About The Music
The arrangements for wind ensemble were made to fill a gap in the
repertoire and to provide material that allows the planning of entertaining
and varied wind octet and nonet concerts. The pieces generally do
not last more than 4 – 5 minutes and some of the shorter ones
are ideal for encores. Most of the arrangements are challenging
but my main aim has been to make them interesting and fun for all
The Budapest Wind Ensemble, who have often included my Dvorák
arrangements in their programmes, regularly add a double-bass to
wind octets, even the Mozart Serenades. I think that this is worth
doing whenever possible and is in keeping with the Harmoniemusik
tradition. I have therefore included optional parts for double-bass
in most of the octets. A contrabassoon can be used instead although
in some works care must be taken that it is not too dominant. I
have not used a double-bass in the nonets, partly because they were
arranged for concerts where our flautist doubled on bass. (A 'piccolo
doubling double-bass' part is available for the Nibelungen March
Only a few of my arrangements have been available to the general
public up to now. The three Slavonic Dances published by Boosey
& Hawkes have been performed and broadcast on a number of occasions.
At least three recordings have been made of them.
The Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe made a CD
(COE 812) in 1989. The playing is excellent although they did make
one or two (unauthorised) changes to the arrangements. Incidentally,
a propos of this, I used the original piano duets as the basis of
the arrangements, partly to avoid being influenced by the orchestrations.
These differ in some respects from the orchestral versions. For
example, the last bar of No.9 is silent in the piano version - which
I have retained - but has a note in the orchestral version (which
the COE added!)
The Budapest Wind Ensemble made a cassette tape in 1991 called
Serenade. As far as I am concerned this is the definitive performance.
There is also a recording by Harmonie Ensemble, New York on a CD
called "Dvorak and Friends - Czech Wind Music" which I
In my experience, when string players meet for an evening of quartets
they sit down and play quartets; when horn players meet to play
they get out the beers and put on CDs of other horn players. The
music for horns was written just in case we feel like doing some
actual playing. Although I have quite a few pieces not many are
available here yet.