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  • £59.95

    The Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa) - Philip Sparke

    Dating from 1979, The Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa) was Philip Sparke’s first test-piece. It was commissioned by the New Zealand Brass Band Association for their 1980 National Championships (their centenary year) and set for the European Brass Band Championships, the same year, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Aotearoa was the name given to New Zealand by its Polynesian settlers whose first sight of the islands was a long, flat cloud lying low over the land. The work has no specific programme although many have seen pictures of the surging ocean in the opening bars. A faster dance-like section leads to a slow, haunting solo for soprano cornet; this is taken up by the whole band before earlier material returns. The dance-like tune is, this time, given a fugal treatment and the opening bars return to close the work.Philip Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM. It was at the College that his interest in bands arose. He played in the College wind orchestra and also formed a brass band among the students, writing several works for both ensembles.At that time, his first published works appeared – Concert Prelude (brass band) and Gaudium (wind band). A growing interest in his music led to several commissions, his first major one being this featured piece for the Centennial Brass Band Championships in New Zealand – The Land of the Long White Cloud. He has written for brass band championships in New Zealand, Switzerland, Holland, Australia and the UK, including three times for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall.In September 2000, he was awarded the Iles Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his services to brass bands and in 2005 Music of the Spheres won the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. In 2011, he received the BUMA International Brass Award for his contribution to brass music.His conducting and adjudicating activities have taken him to most European countries, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada and the USA. In May 2000, he took the major step of becoming a full-time composer by founding his own publishing company, Anglo Music Press. The company is devoted to publishing his brass band, concert band, fanfare band and instrumental publications as well as recordings dedicated to his latest works.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £59.95

    The Year of the Dragon - Philip Sparke

    The highlight of Cory’s centenary celebrations throughout 1984 was a concert held in St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, in March. The band, with the aid of funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council, commissioned Philip Sparke to write a work for first performance at this concert. The result was “The Year of the Dragon” of which the composer writes:“At the time I wrote The Year of the Dragon, Cory had won two successive National Finals and I set out to write a virtuoso piece to display the talents of this remarkable band to the full.”The work is in three movements:TOCCATA opens with an arresting side drum figure and snatches of themes from various sections of the band, which try to develop until a broad and powerful theme from the middle of the band asserts itself. A central dance-like section soon gives way to the return of this theme, which subsides until faint echoes of the opening material fade to a close.INTERLUDE takes the form of a sad and languid solo for trombone. A chorale for the whole band introduces a brief spell of optimism but the trombone solo returns to close the movement quietly.FINALE is a real tour-de-force for the band with a stream of rapid semi-quavers running throughout the movement. The main theme is heroic and march-like but this is interspersed with lighter, more playful episodes. A distant fanfare to the sound of bells is introduced and this eventually returns to bring the work to a stirring close.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £39.00

    The Bandwagon - Philip Sparke

    Band director and radio presenter Yutaka Nishida hails from Tokyo and is the Frank Renton of the Japanese brass band world. He presents a weekly two-hour music programme on the Japanese national radio station, Digital Radio Musicbird. The programme is called The Bandwagon and the station commissioned Philip Sparke to compose a march, which could be used as the theme tune. The result is this bright and breezy march in simple ABA form. A great lively item for any concert.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £73.00

    Saint-Saens Variations - Philip Sparke

    In 2006, a long-time dream of Philip Sparke finally became reality: to compose a set of variations on the famous chorale from Saint-Saens' renowned Organ Symphony. In 2009 the composer reworked the piece for brass band. The resulting Saint-Saens Variations has been simplified, shortened and in many places completely recomposed, to distill the essence of the symphony even further and allow younger bands to enjoy the power of Saint-Saens' masterpiece in an approachable, yet completely faithful, work.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £121.00

    Raveling, Unraveling - Philip Sparke

    Raveling, Unraveling – In Search of ‘La Valse’ was written for the Cory Band as their own-choice test piece for the 2016 European Brass Band Championships in Lille.The piece found its genesis in Sparke’sThe Unknown Journey (2014) for concert band, and the use of Ravel’s La Valse as a structural undercurrent to the original piece is an act of reverence. Sparke’s aim was to produce a work that is organic rather than episodic in nature. The composer’s view is that little in music does this better than La Valse and for this reason he uses various sections of this masterpiece, both manipulated and quoted verbatim (including much of its stunningclosing passages) to provide the overall geography of his new work. As the music progresses, more of the Ravel appears, surfacing completely as the piece reaches its climax - a gesture of homage to the French master.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £69.95

    Cambridge Variations - Philip Sparke

    Written in 1992, commissioned by Philip Biggs & Richard Franklin for the All England Brass Band Championships. The work falls into five sections (variations) which are performed continuously. 1. The introductory first section contains a chorale, which sta

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £125.00

    Music of the Spheres - Philip Sparke

    Music of the Spheres was commissioned by the Yorkshire Building Society Band and first performed by them at the European Brass Band Championships in Glasgow, May 2004. The piece reflects the composers fascination with the origins of the universe and deep space in general. The title comes from a theory, formulated by Pythagoras, that the cosmos was ruled by the same laws he had discovered that govern the ratios of note frequencies of the musical scale. ('Harmonia' in Ancient Greek, which means scale or tuning rather than harmony - Greek music was monophonic). He also believed that these ratios corresponded to the distances of the six known planets from the sun and thatthe planets each produced a musical note which combined to weave a continuous heavenly melody (which, unfortunately, we humans cannot hear). In this work, these six notes form the basis of the sections Music of the Spheres and Harmonia. The pieces opens with a horn solo called t = 0, a name given by some scientists to the moment of the Big Bang when time and space were created, and this is followed by a depiction of the Big Bang itself, as the entire universe bursts out from a single point. A slower section follows called The Lonely Planet which is a meditation on the incredible and unlikely set of circumstances which led to the creation of the Earth as a planet that can support life, and the constant search for other civilizations elsewhere in the universe. Asteroids and Shooting Stars depicts both the benign and dangerous objects that are flying through space and which constantly threaten our planet, and the piece ends with The Unknown, leaving in question whether our continually expanding exploration of the universe will eventually lead to enlightenment or destruction.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £82.00

    The Saga of Haakon the Good - Score & Parts - Philip Sparke

    The Saga of Haakon the Good was commissioned by Frei Hornmusikk, from Norway, to celebrate the joining of the two neighbouring Kommuner of Frei and Kristiansund, which took place on 1st January 2008. The band used it as their test piece in the Norwegian National Brass Band Championships the following February.The piece traces key events in the life of Haakon the Good (c. 920-961), later to become King Haakon 1 - THE FUTURE KING - who had been fostered by King Athelstan of England as part of a peace agreement made by his father. The English king brought him up in the Christian religion, and, on the news of his father's death, provided him with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eirik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king of Norway. On his arrival he travelled north - THE JOURNEY TO TRONDHEIM - where he began to gain the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation his father had previously claimed.Eirik's sons allied themselves with the Danes, but were invariably defeated by Haakon, who was successful in everything he undertook except in his attempt to introduce Christianity to the country - THE MISSIONARY KING - which aroused an opposition he did not feel strong enough to face.One of his most famous victories was THE BATTLE OF RASTARKALV (near to Frei) in 955. By placing ten standards far apart along a low ridge (to give the impression his army was bigger than it actually was) he managed to fool Eirik's sons that they were out-numbered. The Danes fled and were slaughtered by Haakon's army. These ten standards are represented by ten loud chords starting in bar 420

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £25.75

    The Saga of Haakon the Good - Score Only - Philip Sparke

    The Saga of Haakon the Good was commissioned by Frei Hornmusikk, from Norway, to celebrate the joining of the two neighbouring Kommuner of Frei and Kristiansund, which took place on 1st January 2008. The band used it as their test piece in the Norwegian National Brass Band Championships the following February.The piece traces key events in the life of Haakon the Good (c. 920-961), later to become King Haakon 1 - THE FUTURE KING - who had been fostered by King Athelstan of England as part of a peace agreement made by his father. The English king brought him up in the Christian religion, and, on the news of his father's death, provided him with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eirik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king of Norway. On his arrival he travelled north - THE JOURNEY TO TRONDHEIM - where he began to gain the support of the landowners by promising to give up the rights of taxation his father had previously claimed.Eirik's sons allied themselves with the Danes, but were invariably defeated by Haakon, who was successful in everything he undertook except in his attempt to introduce Christianity to the country - THE MISSIONARY KING - which aroused an opposition he did not feel strong enough to face.One of his most famous victories was THE BATTLE OF RASTARKALV (near to Frei) in 955. By placing ten standards far apart along a low ridge (to give the impression his army was bigger than it actually was) he managed to fool Eirik's sons that they were out-numbered. The Danes fled and were slaughtered by Haakon's army. These ten standards are represented by ten loud chords starting in bar 420

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £69.95

    Harmony Music - Philip Sparke

    Harmony Music was written for the Championship Section Finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain held at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in October 1987.It opens quietly with a long unison crescendo, interrupted by the basses, which in turn introduces a cornet fanfare, leading to a chorale-like episode, building from the lower half of the band to a huge tutti. There is a brief hint of faster music to come which fails to dispel a high, haunting euphonium solo before the main molto vivace arrives. This is a fast and furious gallop with a certain French flavour. This reaches a climax and subsides gradually into the slower central section (a homage to Maurice Ravel) which incorporates accompanied cadenzas for cornet and horn. The opening of the piece returns and leads back to an abbreviated recapitulation of the vivace. When it appears to be hurtling to a close, the trombones and sopranos introduce a brief moment of chaos before a presto coda asserts itself.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days