Saturday, October 24, 2009

2009 Fall Concert

Music from Across the Pond

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Chuck Holleman, Reciter

Program

Hands Across the SeaJohn Philip Sousa; ed. Fennell
English Folk Song SuiteRalph Vaughan Williams
  1. March “Seventeen Come Sunday”
  2. Intermezzo “My Bonny Boy”
  3. March “Folk Songs fom Slirset”
Three Songs from FaçadeWilliam Walton; arr. O’Brien
Chuck Holleman, Reciter
  1. Popular Song
  2. Jodelling Song
  3. Polka
To a New DawnPhilip Sparke

Intermission

Mannin Veen “Dear Isle of Man,” A Manx Tone PoemHaydn Wood
Irish SuiteLeroy Anderson
  1. The Irish Washerwoman
  2. The Minstrel Boy
  3. The Rakes of Mallow
“The Earle of Oxford’s Marche” from William Byrd SuiteGordon Jacob
Selections from “Cats”Andrew Lloyd Webber; arr. Edmondson
Brighton BeachWilliam P. Latham

Read all notes from this program...

Hands Across the Sea

Hands Across the Sea was written in 1899 and received its premiere later that year on April 21, at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. The title of this wonderful march is believed to refer to the collective ability of the March King and his musicians to affect people in many lands, as a symbol to countrymen and America’s friends overseas. John Philip Sousa and his band made many European tours beginning in 1900 that included concerts in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Hands Across the Sea was the last march that Sousa conducted with the U. S. Marine Band Orchestra before his death in 1932. (JRO)

English Folk Song Suite

English Folk Song Suite is considered a cornerstone composition for band, and remains one of the most frequently performed band works by the composer. Ralph Vaughan Williams devoted his life to folk song research and publication, and was considered England’s leading composer after the death of Sir Edward Elgar in 1934. This suite was written in 1924 for “military band” (a full complement of winds, brass and percussion, as opposed to a brass band), and features the composer’s distinctive style employing modal harmonies and rhythms derived from elements found in traditional folk songs of Norfolk and Somerset. The suite was originally written for band and later transcribed for orchestra, a welcome change from the common practice of writing for orchestra first. (JRO)

Three Songs from Façade

Façade is referred to by composer William Walton as an “entertainment,” with text by Dame Edith Sitwell. David Ewen notes that the music is filled with “parody, burlesque, mock seriousness, tongue-in-cheek sentimentality, and calculated clichés.” This melodrama, originally written for seven instruments and reciting voice, consists of 21 movements, of which five have been arranged for band by Robert O’Brien. Walton’s unique style is grounded in Romantic passion with clear classical structure, dissonant yet tonal harmonies, and a touch of jazz rhythms. Façade was first performed at the Sitwell home in Chelsea, England, in January 1922, with Dame Edith Sitwell reciting. (JRO)

To a New Dawn

To a New Dawn was commissioned from Philip Sparke in 2000 by the United States Continental Army Band to celebrate the 3rd Millennium. The work looks forward to the challenges of the new century and reflects on the last. It begins with a bright introduction featuring the trumpets with a perky theme which passes quickly through several keys, reappearing in the woodwinds. A solo trumpet takes up a new theme over bubbling eighth notes and leads to rhythmic figures starting in the low clarinets. A brass interlude follows with the oboe taking up a legato tune. The following Andante section features horn and trumpet solos and florid woodwind cadenzas, leading to a passionate climax. After a full recapitulation the work closes with a lively coda. (Source: published score)

Mannin Veen

Mannin Veen is Gaelic for “Dear Isle of Man” and was originally written for orchestra in 1933. The work embodies Hayden Wood’s unique ability to meld folksong material into a cohesive, single-movement work. This tone poem (a compositional form that is programmatic and founded on a non-musical thing or idea), is based on four Manx folk songs that include a lively traditional air, a Scottish or Gaelic reel much like our American hoedown, a summoning song set as a ballad, and an old hymn sung by fishermen after their safe return from the sea. This collection beautifully represents the picturesque Isle of Man, located in the Irish sea between England and Ireland, where Wood lived as a youth. (JRO)

Irish Suite

Leroy Anderson’s Irish Suite salutes an American composer with deep Boston roots. He was associated with Arthur Fiedler and well known as one of the leading arrangers for the Boston Pops Orchestra and also frequently served as the orchestra’s guest conductor. In 1947 he was commissioned by the Erin Society of Boston to write an Irish Suite for its annual night at the Pops. The work consisted of six beloved Irish airs, three of which have been arranged for band and are featured this evening. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire)

The Earle of Oxford’s Marche

The Earle of Oxford’s Marche is a stately march scored for band from the keyboard music of William Byrd from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Byrd was a student of Thomas Tallis and recognized as one of the founding members of the English Madrigal School. This march beautifully captures the pomp and circumstance with true “British” flair, and is the first of six movements from the William Byrd Suite written in 1922. The works of Gordon Jacob, who was educated at the Royal College of Music, are considered masterful contributions to the band literature. (JRO)

Selections from Cats

Selections from Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, features memorable selections from this beloved musical based on poems in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S Eliot. Webber notes that “very luckily Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats contains verses that are extraordinarily musical; they have rhythms that are very much their own.” Featured songs from the musical include Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat, The Old Gumbie Cat, Macavity: The Mystery Cat, and Memory. (JRO)

Brighton Beach March

Brighton Beach March, composed in 1954, was William Latham’s first published work for band. It was an immediate success and was listed among the 100 most popular marches by The Instrumentalist four times between 1960 and 1976. The title (chosen by the publisher) refers to a famous resort on the southern coast of England. This march has numerous dynamic contrasts, as well as unusual scoring of the woodwind parts. (Source: March Music Notes and Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire)

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