Alan Danson – Passages of Time (Brass Quintet) – Score Digital Download
This attractive and well laid out piece, by Essex composer Alan Danson, is generally tonal and contains interesting rhythmic interplay and changes of time to keep performers (and listeners!) on their toes.
This attractive and well laid out piece, by Essex composer Alan Danson, is generally tonal and contains interesting rhythmic interplay and changes of time to keep performers (and listeners!) on their toes. Review: "This work is in four contrasting movements, each one dedicated to a different aspect of time. The first movement, prefaced by the phrase Time, Time, Constant Time…. is pervaded by a gentle pulse, which propels it right from the beginning until its end. The harmonic language is colourful, but remains within the boundary of diatonicism. The music is well voiced, creating a full sound from the five-piece ensemble. The second movement is slower and more thoughtful in character, as could be deduced from the heading, which says Time Past: Memories, Sadness, Nostalgia. Following the classical pattern, the third movement, entitled Time Present: No Time! No Time! No Time! is a kind of scherzo, brash and rhythmic in style. Great precision is needed in fitting the jig-saw-like rhythmic elements together. The finale Time Future: Hope, Faith is lively and energetic in style, creating a rousing finish. Although brass quintets rely heavily on playing arrangements, it is also important to play original works. This work will provide a welcome addition to that original repertoire." – Stephen Wick, September 1994
Alan Danson's studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London were in Horn, Piano and Orchestration. After leaving college in 1974, he worked as a freelance horn player in West End shows, with Ballet companies, Symphony Orchestras and studios, whilst retaining his interest in composition. He has directed the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in commercial work, worked as an arranger for BBC TV and composed for TV commercials. He is also involved in musical education. His development as a composer was as a result of his work experience in studying scores, observing compositional techniques whilst playing and directing groups, and composing for various musical combinations. See www.sounddimensionsmusic.com
Six movements, starting with Quick March which requires some fast and neat tonguing from all members of the quintet. The Polka which follows is full of colour and requires dexterous trumpet playing. The third movement Blues is a long way from a traditional New Orleans blues - with its melancholy mood and Debussy like harmony it is more like a small impressionist tone poem. Merry Waltz is followed by Preamble, a gentle, atmospheric piece at a leisurely walking tempo. The final movement of this suite Tarandtango (Tarantango) cleverly combines two dances, the energetic tarantella and the elegant tango, resulting in an exciting and virtuoso finale.
Written to be light, bright entertainment this work is an interesting, melodic suite with plenty of rhythmic coloration. The four movements are very varied and include a lyrical and soulful horn solo, unusual in this sort of repertoire. For colleges, conservatoires, professionals.
Dowland was the most famous composer of his day - he had an international reputation and was famous for the beauty of his songs. The dance numbers here show a complexity way beyond the normal brass consort music of his time. The gentle Semper Dowland, Semper Dolens is one of the most beautiful pieces of the 16th (or indeed any) Century. Arranged by Stephen Wick and suitable for students and professionals.
This arrangement of familiar nursery rhymes was intended as a means of introducing younger children to the medium of the brass quintet. Each rhyme is dressed in a musical identity, with each player given plenty of note activity. Some rhymes are slightly tongue in cheek while others are blatantly satirical. The work opens and closes with the rhyme Oranges and Lemons and the medley runs logically lasting for 5 to 6 minutes. It is an ideal encore item or light alternative to follow a quintet that might have challenged both performer and listener. A Medley of Rhymes for Five Brass is a popular addition to serious concert programmes.
Written for Thames Brass, a successful professional brass ensemble in which the horn player at the time was one of the composer's former students. Having spent much of his life as a horn player, and having also had the honour of working with the finest players, in Movements for Brass the composer explores the sonorities of brass in a way that is rewarding to play.