These ingenious arrangements by Ian Lawrence combine the original instrumental and choral lines to create full and varied textures for brass. Review: "These two pieces from the Oratorio Samson are typical of the gloriously rich style of the high baroque. This music would be very suitable for performance in a church or concert hall, and provides a useful addition to the brass repertoire from one of the most well loved periods of music." – Stephen Wick September 1994
Ian Lawrence was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge (MA) and Leeds University (PhD). He has published some 30 books, arrangements, compositions and TV scripts and is now living in Cambridge where he hopes to continue producing arrangements.
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.
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.
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.
Arranged by Robin Benton, all brass players and their audiences should enjoy this rousing well known March from Verdi's 1871 grand opera Aida. The Egyptian army has returned from its victory over the Ethiopians and the melodies are suitably triumphant in style. The first melody ends with trumpet fanfares leading to the well known second melody which is repeated in a higher key. The opening theme returns and the March ends with a rousing coda.
The Planets Suite in Miniature is an attempt to take the listener through Gustav Holst's orchestral masterpiece in less than ten minutes using only five brass instruments. Only five of the seven most famous and recognisable melodies from the original are used, beginning, like the prototype, with Mars. The different movements appear in the same order as Holst wrote, although the rhythmic pattern of Mars reappears on occasion. The piece ends with a clash of interest as the two most well known movements, Mars and Jupiter, compete for the right to finish. The harsh sounds of Mars are heard first before the hymnal Jupiter theme is heard over the driving rhythm of Mars. Jupiter finally triumphs with the piece ending with one final verse of the tune used for the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country. This instantly recognisable arrangement by Thomas Chinery is both challenging and playable, and of a length that will not tire the players too much while at the same time maintaining the essence and power of the original music to ensure interest for both audience and players alike. A recording by the Argento Brass Quintet can be heard on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGg1-pcHzrs