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Maecenas

Concerto Ideas For 2012-2013

Planning for next season? Try a concerto or a choral work from the Maecenas catalogue.

Concerto Recommendations from Maecenas

By Tim Reynish, January 1st, 2012

Planning is well under way for next season with most wind bands and ensembles, so here are a few ideas to help you to find that focal element in any concert, a concerto for an outstanding member of the group or for a member of your faculty or teaching staff. Very often, the composers have chosen to write more conservatively for the band, to make works readily accessible. Many of the works have piano accompaniment available, and full performances of nearly all can be assessed on www.MaecenasMusic.co.uk

Work

Solo Instrument

Composer

Piano

reduction

duration

Concertino Pastorale

Flute

Philip Wilby

£12.95

15.00

Elegy for Ur

Oboe

Edwin Roxburgh

£17.50

14.00

Clarinet Concerto

Shen sheng Bui Shi

Clarinet

Philip Grange

No

20.00

Clarinet Concerto

Clarinet

Stephen McNeff

No

23.00

Saxophone Concerto

Alto Saxophone

Michael Ball

£16.50

14.00

Concertino

Alto Saxophone

Adam Gorb

£13.50

14.00

Downtown Diversions

Trombone

Adam Gorb

£16.50

17.30

Downtown Blues

Trombone

Adam Gorb

£16.50

4.30

City under the Sea

Euphonium

Nigel Clarke

£14.75

18.00

Concerto

Euphonium

Adam Gorb

£17.50

15.00

Concerto

Tuba

Martin Ellerby

£16.95

 

Elements

Percussion

Adam Gorb

No

30.00

Concerto

Percussion

Gareth Wood

No

16.00

Renascence

Piano

Christopher Marshall

No

11.00

Piano Concerto - Homage

Piano

Edward Gregson

£17.50

20.00

Five Folk Songs

Soprano or  Mezzo

Bernard Gilmore

£17.50

20.00

Image in Stone

Mezzo soprano

Stephen McNeff

£14.50

16.00

New Song’s Measure

Chorus

Fergal Carroll

£12.50

18.00

Eternal Voices

Soprano/chorus

Adam Gorb

£8.95

35.00

Night Journey

Baritone/chorus

Daniel Basford

£14.95

40.00

Philip Wilby’s Conceertino Pastorale was commissioned by Jim Croft and FSU as part of a series of commissions for every woodwind instrument. In a traditional three movement form, it is full of Wilby’s restless energy, contrasting with passages of peaceful lyrical beauty. It is beautifully scored, easy to balance.

Contemporary music often demands repeated hearings and a degree of concentration, but Roxburgh’s Elegy for Ur is immediately accessible despite its idiom. Ur of the Chaldees is one of the oldest cities of the world, and its despoliation during the military offensive in the early years of this century have inspired Roxburgh to write an emotional work of great intensity. It is scored for orchestral wind and brass section.

The two clarinet concerti represent strong contrasts, the Grange at the cutting edge of contemporary music, the McNeff using a more traditional language. Tradition plays a big part in the two saxophone concerti. The Ball Saxophone Concerto makes spectacular demands on the technique and musicality of the soloist - much of the cadenza boldly goes where few altos have been before – but the band writing is more conservative and is within the range of most county players. The Gorb, too was written with honours band players in mind; again like the Ball, the solo writing is advanced, at Grade 6 level, while much of the wind orchestra is about Grade 4/5.

Two concertos for brass soloists by Adam Gorb; the Downtown Diversions opens with a trombone cadenza against jazzy finger snapping and clapping from the band and this sets the scene for a delightful three movement work with a “bluesy” slow movement, Downtown Blues, which is available separately. The euphonium is perhaps the instrument that offers most to the brass family in terms of virtuosity, and many composers exploit this with a dazzling array of passage work and instrumental fireworks. Not so Adam Gorb in his reflective, often pastorale Euphonium Concerto which encourages the soloist to be musical and elegiac. The band writing is both practical and effective.

Reviewing the world premiere of Adam Gorb’s Elements, given by Evelyn Glennie at the Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Robert Beale wrote in the Manchester Evening News “This work does not let us down. It’s a substantial four movement piece full of inventiveness and an extraordinary sense of tone colour.” Elements has been recorded by Simone Rebello who premiered the Concerto by Gareth Wood. It was commissioned by the Welsh Amateur Music Foundation for the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales who gave the first performance in the Stiwt Theatre, Rhosllanerchugog on April 7th 2007.

Featuring the piano as solo instrument are two large-scale romantic concerti. Chris Marshall’s Renascence is a powerful romantic concerto in traditional form by one of the true originals of wind writing. The combination is potent and irresistible. Edward Gregson’s highly enjoyable but serious, traditional three movement Piano Concerto could not be out of place in any concert hall or orchestral programme. While paying affectionate tribute to many of the giants of the century - Bartok, Poulenc, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov - it remains pure Gregson: accessible without artistic compromise, substantial without being heavy

Two major works here for voice and wind ensemble. Bernard Gilmore’s superb set of Five Folk Songs was written in 1967, premiered at a CBDNA Conference, and for many years lay unpublished. Each song is from a different country. The first major work for soprano and band, cited as Best Original Composition at the 1967 CBDNA conference, this important, pioneering piece is now available in definitive form incorporating Gilmore’s final revisions. Each folksong originates from a particular culture and is set in its vernacular language. Vocal range d-G’ will suit mezzo or soprano voice. In Image in Stone, McNeff brings all of his theatrical expertise to four contrasting poems for mezzo soprano and a small ensemble, a fanfare-like setting of an inscription on a Greek tombstone, a passacaglia to words by John Donne, a charming folk-like melody for a text by Christina Rosetti and a poem by Walt Whitman which plumbs Mahlerian depths.

Eternal Voices

Finally Maecenas is proud to launch a new series of works for chorus and wind ensemble, ideal outings for the amateur or school choir. The most recent is Eternal Voices by Adam Gorb, a moving cantata linked by a newscast commentary on the dangers of the war in Afghanistan, and the impact on a mother and her child of the death of their husband and father. In Night Journey, Basford's superb handling of his forces, choir, baritone soloist and large wind orchestra provides us with a substantial forty-minute extended secular choral work in the tradition of Elgar, Finzi and Vaughan Williams. His innate ear for colour and sure sense of architecture makes his eclectic collection of texts from a variety of poets including Longfellow, Poe, Donne, Fletcher and Blake an evocative and memorable depiction of the passing of time between dusk and sunrise. A New Songs Measure was commissioned by the Association for Music in International Schools, an organisation dedicated to giving young people opportunities for musical performance. Carroll's superbly approachable choral writing carefully takes into account the universal problem of choirs with more women than men making the work highly suitable for school and community use.