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Instrumentalist - June 2018: New Music Reviews



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Instrumentalist - June 2018: New Music Reviews
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CONCERT BAND


*(C2) Shipwreck Cove
By Jeremy Bell
    Sure to engage young musicians, this pirate-themed composition effectively alternates between major and parallel minor to convey a sense of heroism in the face of despair. Scored in cut time (half note = 72), the piece begins with an ominous ocean theme in the low brass and winds that is accompanied by an ocean drum mimicking the sound of waves as the remainder of the ensemble blows air through their instruments to create wind sounds. Upper woodwinds then introduce a lilting, yet sorrowful pirate melody during a soft, thinly scored section that leads to a quick restatement of the first theme. The mode shifts to major and a jaunty melody appears during a heroic section as the pirates brave the treacherous seas. Despite their valiant efforts, the piece ends with a return of the ocean theme as the sea claims another ship. With two-part scoring for clarinet, alto saxophone, and trumpet; the piece includes melodic opportunities for several sections, attractive harmonic material, and effective contrasts of dynamics and texture. Active percussion scoring for seven players includes parts for chimes, snare drum, ocean drum, bass drum, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, mark tree, tambourine, and timpani. Proper balance between moving lines and accompaniment, and careful attention to note lengths and dynamics are critical. ($48, Alfred, 1:45) M.H.

 
*(C2) Southampton March
By Robert Sheldon
    Conveying the charm of a British-style march, this sparkling piece is ideal as a rousing concert or festival opener. Scored in cut time (half note = 104) with engaging lines for each instrument, the composition includes tuneful folk-like melodies, attractive supporting material, detailed articulation markings, and effective contrasts of dynamics. A steady tempo, consistent note length and proper tone when playing staccato quarter notes, and correct balance between the stately melodies and accompaniment are important considerations in achieving a memorable performance. ($49, Alfred, 1:45) M.H.

 
*(C2) Shadow of the Longship
By Eric Rath
    The title of this interesting work refers to the vessel used by the Vikings between the 9th and 13th centuries for trade and commerce, as well as for exploration and warfare.  Soon to be invaded lands would have undoubtedly been intimidated by the shadows of these impressive ships on their shores. An aggressive opening section (q = 144) features a bold melody in the trumpets, alto saxophones, and high woodwinds that is accompanied by powerful rhythmic punctuations in the low voices and percussion. A soft, suspenseful passage briefly interrupts the proceedings before the aggressive mood returns, now with melodic material in the low brass and winds. A soft and calming contrasting section (conducted in two) offers a sense of smooth sailing and a moment of reflection for the Norse warriors as they prepare for the invasion. Repeated eighth notes begin to emerge from the calm as the piece builds in intensity before revisiting earlier material. An energetic section in 3/4 then increases the tension as the composition builds to a dramatic conclusion. Well scored with interesting lines for each instrument and effective contrasts of meter, texture, and dynamics, the piece includes two-part writing for clarinets and trumpets, and straight forward percussion scoring. ($50, FJH, 2:30) M.H.

 
*(C2) Paradise Awaiting…
By William Owens
    Commissioned to honor the memory of a cherished young saxophonist, this moving work conveys the passion the young woman had for playing music as well as the tremendous inspiration she was to others. A peaceful opening features a calm melody stated by solo flute and solo alto saxophone accompanied by bells and vibraphone. Other instruments are added as the piece builds to an energetic and carefree main section. Lively variations of the original melody are then passed playfully about the ensemble as the composition explores effective contrasts of texture, timbre, and style. The tranquil mood abruptly returns as the piece draws from earlier material before moving to a soft, sensitive ending featuring a delicate offering from a solo alto saxophone. Strive for expressive playing during the opening and closing sections, a steady tempo during the middle section, and careful attention to articulation and dynamics throughout. ($50, FJH, 2:40) M.H.

 
*(C2) Alliance
By William Palange
    This dynamic work was composed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the merger of two school districts. The title celebrates the great things that are possible when people look past their differences and work together to achieve a common goal. The energetic opening (quarter note = 120) features bold fanfare-like statements from the brass that alternate with powerful chords from the woodwinds. The material is then restated with brass and woodwinds trading responsibilities. A brief percussion break then introduces a celebratory section with bold melodic material initially stated softly by clarinets before being passed to the trumpets where it is presented first in a legato style and then in an energetic manner. The piece then slows to a calm, gentle section (quarter note = 72) that begins with a woodwinds only passage featuring a lyrical flute melody. The brass soon return as the intensity and tempo gradually increases. An exciting final section then draws from earlier material as the composition moves to a powerful conclusion. ($58, Alfred, 4:10) M.H. 

 
*(C3) Festive Episodes
By Clarence Barber
    This joyous work is an engaging and celebratory compilation of themes intended to “show the concert band in its best light.” A brief, majestic opening passage introduces an energetic section that features a vibrant melody initially stated softly by solo trumpet accompanied by clarinets. Additional instruments soon join in as other sections are given melodic opportunities. The piece then explores a variety of textures before moving to a slower, contrasting section introduced by a solo clarinet. Filled with lyrical melodies and lush harmonies, this passage comes to a quiet conclusion before an exciting final section suddenly appears that includes bold melodic lines, driving rhythms, a restatement of earlier themes, and a dramatic conclusion. Correct balance between principal melodic lines and important countermelodies, precise rhythmic execution, and careful attention to articulation and dynamic indications are critical. ($50, LudwigMasters, 4:25) M.H.

 
*(C3) The Gladiator
By John Philip Sousa
Edited by Loras John Schissel
    This sparkling, cut time march would be a welcome addition to any concert. Although Sousa had already written several marches before composing it in 1886, he considered The Gladiator to be his biggest hit to date. It would eventually sell over a million copies. Expertly edited, the piece includes detailed articulation and dynamic markings as well as indications identifying featured parts. Consistent interpretation of articulation styles throughout the ensemble, uniform execution of ornaments in the high woodwinds, careful observance of dynamics, and proper balance are important considerations for producing a memorable performance. This toe-tapper will be an enjoyable work to rehearse and perform. ($55, LudwigMasters, 2:45) M.H.

 

*(C3) Grand Central Station
By David Bobrowitz
    This musical depiction of a train station during rush hour has everything you would hope a piece like this would contain. Frantic syncopation, mixed meters, great percussion effects, and a tempo that can be played as fast as the band can handle, this is a chart that bands and audiences alike will enjoy. There are several sixteenth-note lines for most everyone in the band, although they tend to be scalar in nature. Short solos by flute and clarinet start the song, and you will need a balanced band that is unafraid of counting to pull this chart off. You will need a minimum of six percussionists and a treasure trove of accessories. Some of the trombone lines do not lay well on the instrument and will take an experienced section to handle. Every section is exposed at one time or another, making it a great teaching piece that will provide a challenge to your ensemble. This piece is on the more difficult end of the grade level. (3:25, Grand Mesa, $70) K.S.

 
*(C3) Legacy
By Robert Longfield
    The result of a commission by a high school music department, this enjoyable composition is dedicated to the orchestra director in celebration of his career, as well as the fiftieth anniversary of the high school. Based on the high school alma mater, the composer later transcribed the original composition for symphonic band. A slow, deliberate introduction with powerful brass chords, an emphatic timpani line, and sixteenth-note flourishes in the high woodwinds leads to a fast, spirited section with bold melodic material initially stated by clarinets, alto saxophones, and horns; solo opportunities for oboe and clarinet; and driving percussion. A slow, expressive contrasting section quotes the school alma mater, first in a woodwinds-only passage, then with brass and the full ensemble. The spirited tempo and mood return as the composition draws from earlier thematic material as it builds to a joyous and triumphant statement of the alma mater before moving to a dramatic conclusion. Preparatory work in the keys of D minor and D major is suggested as the work is predominantly diatonic and will lie under the fingers much quicker once musicians are familiar with the keys. ($50, LudwigMasters, 5:00) M.H.

 
*(C3) Songs of Soldiers
By Travis Weller
    This work uses two tuneful American folk songs whose lyrics express the emotional stress of families as their loved ones serve in the armed forces during times of war. A dramatic opening fanfare in 6/8 marked “Vigilant” prepares an initial statement of When Johnny Comes Marching Home that is first played by solo flute or optional solo piccolo. Transitional material segues to a statement of Johnny’s Gone for a Soldier (Shule Agra) that is initially scored in the woodwinds. A short development section prepares a return of Johnny Comes Marching Home, and near the end, both folk songs are conjoined, leading to an exciting finale. Eight players are required to cover the integral percussion scoring including timpani and at least one mallet specialist covering bells, chimes, and xylophone. There are also parts for temple blocks and tom-toms. This evocative new work will provide bountiful teaching and learning opportunities. ($70, Grand Mesa, 2:55) J.T.

 
*(C3) Renaissance Reimagined
By Brian Balmages
    In the words of the composer, this work “takes a look at Renaissance-style music and then reimagines it in a completely different way”. The first eight notes, played by the clarinets and trumpets, serve as a structural element of unity emerging at times in fragments and at other times in full form. The work begins in a Maestoso 4/4 with occasional meter shifts to 2/4 and 3/4. The contrasting faster section is set in 3/4 and marked Presto. This section could eventually be taken in one. Later, the opening theme returns, now in duple meter, against the triple meter of the Presto section, creating a dazzling finale. The sometimes thin texture features various sections within the ensemble and provides brief solos for your principal trumpet, horn, and trombone. The integral percussion scoring requires a minimum of seven players, including two mallet specialists covering bells, vibraphone, chimes, and marimba. The ranges are appropriate, but the rhythmic and technical demands place the piece at the more challenging end of this grade level. ($75, FJH, 5:45) J.T.

 
*(C5) Rise of the Silver City
By Rossano Galante
    This commission with a cinematic flair commemorates the building of two new high schools in Meriden, Connecticut. In the nineteenth century, Meriden was considered the silver capital of the world and was referred to as the Silver City. A majestic opening, featuring a dramatic sixteenth-note passage for woodwinds and bold statements from the brass, represents the planning of the two uniquely designed schools. A stately theme in the trumpet section soon appears as the buildings begin to be constructed. A sudden tempo change introduces a spirited section with sweeping woodwind lines and driving rhythmic material as the buildings move toward completion. A nobler theme then emerges, leading the piece to a powerful and heroic climax as the buildings reach completion. Well-written with interesting lines and technical challenges for each instrument, the composition includes solos for clarinet, flute, oboe, and horn; effective contrasts of rhythm, dynamics, and texture throughout; and well-conceived percussion scoring for seven players. ($85, Alfred, 4:30) M.H.

 
*(C5) Of Ancient Dances
By Stephen Bulla
    This significant four-movement work presents an interesting variety of styles and emotions. The first movement, Incantation, begins softly and mysteriously with a thinly scored passage featuring muted trombone glissando effects. The tempo increases slightly during a majestic section with dramatic flourishes and powerful harmonic material that gradually softens before proceeding to a brisk, agitated section with aggressive eighth-note figures throughout. Movement two, Ancestral Chant, begins slowly with a saxophone-only phrase before moving to a rhythmic cut time section that proceeds to a 3/4 section filled with quick articulated sixteenth-note figures that are passed throughout the ensemble. A suddenly slow closing phrase features brief solos for alto saxophone and bass clarinet. The emotional yet subdued third movement, Song of Lament, includes an expressive passage with extended solos for flute and oboe. The foreboding and rhythmically aggressive final movement, Dance of War, has a powerful final section that brings the work to an intense and dramatic conclusion. ($110, Hafabra Music/FJH, 11:00) M.H.

 
(C2) With Uncommon Valor
By Todd Stalter
    This stirring work conveys heroism, pride, and bravery. A heroic opening section with bold brass fanfares accompanied by simple woodwind flourishes leads to a soft, stately, contrasting passage with a lyrical high woodwind theme. The composition then builds to a majestic final section that brings the work to a dramatic conclusion. Proper phrasing, uniform styles of articulation, close attention to dynamics, and precise execution of dotted rhythms are essential. This composition is especially suited for patriotic, ceremonial, or memorial events. ($49, Alfred, 3:00) M.H.

 
(C2) Pulsate
By Mekel Rogers
    This commissioned piece can help in developing counting skills. Though scored in a brisk 3/4 time throughout (quarter note = 152), the composition contains syncopations in odd numbered measures that suggest 6/8 meter. Clarinets and trumpets begin the piece with soft, pulsating lines before being joined by the entire ensemble. The composition then explores various textures and dynamics before moving to an intense conclusion. Expertly scored with two-part writing for clarinet and trumpet, the piece includes engaging lines of similar levels of difficulty for each section and active percussion scoring for timpani, bells, marimba, snare drum, bass drum, ride cymbal, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, triangle, and tambourine. If marimba is not available, the composer suggests using a xylophone played with rubber mallets. ($45, FJH, 1:40) M.H.

 
(C2) A Child’s Lullaby
By Robert Sheldon
    This emotional work was commissioned by the grandparents of a little girl who was taken by cancer at the age of 20 months. In recognition of her sweetness, strength, and courage, the composition conveys a full range of emotions. Dreamlike opening and closing phrases feature delicate clarinet solos. Middle sections are presented in contrasting styles – powerful, simple, hopeful, and joyous. With lyrical melodies and warm harmonies throughout, the piece features interesting lines for each instrument and effective contrasts of texture and dynamics. Proper phrasing, careful observance of dynamic and articulation markings, and uniform stylistic interpretations are necessary. ($55, Alfred, 3:45) M.H.


(C3)
In Infamy
By Jack Wilds
    This creative work was commissioned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States’s entry into World War II. The composition is intended as a reaction to speech delivered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Congress after the attack. A soft, thinly scored opening section subtitled “A date which will live in infamy…” conveys an air of uncertainty and trepidation. A louder and slightly faster passage then briefly adds a sense of foreboding before moving to the faster “In their righteous might…” This section opens with horns offering a call to action as the mood becomes more aggressive and at times ominous. The opening tempo returns during the final section “We will win through to absolute victory…” which draws melodic material from the patriotic tune America, bringing the composition to a hopeful and prideful conclusion. ($55, FJH, 4:30) M.H.

(C3)
Standing Stones
By Todd Stalter
    The title of this composition is a reference to the Oneida Indians who call themselves the “People of the Standing Stone.” According to an ancient legend, the Oneida were being chased on foot through a forest by an enemy tribe. As they came to a clearing, the Oneida suddenly disappeared, confounding their enemy. It was said that the Oneida had shape-shifted into the stones that stood in the clearing. Intended to commemorate that event, the piece begins at a deliberate pace, with majestic melodic material in the trumpets that is soon accompanied by sixteenth-note figures in the high woodwinds and rhythmically aggressive harmonies in the low brass and winds. Native American-inspired drumming introduces a more spirited section featuring noble melodic lines and effective contrasts of texture and dynamics. The opening pace returns during a soft and haunting passage that includes an expressive piccolo solo reminiscent of Native-style flute playing. The calm is interrupted by a quick percussion break that leads to an aggressive full band statement. The piece then rapidly accelerates to a wild and powerful final section, bringing the work to a rousing conclusion. Appropriate balance between winds and percussion, accurate execution of dotted rhythms, and proper tone and intonation at loud dynamic levels are important. ($78, Alfred, 4:30) M.H.

JAZZ BAND


*(J3) You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
By Cole Porter
Arranged by Paul Baker
    This jazz standard gets an up-tempo swing treatment here, with the melody broken up in some extremely clever ways. The intro, led by your drummer and sax section, will hit the audience in the face right from the start. The melody is full of nuance, with inflections and dynamics complimenting the excellent textural writing. Everyone gets a chance to play some great material, leading into alto and trumpet solos. The changes are rough for this difficulty level, but high-quality written solos exist as well. A brief sax soli leads into some contrapuntal writing, and the chart finishes with a short Basie piano section that layers parts on top one at a time. All rhythm parts are written out, with expanded or diminished instrumentation available. ($48, Belwin, 3:39) K.S.

(J2) Lab Report
By Ethan Freier
    In the first third of this rock chart, the reeds and brass go back and forth, never playing together. When they do join up, there are still elements of that back and forth writing, right up until a short swinging sax soli. The improv section, which includes F9 and Eb9, is written for anyone, and the chart comes with helpful scales to use. This is followed by your drummer getting a chance to solo, leading in to the shout chorus. Rhythm section players need to be able to read music, including also playing the more difficult melody during the shout chorus. The song can be played by as few as nine players, and contains parts for atypical jazz instruments. ($48, Kjos, 4:00) K.S.

 
(J3) Lush Life
By Billy Strayhorn
Arranged by Mike Kamuf
    This clever arrangement is playable by developing bands, provided they have some mature players in the lead positions. Starting with the lead alto being able to channel his inner Johnny Hodges to make the fairly rudimentary melodic lines his own and followed by the lead trombonist using inflection and vibrato on a brief solo, the easier rating should be taken with a grain of salt. Written in Db major, the trumpets use flugels for much of the piece. Midway through the chart, the ballad gives way to a Latin section before returning to the ballad at the end. Other featured sections include an alto/flugel duet and a written piano solo, although the chart itself does not contain any improvisation. All rhythm parts are written out, and brass ranges are modest: C6 for trumpet and Gb4 for trombone. ($52, Belwin, 3:46) K.S.

 
(J3) Minnesalsa
By Ethan Freier
    Starting with a piano vamp, this take on an easy Latin riff layers sections in one at a time until the texture is thick, with much going on. This layering concept is used in several ways to keep the audience’s attention while providing a fairly easy introduction into the style. A solo section that alternates between G minor and C7 is followed by an extended percussion break, giving anyone a chance to be a star. The piece works with expanded or diminished instrumentation, with the only necessity being a strong pianist.  ($48, Kjos, 4:19) K.S.


(J3)
Acronym Blues
By Doug Beach
    This blues-based swing chart has helpful everywhere to help your band get the punches in all the right spots. Melodies are written in true AAB form, with the backgrounds hitting to accentuate. The soloing is in F blues with a slight twist in the turnaround, giving inexperienced improvisers something new to tackle. Following the solo section, the rhythm section and bari sax provide a pedal note under the sax soli, giving this otherwise fairly standard tune another interesting flavor. Your drummer has plenty of fill opportunities, and the other rhythm section personnel have written charts to help out. ($52, Kendor, 3:40) K.S.


FULL ORCHESTRA


*(O3) Dance of the Hours
By Amilcare Ponchielli|
Arranged by Richard Meyer
    This is an excellent introduction to symphonic orchestra playing for the middle school orchestra. Written in D, it is also accessible to middle school band students. Parts are doubled to give support to younger players. Two dances with a contrasting legato waltz in the middle provide an opportunity to develop a variety of bowing techniques. All parts are playable in first position, although a third position fingering in the cello part is provided for ease in playing the accidental. Optional treble clef viola and piano parts are included. ($59, Alfred, 3:30) J.A.C.

 
*(O2) March of the Dwarfs
By Edvard Grieg
Arranged by Michael Story
    This is a wonderful introduction to symphonic orchestra playing. Most wind parts are doubled in the strings, so the work can also be performed as a string piece. Written in E minor, accidentals are clearly fingered, and all parts are in first position. A treble clef viola part is provided. ($59, Alfred, 3:15) J.A.C.


STRING ORCHESTRA

 
Reviewer’s Choice:
ding(S2) 10 Intonation Studies and Chorales
By Brian Balmages
    This daily ensemble warm-up routine includes tuning exercises, scales harmonized to open strings, scales in both major and minor modes, exercises in bow distribution, drone-tone exercises to improve aural skills, and chorales with extended harmonies. Directors can choose one or two of the exercises a day or choose one day a week to devote to these valuable fundamentals. Each study is eight measures long, and helpful teaching tips are included in the score. This pedagogical work can be used by ensembles of all ages, including collegiate chamber music ensembles. Advanced ensembles can practice the exercises in different octaves and with different bowing and rhythmic patterns. Reviewing the basics of intonation and tone never goes out of style, and this collection is a must-have for any string teacher. ($45, FJH) S.G.

 
Reviewer’s Choice:
(S1) British March
By Andrew H. Dabczynski
    An excellent first orchestra piece that uses only the notes within the first octave of a D major scale (plus an open A for the basses) and almost doubles the second violin with viola and cello with bass, this work is ideal for giving students immediate success. The composition begins with a theme played in the violins, transitions to a lower string theme, and then transitions to a contrasting trio section before returning to the final statement of the two original themes combined. Optional upper octave notes are provided for bass players who have learned C# and D on the G string. Parts for treble clef viola, optional piano, and optional percussion are included. ($46, Alfred, 2:20) J.A.C.


*(S1) First Finger Rock
By Brian Balmages
    Written in the key of D, the composition uses only open strings and first fingers for all instruments. A rock feeling is provided with the piano accompaniment and optional drum set. Violin 2 and viola parts and cello and bass parts are identical, giving support for the inner and lower voices. The four-note motif is present in all the sections and will get your young players excited to play in a group setting for the first time. ($40, FJH, 1:30) J.A.C.


*(S3) Rogue Rider
By Doug Spata
    Develop new bowing styles, rhythmic accuracy, and basic shifting techniques as students play the lovely romantic melodies. Contrasting rhythmic sections with legato melodies heighten the excitement of the work. The work contains syncopation, hemiola, and powerfully accented lines in the rhythmic sections, and it combines these rhythmic lines with the more legato melodies in the opening and ending sections. The middle section features intertwining melodies with lovely romantic harmonies. An optional harp part provides opportunity to showcase harpists. All parts are well fingered with first violins, cellos, and basses shifting. ($49, Alfred, 4:00) J.A.C.


*(S3) Big Sky Country
By Susan Day
    With a typical Western flavor reminiscent of big open spaces, this work has lush melodic phrases that modulate from G major to C major to D major and then back to G major, along with transitions that have many accidentals provide the opportunity to learn to anchor in to each tonality. Melodies move from section to section with syncopated rhythmic patterns providing the underlying drive. There is some third position work in the first violins, extended position in the cellos, and half position in the basses – all clearly fingered. ($49.00, Alfred, 4:15) J.A.C.


*(S5) Hungarian Dance No. 9
By Franz Liszt
Arranged by Carrie Lane Gruselle
    Originally written for piano, this arrangement will be an exciting finale for your next concert. In the style of a czardas, the folk themes begin slowly and move to a frenzied conclusion. The opening theme is presented in the lower strings and passed to the viola and then the violins in a playful style with rubato and lots of accidentals. The second theme is also introduced in the cello section with a lively off-the-string style and quickly passed throughout the orchestra. The third theme begins with a unison theme leading to the final theme and a rousing crescendo to the end. The independence of parts, accidentals, use of upper positions, and advanced bowing techniques require a group willing to work out the intricacies as they grow in their musical development. ($60, FJH, 4:30) J.A.C.

 
(S1) Chimes and Bells
Arranged by Deborah Baker Monday
    This combined string orchestra and choral work can be used as an effective closing number to a holiday concert. Baker uses a medley of traditional songs – Ding, Dong Merrily on High and Jingle Bells – interspersed with an original theme based on the sound of chimes in D major, to create an exciting opportunity for string player to perform with a choir. The use of accents, some C naturals and slurs in the violin 1 part, and double stop pizzicato and rhythmic ostinato in the cello provide teaching points. Violin 2 and viola are doubled. Optional piano and percussion parts are provided. ($45, FJH, 2:00) J.A.C.

 
(S2) There Lived a King from “The Gondoliers”
Arranged by Deborah Baker Monday
    This will provide a lively addition to your concert programming. Written in C, the melody moves throughout the orchestra, giving every section a chance to shine. Bowings and fingerings for accidentals – Bb and F# – are clearly marked. Violin 2 and viola double, and an optional piano part is provided. This is an excellent work for introducing C major. ($40, FJH, 1:40) J.A.C.


(S2)
Take Flight
By Patrick Roszell
    This composition features optimistic melodic material and brush-stroke accompaniments. Written in remembrance of the composer’s beloved pet, students are encouraged to imagine playing with a lively, inquisitive animal. In a mysterious section marked “curiously,” players can easily imagine a dog or cat encountering something they have never seen before. Cellos and first violins receive the bulk of the melodic playing, but inner voice performers can practice off-string bow strokes. Parts contain thoughtful and appropriate bowings and fingerings. ($49, Belwin Mills, 1:50) S.G.


(S3) Nimrod
By Edward Elgar
Arranged by Clark McAlister
    From Elgar’s popular Variations on an Original Theme (‘Enigma’), Op. 36, this powerful and emotional variation tugs on the heart strings. Second violins, violas, and cellos play divisi throughout, creating a rich, warm texture. The basses and first violins maintain a single line, and the first violins carry much of the melodic material. This arrangement encourages players to work on beauty of tone, controlled bow speeds, and continuous vibrato. Sparse bowings are included, and directors may need to make alterations depending on the level of the ensemble. “Sul D” and “sul A” indications are included in the first violin part to recommend the appropriate timbre, but actual fingerings are not included. ($35, LudwigMasters, 3:00) S.G.

 
(S3) Fantasy on “Three Blind Mice”
By Mike Lewis
    This clever piece starts out sweetly with a simple bass part that alternates between the tonic and dominant. Violas enter with a repeated Cn, and soon the primary melody appears in the cellos. As lighthearted as this opening is, the work quickly develops into a chromatic fantasy full of dense harmonies and divisi sections. The Three Blind Mice theme is never far from the forefront, and quick modulations and luscious string writing keep the mood lighthearted and fun – perfect for a light classics concert. Bowings are included in the parts. Directors may need to add supplemental fingerings for chromatic scalar passages. ($42, LudwigMasters, 3:30) S.G.


(S3) Allegro from Serenade No. 1 in D
By W.A. Mozart
Arranged by Robert D. McCashin
    An excellent introduction to classical music, the arrangement retains the themes from the original work, providing opportunities to work on classical style, off-beat rhythmic patterns, staccato and spiccato, accidental G#s in all parts, dotted eighth and sixteenth note patterns, and hooked bowing. First violins, cellos, and basses play in third position while second violins and violas remain in first position. A treble clef viola part is provided. ($60, FJH, 4:30) J.A.C.

 
(S3) A Percy Grainger Portrait
Arranged by Douglas E. Wagner
    An artful introduction to the works of Grainger, the arrangement includes Irish Tune from County Derry, Mock Morris, My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone, and Children’s March. Written in G, the work combines many bowing styles with changing time signatures. First violins and basses have some third position. ($58, Alfred, 4:15) J.A.C.

 
(S4) Allegro Moderato from Symphony No. 3
By Camille Saint-Saëns
Arranged by Deborah Baker Monday
    This movement of the famous organ symphony is in D minor and F major and includes the string theme and fugue based on Saint-Saëns’s four-note theme. The opening requires heavy bow strokes at the frog, contrasting with the legato, expressive full bows in the middle section. Shifting tonalities require students to execute chromatic fingerings carefully. Independent rhythmic patterns throughout provide an opportunity to teach listening and ensemble skills. Students will enjoy the challenges of this work as they learn the nuances of Saint-Saëns’s style. ($55, FJH, 4:15) J.A.C.

 
(S4) Themes from Carmen
Arranged by Carrie Lane Gruselle
    Four well-known themes – Prelude, Aragonaise, Habanera, and Dance Bohème – are included. The Prelude features the viola and cello sections with the foreboding fate motif. The violins take over the theme in the second section, the Aragonaise. Cellos introduce the third section’s theme. The theme returns to the violins in the final section. First violins use third position, and cellos use half position. Accidentals are prevalent throughout. Bow distribution, different bowing styles, changing meter, and rubato will be teaching points. ($65, FJH, 5:00) J.A.C.

 

 

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