In this melodic and appealing music the five instruments enjoy opportunities to caress the ears of audiences who may have been fearing heavier and more uncompromising fare.
John Marson was born in 1932 and died in 2007. He studied the harp with Marie Goossens at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 1958, while still a student, began his professional career with the Carl Rosa Opera Company. A week after leaving college he joined the London Symphony Orchestra for two years before embarking on two decades of freelance work, during which he played solos, chamber music and concerti, worked with all the London orchestras and spent much time in recording studios. He played in many outstanding feature films including the original 'Star Wars'. In 1982 he was appointed principal harp of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and subsequently resumed his freelance career while increasingly engaging in composition, both for the harp and for other instruments and voice. He played for many West End and National Theatre productions including over three years as harpist in Lloyd Webber's 'Aspects of Love'.
The roll call of artists with whom John has worked include the Beatles, Richard Rodney Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, John Dankworth, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Liberace, Martha Graham, Hans Werner Henze, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Zoltan Kodaly, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Pierre Monteux, Jessye Norman, Laurence Olivier, Luciano Pavarotti, Gennadi Rozhdestvenski, Frank Sinatra, George Solti, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, George Szell, William Walton, John Williams, Stevie Wonder and countless others.
In 1964 John was one of the two founders of the United Kingdom Harp Association, edited its magazines for many years and became President of the Association in January 2005. His book 'The Complete Guide to Harp Glissandi', is published by Lyra Music of New York, while his other major work 'The Book of the Harp - techniques, history and lore of a unique musical instrument', was published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd. in 2005.
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.