A fine work for wind quintet by the late Alan Civil. Review: "Parts of English folk tunes and sea shanties appear and disappear, playing peek-a-boo with lovely, original melodic ideas. For colleges, conservatories and professionals." – Special Flute New Issue, July 1997
Alan Civil was born in 1929 and died in 1989. Alan started to play the French horn as a young boy, and joined an army band as a teenager. He studied the horn with Aubrey Brain, the father of Dennis Brain, and played second horn to Dennis Brain in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, taking over as principal horn when Dennis Brain left. In 1955 Alan joined the Philharmonia as principal horn, and in 1966 he became the principal horn of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, where he remained until he retired in 1988. He also performed as a soloist and recordings include Mozart's 'Four Horn Concertos' and Benjamin Britten's 'Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings' with Robert Tear. He was also a member of the Alan Civil Horn Trio, taught at the Royal College of Music and was awarded an OBE in 1985. Alan was also a prolific composer and arranger, writing many pieces for the horn as well as for an array of unusual instrument combinations.
This is an arrangement for wind quintet of a late piano work by Brahms. There is not enough music, that communicates the deepest of human emotions, available for wind quintet at present, either as original compositions or in arrangements. By making this arrangement David has contributed to remedying this shortage, as well as bringing a powerful piece to the attention of musicians and audiences who might not otherwise come across it. The arrangement seeks to preserve the textural clarity and sensuous melodic lines of the original. Much of the richness and late romantic warmth of the arrangement comes from Brahms' flexibility of rhythm and tonality. This piece can be played by an ensemble where nobody is beyond the standard of Grade 8 Associated Board, which would include most adult amateur wind quintets. For secondary schools, community performing groups, teaching studios, colleges, conservatories, amateurs, libraries and professionals.
Excellent for young audiences, the arrangement, by Roy Thackray, is helpful in learning to recognise the sound of the instruments, both together and separately. For colleges, conservatories and professionals.