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About The Music

Wind Ensemble

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 players.

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 if required!)

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 haven't heard.

Horn Music

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.

 
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