opera-Comique in 1875; critics condemned its subject matter as lurid and its music overly Wagnerian, and it ran for a mere 37 performances. Bizet died with a few days of it opening at the tragically early age of just thirty-six. Now hailed as the composer's supreme achievement, this colourful, passionate work continues to delight listeners around the world with its emotional, atmospheric music and the originality of its conception. Two orchestral suites were created in the latter part of the 19th Century each containing six pieces. This brass band arrangement brings together three of these pieces, theAragonaise, the HabaneraandLes Toreadors. Duration: 7:00Estimated delivery 12-14 days
Malcolm Arnold is one Britain's best-loved composers. In 1948 he composed a very short suite for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain - entitled simply To Youth. Seven years later he took To Youth and made some fairly major revisions, including a complete new movement, and the Little Suite for Orchestra was born. The Little Suite for Orchestra follows a very similar pattern to the later suites for brass band, starting with a bold, strident Prelude, which strangely ends quietly before a lovely, lilting, Dance composed in 3/8 time. Finally a rollicking and militaristic March brings the suite to a conclusion. This arrangement for brass band by Robin Norman is sure to become a classic in the brass band repertoire.Estimated delivery 5-10 days
Incredible as it seems today, Bizet’s opera Carmen was met with a lukewarm reception at its premiere at the Paris Opera-Comique in 1875; critics condemned its subject matter as lurid and its music overly Wagnerian, and it ran for a mere 37 performances. Bizet died with a few days of it opening at the tragically early age of just thirty-six. Now hailed as the composer’s supreme achievement, this colourful, passionate work continues to delight listeners around the world with its emotional, atmospheric music and the originality of its conception. Two orchestral suites were created in the latter part of the 19th Century each containing six pieces. This brass band arrangement brings together three of these pieces, the Aragonaise , the Habanera and Les Toreadors . Item Code: TPBB-003 Duration: c.7'00"
The opera Carmen by Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was the composer's final work. He died only a year after its completion and only 30 days after its first performance. This well-known song from the opera appears at the beginning of Act II, however, this version is taken from the first of two orchestral suites. The suites, extracted after the composer's death, contain orchestral settings of some of the opera's most famous passages. This transcription was done for the Household Troops Band tour of America and Canada in May 2002.Estimated delivery 12-14 days