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  • £30.00

    Janacek's 'Taras Bulba' - Janacek

    Comments from Tim Paton, the arranger of Janacek’s ‘Taras Bulba’: “I will never forget the day in 1967 when I was introduced to the music of Leos Janacek, a Czech composer born in 1854, who died in 1928. Janacek was little known in Britain until the 1960’s, when the conductor Charles Macherras introduced his unique music. I heard a recording of Macherras conducting the Pro Arte Orchestra in a performance of Janacek’s “Sinfonietta”.It was in 1969 that I first heard Janacek’s Symphonic Rhapsody, “Taras Bulba”.Janacek’s music is exciting, powerful, emotive, impassioned and unpredictable.I have taken the first and third movements of this piece, and adapted them for Brass Band, which was at times extremely difficult, but rewarding. It sometimes took up to an hour to be satisfied that a mere several bars had been reproduced to convey the composer’s intentions.The Death of AndriThe Cossaks, under the leadership of Taras Bulba, are fighting against the Poles in the 17th century. Taras’s son Andri seeks to rescue his love, a Polish princess, from a city which is being besieged by the Cossaks. Having found her, he throws in his lot with the Poles, but is finally captured by his father, who executes him as a traitor before riding off again to battle.Prophesy and Death of Taras BulbaTaras himself is finally captured and condemned to be nailed to a tree and burned alive. As the flames creep around him, Taras has the satisfaction of seeing histroops escape, and as he dies, sees a vision of his country freed at last.This is incredibly descriptive music. The mood is constantly changing, creating feelings of love and anger, celebration and melancholy, despair and triumph.This Brass Band EditionThe duration of the original symphonic rhapsody, three movements, is approximately 23 minutes. I chose the first and third movements, so the Brass Band edition is approximately 14 minutes. The main reason is twofold: Being realistic about the demands this music would place on the stamina of the brass player; Keeping the piece less than 15 minutes, so that, if desired, it could be used on the contest platform.Two unique qualities of Janacek’s music had to be taken into account when preparing this brass band version. His compositional technique was individual, at times not sticking to traditional expectations, in both form and orchestration. I imagined what the genius himself would have said looking at my work, and how to tackle a particular section to emulate his original intentions. This was particularly the case when dealing with high woodwind and violin parts, the use of tremolo in string parts, and the orchestral harp.Percussion: Janacek included timpani, side drum, cymbals, triangle and tubular bells. For reasons stated previously, I have also included xylophone and glockenspiel. I have also added the gong in a couple of places to enhance the dramatic effect of the music.

    In stock: Estimated delivery 1-2 days
  • £90.00

    The Legend of King Arthur - Peter Meechan

    King Arthur is the subject of many tales, stories, myths and legends - from his ascension to the throne by pulling the sword from the stone, his courageous battles with his fellow Knights of the Round Table, to his ultimately tragic love for Guinevere.The Legend of King Arthur is a musical portrayal of some of the most important moments in the legend.The opening of the work - a rock inspired overture - is a reference to Arthura??s final resting place (at least, so some legends have it!), the modern day Glastonbury (Avalon in the legend), and it is in this opening that we hear for Arthura??s theme.This high octane opening gives way to a mysterious section - as Merlin (the mystical wizard) places in a stone a sword, upon which was inscribed a??Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone is the rightwise born king of all Englanda?. The music describes the mystical surroundings as each of the contenders for the throne take their turn - to no avail - and with a return to the original theme, we hear Arthur pull the sword from the stone, to become King of England.Next we hear a depiction of Arthura??s greatest victory in battle ??" The Battle of Mount Badon. He finally defeated the Saxon invaders of Britain - over 900 Saxons perished - and the victory brought about an extended period of peace. Arthur is portrayed as brave, bold and confident as he and his Knights end years of invasion.The penultimate section of the work tells the tale of Arthura??s tragic love for Guinevere - his traitorous wife, who through her infidelity with Sir Lancelot (Arthura??s most trusted Knight), ultimately leads Arthur in to his final battle with his nephew, Mordred.We hear the final bitter battle, which eventually ends with only Arthur and Mordred fighting. Arthur is wounded, fatally, by his nephew -at which point we hear with a sudden and dramatic sounding of Arthura??s theme - and is taken to Avalon to die.The Legend of King Arthur is dedicated to Michael Bach and Brass Band BA?Argermusik Luzern, who commissioned the work.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days
  • £70.00

    Macbeth - Peter Meechan

    Commissioned by the Scottish Brass Band Association for the 2007 Scottish Open Championship, Macbeth takes itsa?? inspiration from the Shakespeare play of the same name. Character portraits (Of the three witches as well as Macbeth himself), abstractions (The lament), and scenes (Macbetha??s final battle with Macduff) make up the nine sections of the piece.i: WitchesThe prophecies of the three witches are an integral part of the play, and in this opening section, these mysterious characters are represented by three different sections of music that introduces the listener to the musical material of the piece.ii: DaggerMacbetha??s a??Is this a dagger I see before theea? speech, where an imaginary dagger leads him to contemplate the pending murder, builds in intensity before the bell tolls at itsa?? conclusion - a sign from Lady Macbeth that Duncan is now alone.iii: General MacbethA character portrait of Macbeth - a fearless General who has led his armies to defeat foes from all over Europe. His ambition and flair that make him such a great General are also the characteristics that lead to his eventual downfall.iv: Contemplations of Lady MacbethAlone and mad, Lady Macbeth ponders all that has gone, before taking her own life.v: LamentAlthough the play tells of Macbeth not feeling the pain of his wifea??s death, this lament ponders not only her death, but the tale as a whole.vi: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrowIt is in this final soliloquy that we see the ultimate tragedy of Macbeth - the realisation that his life is ultimately worthless.vii: A spell still castThis acts as an prologue to section eight, restating the original a??witchesa? music, before heading into Macbetha??s final battle.viii: Final BattleMacbetha??s final battle, where he locks swords with Macduff.ix: Not of woman bornMacbetha??s realisation that the witches have misled him comes all too late, as Macduff beheads Macbeth, fulfilling the last prophecy.

    Estimated delivery 12-14 days

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