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Alisha Marie Wooley, of Columbus State University, Georgia, made some vital corrections to Vranjanka in her Masters’ Thesis. What are they?

Kenneth Hesketh

Bars 12-15 Kenneth Hesketh suggests that the piccolo part always sounds ragged and would be better an octave lower. Try it.

Alisha spotted that:

Bar 45 – Horns 1 & 3: first two notes should be E natural

Bar 46 – 3rd cornet: pitches should read Bb/Ab/Gnatural?Ab/C#/G natural/Ab/Bb/D

Err……..thats it, as they write in Private Eye.

Is it really six years since we took the Guildhall Wind Orchestra up to Manchester and premiered Ken Heskeths Vranjanka. It remains one of my favorite works from my commissions of the first decade of the 21st Century, and curiously the introduction with its mass of rhythmic devices and points of colour is much more difficult than the wonderful 7/8 passage that it introduces. You can hear a fine version of it by the Philharmonic Winds, Singapore, if you browse on YouTube or click on this link below


I enjoyed the comments, especially those in Serbian which I fondly imagine to be complementary. Anyway, by January 18th this version had notched up 5,149 viewers.

• im performing this song with my highschool band! imkakashisbabe15 4 months ago

• bravo, odlična izvedba :) mali0bobencek 8 months ago

• great greeting's from Vranje :D VuXman 1 year ago 2

• Super je i super su vam komentari ali vi to ne mozete da osetite ! Bratela83 1 year ago

• OMG this is fantastic versrion =D svaroglo82 1 year ago

• Goodness it sounds incredible when played correctly! RolyPolyRo 2 years ago


Vranjanka (2005) Kenneth Hesketh

Commissioned by Timothy and Hilary Reynish in memory of their son William

World Premiere by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Wind Orchestra at the RNCM Sunday 6th November 2005

Vranjanka (the title means "From Vranje," a town in southern Serbia, pronounced VRAHN-yahn-kah ) is loosely based on the traditional folksong Šano Dušo. The melody exists in two versions, one in 7/8 and one in 3/4. I have chosen the version in 7/8 and in doing so, have extended the melodic ideas of the original with new material.

The musical form of the piece is as follows: a fairly slow introductory section where the theme is only hinted at but never heard and a faster second section cast in a set of variations on the folksong. These are not variations in the traditional sense, with clearly marked beginnings and endings, but ongoing developments of the various melodic material in the folksong with original material 'growing out' along side.

The text for Vranjanka influenced the composition more often than not at an unconscious level, but it is included here for reference:

Sana, my soul, opens the door to me,

Open the door to me and I will give you coins.

My heart is burning for you, Sana.

Your fair face, Sana, is snow from the mountains,

Your forehead, Sana, is like moonlight.

That mouth of yours, Sana, like a deep red sunset,

That eye, my darling, makes me burn.

When night comes, marvellous Sana, I twist in sadness,

Your beauty, Sana, will not let me sleep.