Southern Music presents its 2017 new works for concert band. This release includes originals and arrangements by James Barnes, Percy Grainger, Alfred Reed, Nathan Jones, Pietro Yon, Mark Rogers, David Mairs, Norman Nelson and Feruccio Busoni.
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The work opens with a dramatic brass fanfare before moving to a spirited allegro. The slower middle portion is rather “jazzy” in character with a trumpet solo. After several statements of this lush song, the faster music returns before the opening fanfare reprises, closing the piece in dramatic fashion. Includes generous cross-cuing to enable performances with smaller instrumentations.
(Grade 3) Dur: 5:30 Order through Hal Leonard.
“Folk Tune” (also known as “Sheep Shearing Song”) was originally composed for piano by Eugène Goosens. This setting for symphonic band by Percy Grainger bears the hallmark ingenious application of instrumentation and harmonizing that Grainger became so well known for.(Grade 4) Dur: 2:30
Nathan Jones – Scottish Highland Overture
Scottish Highland Overture was commissioned by the MacArthur Middle School in Lawton, OK, in honor of their longtime conductor, Sue Ann Hannah. Taking inspiration from the school’s mascot (the “Scots”) the piece is based very loosely on the Scottish folk song, “The Dowie Dens o’ Yarrow.” The faster ‘A’ section contains lots of rhythmic interplay between voices while the ‘B’ section gives everyone a chance to play in a very lyrical and legato style. This fun and playable overture is a great introduction to the Dorian mode for young bands, and features a short horn section soli opening the middle section, with ample cross-cueing to provide additional support as needed. (Grade 2.5) Dur: 4:00
Joseph Kosma – Autumn Leaves, arr. Alfred Reed, ed. Mark Rogers
The iconic tune Autumn Leaves “Les feuilles mortes” by Hungarian-born composer Joseph Kosma hardly requires an introduction to jazz afficionados. The music was originally set to French lyrics by Jacques Prévert, and later English lyrics by Johnny Mercer. This classic band arrangement by Alfred Reed showcases the rich harmonic language that underlines the melody with thick, sonorous orchestration. This piece can be the perfect change of pace when placed among works with quicker tempi or more rigorous demands on the players.(Grade 3) Dur: 4:00 Order through Hal Leonard.
James Barnes – Quest
This dramatic work for young players is intended to portray a noble, mystical pursuit of some great conquest or accomplishment. Full of driving percussion, resolving tone clusters, dramatic brass writing and spectacular tutti musical statements, it also features easy passages for solo oboe, bassoon and piccolo. This piece is a great choice for accomplished middle school or smaller high school bands. It is generously cross cued to be performed with limited instrumentation. (Grade 3) Dur: 6:00
David Mairs – Genesys Fanfare
Genesys Fanfare was written for and performed by the members of the Brass and Percussion sections of the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Later the work was rescored for full orchestra and ultimately for concert band in this present arrangement. This band version was first performed in 2016 by the combined Wind Ensembles of Texas Lutheran University conducted by Beth Bronk. The musical ideas for this fanfare are straightforward–the theme is a rhythmic representation of the name of the institution that commissioned the piece – Genesys Hospital. The asymmetrical repetition of the spoken rhythm however yields a refreshingly compelling pulse which drives the music all the way through. (Grade 4) Dur: 2:30
Victor Young – Around the World in 80 Days, arr. Alfred Reed, ed. Mark Rogers
Jules Verne’s popular 1873 adventure novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days,” has inspired countless readers, as well as two motion pictures. The first of these, produced by Michael Todd and released in 1956, featured a score by Victor Young that would earn him his sole Oscar Award (awarded posthumously in 1957) for best motion picture score. This arrangement for concert band by Alfred Reed captures the magical essense of Young’s original score. Reed’s singular talent for band writing would lead to engagements as staff composer for NBC and ABC television from 1948-1953.(Grade 3) Dur: 2:30 Order through Hal Leonard.
Ferruccio Busoni – Turandot, arr. Mark Rogers
In 1904 Busoni began sketching incidental music for Gozzi’s Chinese fable. He also arranged a concert suite, which was first performed in 1905 and published in 1906. A production of Gozzi’s play with Busoni’s music was mounted by Max Reinhardt in Berlin in 1911, and for the second and last time in London in 1913. This transcription of the first movement of Busoni’s Turandot suite was created for George A. Treviño and his superb Lopez High School Band of Brownsville, Texas. The piece was premiered in February 2017 at the Texas Music Educators Association convention on the occasion of the Lopez band’s 6A Honor Band performance.(Grade 5) Dur: 3:30 Order through Hal Leonard.
Norman J. Nelson – A Swedish Melody
This arrangement is based on the Swedish folksong Ack, Värmeland, du sköna. (“Oh Värmeland, You Fair and Lovely Place”). The lyrics of the song speak of the beauty of the landscape and the wonderful nature of the people that live there. Although the folksong is presented with some alterations, an attempt is made to capture the attractiveness of the melody and the sentiments expressed in the lyrics. This piece was inspired by Gary Garner, who expressed a need in the band literature for pieces with artistic value that are appropriate for intensive rehearsal and public performance, are easy enough for many bands to play, and give the ensemble a chance to work on intonation, balance, and phrasing. (Grade 3) Dur: 5:00
Pietro Yon – Gesu Bambino, ed. Mark Rogers
Though lesser known than some Christmas melodies, this stately, pastoral work incorporates the chorus of “O Come All Ye Faithful” (or “Adeste Fideles”) into the writing. The original melody by Yon is rather remarkable in its elegant beauty, and sounds timeless and enchantingly ancient, though it was written rather recently in 1917. Pietro Yon was an organist who spent most of his career at the St. Patrick Cathedral in New York. Yon was well regarded in his lifetime by fellow musicians. Notably among his pupils was the celebrated American songwriter Cole Porter and, upon his passing in 1943, Arturo Toscanini himself was among those who attended his large funeral. This arrangement begins softly with a simple statement of the melody in the trumpets. The theme expands as it is passed around the various instrumental choirs with increasing use of counterpoint. Culminating in a joyous exaltation, the music winds to a gentle and serene conclusion. The score is well-cued in key sections where the melody is prominent.(Grade 3.5) Dur: 4:00 Order through Hal Leonard.
Ernesto Lecuona – Malaguena, paraphrased for Symphonic Band by James Barnes
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1895, Ernesto Lecuona is arguably Cuba’s greatest serious composer. He was a gifted pianist who wrote hundreds of songs and piano works before he died in 1963. Most of his music is composed in a rich, authentic Cuban style.
The most famous of his works is “Malagueña,” the sixth movement of his Suite Andalucia for solo piano, which was first published in 1928. Malagueña has been recorded as a popular song (with added lyrics), as a serious piano work (even by Lecuona himself in the 1950’s) and also as a jazz standard (Bill Holman’s arrangement for the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the early 1960’s.) Over the years, it has been arranged many times for various other mediums, ranging from symphony orchestra to field arrangements for drum and bugle corps.
In 1976, James Barnes arranged Malagueña for the University of Kansas Marching Band. A few years later, with permission from the publisher, he expanded this original arrangement into a full work for symphonic band called “Prelude, Fantasy and Fandango on Lecuona’s Malagueña.” After several performances in the spring of 1978 (most notably at the MENC Convention in Colorado Springs), this work, along with over 200 other Barnes manuscripts, lay fallow in the KU Band Library.
While packing up his office belongings when he retired from The University of Kansas in 2015, Barnes came across this long languishing “Prelude, Fantasy and Fandango,” which remained in condensed score. In the fall of 2016, he completely re-composed the opening portion of the work, reduced the number of required percussion and disposed of the two harps in his 1978 version. This new setting features evocative, thinly scored, extended solo passages for clarinet, bassoon and flute before the full wind band concludes the work with a powerful, dramatic setting of the main themes of Lecuona’s masterful Malagueña. (Grade 5) Dur: 8:00 Order through Hal Leonard.
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